Up 14,819 this week

Mad About Music (1938)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  27 February 1938 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 283 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

A young woman at a girl's school in Switzerland makes up stories about and writes herself letters from an imaginary explorer-adventurer father; and is eventually put in a position where she... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
0Check in

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8418 titles
created 13 Aug 2011
list image
a list of 21 titles
created 07 Jun 2012
list image
a list of 178 titles
created 10 Jan 2013
a list of 89 titles
created 18 Feb 2013
a list of 83 titles
created 23 Jul 2014

Related Items

Search for "Mad About Music" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Mad About Music (1938)

Mad About Music (1938) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mad About Music.
Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The daughter of a struggling musician forms a symphony orchestra made up of his unemployed friends and through persistence, charm and a few misunderstandings, is able to get Leopold ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Adolphe Menjou, Alice Brady
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dashing reporter Vincent Bullit has just returned from covering the Spanish Civil War. His boss, newspaper magnate Fullerton, has more plans to send him off to China. However, first ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Melvyn Douglas, Jackie Cooper
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

While waiting at a train station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder from a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since there's no body... See full summary »

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
It's a Date (1940)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Kay Francis, Walter Pidgeon
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger, Alice Brady
First Love (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In this reworking of Cinderella, orphaned Connie Harding is sent to live with her rich aunt and uncle after graduating from boarding school. She's hardly received with open arms, especially... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Robert Stack, Eugene Pallette
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young girl visits New York for two reasons: to see her half-brother, and to try to start a musical career.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Franchot Tone, Pat O'Brien
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A grandson of a recently deceased millionaire mistakes a beautiful female disc jockey for her aunt, who once dated the grandfather.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Donald O'Connor, John Dall
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A naive girl just out of a cloistered orphanage finds that being a 'good fairy' to strangers makes life awfully complicated.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, Herbert Marshall, Frank Morgan
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Now that their parents are back together, the Craig girls think life is going to be easy. It is, until Kay falls in love with Joan's fiance! Complications arise when youngest sister Penny ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Winninger, Nan Grey
Spring Parade (1940)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this light and lovely romantic musical, a Hungarian woman(Deanna Durbin) attends a Viennese fair and buys a card from a gypsy fortune teller. It says that she will meet someone important... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Robert Cummings, Mischa Auer


Cast overview:
Richard Todd / Mr. Harkinson
Gail Patrick ...
Gwen Taylor
Arthur Treacher ...
Dusty Turner
Marcia Mae Jones ...
Helen Parrish ...
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Annette Fusenot
Nana Bryant ...
Louise Fusenot
Christian Rub ...
Charles Peck ...
Sid Grauman ...
Himself, Sid Grauman
Cappy Barra ...
Leader, Harmonica Ensemble (as Cappy Barra and His Harmonica Band)


A young woman at a girl's school in Switzerland makes up stories about and writes herself letters from an imaginary explorer-adventurer father; and is eventually put in a position where she has to produce him. Interesting things happen as she talks a visiting Englishman into helping her out. Written by Sonya Roberts <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Délicieuse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 18, 1938 with Deanna Durbin, Gail Patrick and Herbert Marshall reprising their film roles. See more »


The sign in what is supposed to be a French movie theater says "Exit" instead of "Sortie" See more »


[first lines]
Lady at Theatre: Gwen, you were marvellous.
Gwen Taylor: Oh, thank you very much.
See more »


Remade as The Toy Tiger (1956) See more »


Gounod's Ave Maria
Music by Charles Gounod (based on the C Major Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach)
Performed by Deanna Durbin and Wiener Sängerknaben
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Swiss Miss
23 March 2002 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** "Mad About Music" (Universal, 1938), directed by Norman Taurog, is Deanna Durbin's third feature film, and ranks one of her finest in many ways, especially with a delightful storyline and Durbin's likable charm, but unfortunately, this is one overlooked treasure from the golden age of teenage musicals.

The story opens with Gwen Taylor (Gail Patrick), a celebrated movie actress, placing her hand prints in the cement block at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Unknown to many, Gwen has been separated from her daughter for ten years because of her great popularity, and finds that she cannot reveal to her fans that a glamor girl like herself is a mother of a 14-year-old girl. Gloria Harkinson (Deanna Durbin), the daughter in question, is being educated at a Swiss school for girls. Well liked by her classmates, she is immensely disliked by one in particular, Felice (Helen Parrish), who is not only jealous of her popularity around school, but is very eager to learn more about Gloria's questionable family background, especially when she refuses to believe that Gloria's father is a famous African explorer. To cover up her lies, Gloria has her middle-aged friend, Pierre (Christian Rub) back her up by writing letters to her, signing them from "her Dad." Because her little white lies are getting her deeper and deeper in trouble, Gloria, realizing that she is being followed by her classmates as she is heading for the train station, suddenly approaches a man named Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall), and his valet, Tripps (Arthur Treacher). Before Todd realizes what has happened, the distinguished gentleman finds himself suddenly acting as Gloria's father and coming to her school where he impresses the girls by talking about his "hunting adventures in Africa." More problems arise when Gloria learns that her mother is visiting in Paris, and must manage to sneak away from the school without arousing any more attention.

The storyline to "Mad About Music" may sound corny in print, but in reality, it is highly amusing and entertaining throughout its 98 minutes screen time, and it's easy to see why Durbin became such a box office attraction, having both voice and personality. The supporting cast consists of a younger William Frawley playing Dusty Turner, Gwen Taylor's agent; Marcia Mae Jones as Olga, Gloria's best friend; Elisabeth Risdon as the school official; Jackie Moran and Charles Peck as military academy students interested in Gloria and Olga; Franklin Pangborn seen briefly as the hotel manager; plus a cameo appearance by Sidney Grauman of Grauman's Chinese Theater in the opening segment of the story. One scene finds Frawley's character in a sentimental moment as he tells Gloria that she mustn't see her mother, as much as he knows in his heart that seeing her mother would mean a lot to her. The way this scene is handled is well done, showing the warmer side of Frawley, a fine character actor known for his grumpiness and his sarcastic comedic one-liners, especially used to great advantage in the immortal long running TV series from the 1950s, "I Love Lucy," starring Lucille Ball. It is also interesting to see the young and sassy Gail Patrick cast against type playing a mother.

New songs by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh include: "I Love to Whistle," "Ave Maria" (by Charles Francois Gounod); "Chapel Bells" "I Love to Whistle" and "Serenade to the Stars." Aside from Durbin's singing, the Capps Barros Harmonica Players also participate in a song number.

"Mad About Music" resembles the story lines used by MGM, especially those Jane Powell Technicolor musicals of the late 1940s, mainly because it was produced by Joe Pasternak, who brought over his charm of teenage musicals from Universal to MGM, revamping the formula he originated in the Durbin films. Universal-International would remake "Mad About Music" as "The Toy Tiger" (1956) featuring Jeff Chandler, Laraine Day and Tim Hovey in the Marshall, Patrick and Durbin roles. While "The Toy Tiger" did get some television exposure on American Movie Classics in the 1990s, "Mad About Music" at present, did not. This Durbin original is available on video cassette. After watching this, it would be impossible not to become "Mad About Deanna." (****)

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Mad About Music (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: