IMDb > First Love (1939)
First Love
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First Love (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Bruce Manning (screenplay) &
Lionel Houser (screenplay)
View company contact information for First Love on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 November 1939 (USA) See more »
In this reworking of Cinderella, orphaned Connie Harding is sent to live with her rich aunt and uncle after graduating from boarding school... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
lovely and bittersweet See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Deanna Durbin ... Constance Harding

Robert Stack ... Ted Drake

Eugene Pallette ... James Clinton

Helen Parrish ... Barbara Clinton
Lewis Howard ... Walter Clinton

Leatrice Joy ... Grace Shute Clinton

June Storey ... Wilma van Everett

Frank Jenks ... Mike the Cop

Kathleen Howard ... Miss Wiggins

Thurston Hall ... Anthony Drake

Marcia Mae Jones ... Marcia Parker

Samuel S. Hinds ... Mr. Parker

Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Parker
Charles Coleman ... George, Clinton's Butler

Jack Mulhall ... Terry

Mary Treen ... Agnes, Barbara's Maid

Dorothy Vaughan ... Ollie, Mrs. Clinton's Maid
Lucille Ward ... Clinton's Cook
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Monica Bannister ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Virginia Brissac ... Commencement Speaker (uncredited)

Lillian Bronson ... Violin Player (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Doug (uncredited)

Sayre Dearing ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Rex Evans ... Gerald Bevins (uncredited)

Bess Flowers ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Julia Griffith ... Old Maid Schoolteacher (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Ball Guest (uncredited)

Grace Hayle ... Madame Margarita Catalini (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Drake Servant (uncredited)

Lon McCallister ... Boy at School (uncredited)

Harold Miller ... Commencement Guest (uncredited)

Peggy Moran ... Girl at School (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Ball Guest (uncredited)

Broderick O'Farrell ... Madame Catalini's Escort (uncredited)

Robert Paige ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rondell ... Ted's Horseback Riding Friend / Ball Guest (uncredited)

Larry Steers ... Ball Guest (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... Chauffeur at Commencement (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Walter Tetley ... Willie, Country Club Page (uncredited)
Ellinor Vanderveer ... Ball Guest (uncredited)

Russell Wade ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Larry Wheat ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Drake's Butler (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry Koster 
Writing credits
Bruce Manning (screenplay) &
Lionel Houser (screenplay) (as Lionel Hauser)

Stephen Morehouse Avery  contributor to screenplay construction (uncredited)
Henry Myers  original story (uncredited)
Gertrude Purcell  original story (uncredited)

Produced by
Henry Koster .... producer
Joe Pasternak .... producer
Original Music by
Charles Previn (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
Frank Skinner (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Joseph A. Valentine (director of photography) (as Joseph Valentine)
Film Editing by
Bernard W. Burton 
Art Direction by
Jack Otterson 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman  (as R.A. Gausman)
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Shaw .... assistant director
Art Department
Martin Obzina .... associate art director
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound supervisor
Joe Lapis .... sound technician (as Joseph Lapis)
Music Department
Andrés de Segurola .... vocal instructor (as Andres de Segurola)
Charles Previn .... musical director
Frank Skinner .... orchestrator
George Parrish .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cinderella" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

Robert Stack's first film.See more »
Continuity: The movement of Deanna during the scene with her mirror.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hers to Hold (1943)See more »
Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
lovely and bittersweet, 2 December 2014
Author: blanche-2 from United States

Deanna Durbin stars with Robert Stack, Helen Parrish, Leatrice Joy, Eugene Palette, and Kathleen Howard in "First Love," a 1939 update of the Cinderella story, with Deanna receiving her first screen kiss.

I first had to get over seeing Robert Stack so young - omg.

Deanna plays Constance Harding, an orphan who is spending the summer after her graduation with relatives. It's a sterile household with her uncle (Pallette) who doesn't want any noise and prefers his family be out of the house when he's there; an unbelievable brat of a cousin, Barbara (Parrish); and an airhead aunt (Joy). The only warmth available comes from the servants.

While her mother is busy doing astrology charts, Barbara enjoys the life of a much-photographed socialite and woman about town who has a closet the length of one wall. She's after the most eligible bachelor in town, Ted Drake. One day, she doesn't wake up when she is called at noon and instead gets up at 2. She is invited to go riding at 2:30 with Ted and some others. Because she will be late, she sends Constance to the country club to hold Ted there by any means necessary. Constance does as she's told, but develops a crush on Ted.

The family is then invited to a fabulous party at Ted's. The servants get together and buy Constance a beautiful dress, a corsage, and a wrap from someone's relative. Barbara takes one look at her and makes up a reason why Constance needs to stay home -- something Barbara's brother knew was going to happen all along. But unseen forces are at work.

This is Deanna before my favorite part of her career, which is a little later. As a little girl, she was too energetic and her speaking voice too high-pitched for me. Here, she is delightful, but her singing voice, particularly the top, is thin. Later on, it would open up and be glorious. And Un Bel Di in English - it sounded like they took the literal translation and just had her sing it, with the words not only awkward, but out of order. Not a good choice for her, as the aria is for a much bigger sound, though it fit in very well with the theme.

What made this film a bittersweet experience for me was the beautiful acting of Kathleen Howard as the old maid with a cane, Miss. Wiggins. In those days, if you weren't married, you were nobody, and Miss Wiggins, beloved by her students, exemplifies that. You can tell by the way she talks that she believes life passed her by, but being a strong woman, she has gone on and made the best of it. The end frame of her made me cry. Such an affecting, poignant performance.

I loved this film. Deanna's first kiss garnered a lot of attention; later, the first kiss was tried with Shirley Temple, but in 1942 wartime, no one cared.

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