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Three Smart Girls (1936)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  20 December 1936 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 753 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 12 critic

Three sisters scheme to reunite their divorced parents before their wealthy father marries a conniving gold digger.

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(original story), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Binnie Barnes ...
Charles Winninger ...
...
Mrs. Lyons
...
Lord Michael Stuart
...
Count Arisztid
Ernest Cossart ...
Lucile Watson ...
Martha
John 'Dusty' King ...
Bill Evans (as John King)
...
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Wilbur Lamb
Nan Grey ...
Barbara Read ...
Kay
...
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trois jeunes filles à la page  »

Box Office

Budget:

$326,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the gymnasium, Penny's hair ribbon changes when her father comes in. See more »

Quotes

Kay: [as they watch Lord Stuart dance with Donna Lyons, a glaring Kay has suddenly developed jealousy] He's over-doing it!
Joan: [Happy to see their plan going well] He's not bad for a drunkard.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three Smart Saps (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

My Heart Is Singing
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Bronislau Kaper and Walter Jurmann
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Deanna Durbin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Universal's New Singing Sensation
22 October 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

MGM's loss was Universal Studio's gain when Louis B. Mayer sold Deanna Durbin's contract to Carl Laemmle and Universal gave her a grand debut in Three Smart Girls. The three are the Craig sisters played by Nan Grey, Barbara Read, and Durbin as the youngest and the one with the musical talent. But all three are on a mission to bring their mother and father back together.

The girls are vacationing in Switzerland when word comes that dear old dad who's been divorced from mom for years is about to be married again. Back to New York come the sisters to save father Charles Winninger from the clutches of mercenary Binnie Barnes and her even more mercenary mother Alice Brady.

While on the mission Grey and Read get themselves some romantic involvement also with Dusty King and Ray Milland. It gets a bit complicated though when Read thinks that Milland is a no account count that King hired to woo Barnes away from Winninger. Actually Milland is a titled gent, the guy that King hired was Mischa Auer.

In the first of her many roles in the guise, Deanna Durbin plays little Miss Fix-it and solves everybody's problems in the end with a few songs to go with it. It was a formula that worked well for Universal, pulling the studio back from inherent bankruptcy. Abbott&Costello would later make it turn a profit.

Three Smart Girls got Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Original Story. The fashions and mores of the time place it firmly in the Depression Thirties. I doubt it could ever be made today again.

Where would you find a voice like Deanna Durbin's?


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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