An aspiring actress is offered the lead in a major new play, but discovers that her mother, a more seasoned performer, expects the same part. The situation is further complicated when they both become involved with the same man.
Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lilian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a paper man, gets ... See full summary »
A young man asks a hat check girl to pose as his fiancée in order to make his dying father's last moments happy. However, the old man's health takes a turn for the better and now his son ... See full summary »
Edna's grandfather is a conductor of a small orchestra that gives concerts in the park every sunday. Because of lack of audience the city officials want to cancel these concerts. To stop ... See full summary »
Felix E. Feist
The three Craig sisters, in Switzerland with their ten-years-divorced mother, run away to New York to prevent their father from marrying calculating socialite Donna Lyons. The overpowering vivacity of the Smart Girls (nominal ages 14-20) sweeps all before it, but a romantic complication between middle sister Kay and their accidental ally, Lord Michael Stuart, threatens shipwreck to their schemes... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
This was made at one of the many times when Universal Pictures Corporation was on the brink of bankruptcy. It was Universal's big Christmas release for 1936. It became a critical success and a box office sensation It led to a string of highly popular Deanna Durbin pictures that helped keep Universal in the black through the war years. See more »
In the 'long shot', Penny dives headfirst into the lake, getting thoroughly drenched, but in the nearly immediate 'medium shot', she has dry hair, hat, and face as she swims to shore. See more »
Delightful entertainment with a light weight story and a teenage charmer.
It has been said that Deanna Durbin invented teenagery. This first film was one of the best. The humorous story presented a delightful 14 year old Deanna, a little beauty with a gorgeous voice, as the "Miss Fixit" in a family split by divorce. For plot summary, see other IMDb entries, but quickly Deanna and her two older sisters plan to go to America from Switzerland to prevent their father from remarrying. With an excellent supporting cast especially Barbara Read and Nan Grey as the sisters, good direction and editing, the film succeeds in captivating one even on subsequent viewings. Of Deanna's three songs, only "Il Bacio" is from the classical repertoire, but when she sings it in that police station scene, the film's place in history is assured. At least it was for this viewer who at the age of 15 was smitten for life with both Deanna and classical music. One of the many nice touches that occur throughout THREE SMART GIRLS is the brief glimpse of the drunk stretching his neck for a final glimpse of Deanna as the cops hustle him by! One unfortunate result of the success of this film was that subsequent writers for Durbin vehicles became locked into the "Miss Fixit" theme, which quickly became stale. Deanna herself never did. Her stature as an actress is more questionable than her charisma, which she certainly had. It seems to me that, like many another film personality, she substituted "naturalness" for the histrionic ability that she lacked. The ploy worked well for 21 feature films.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?