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It's a Date (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  22 March 1940 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 324 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

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.

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(screen play), (original story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pamela Drake
...
Georgia Drake
...
John Arlen
...
Governor Allen
Henry Stephenson ...
Captain Andrew
Cecilia Loftus ...
Sara Frankenstein
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Sidney Simpson
Lewis Howard ...
Freddie Miller
...
Karl Ober
Fritz Feld ...
Headwaiter
Virginia Brissac ...
Miss Holden
Romaine Callender ...
Evans
Joe King ...
First Mate Kelly
Mary Kelley ...
Governor's Wife
...
Quarter Master
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dulce ilusión  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In MGM's Technicolor remake, Nancy Goes to Rio (1950), Jane Powell's repertoire included her rendition of a fabled aria sung by Deanna Durbin in Universal's black-and-write original: "Musetta's Waltz Song" from the opera "La Boheme" (music by 'Giacomo Puccini (I)', lyrics by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa). Worth noting is that Joe Pasternak, who departed Universal for the MGM's bigger budgets in late 1941, produced both musicals. See more »

Quotes

Karl Ober: I can't work in New York anyway. Is this place far from here?
Pamela Drake: Oh, no, Mr. Ober, it's only Maine. You know where Maine is!
Karl Ober: No.
Pamela Drake: Oh, it's practically a few minutes from here! You could write fine there.
Sidney Simpson: 'A few minutes'!
Pamela Drake: [to Sidney, blithely] Yes!
[to Ober]
Pamela Drake: That's all, really.
Karl Ober: [wagging his finger] Then it isn't quiet enough. I have to go further away from New York.
Pamela Drake: Oh, good - it *is* far away! Takes a whole day to get there.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Patrick the Great (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Musetta's Waltz from 'La bohème'
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Lyrics by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Played by the band and sung by Deanna Durbin
See more »

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User Reviews

Deanna chases older man in hackneyed musical comedy
28 May 2001 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

Six films and four years after her auspicious starring debut in THREE SMART GIRLS (1936), the luster of Deanna Durbin began to dim, but just a little. In IT'S A DATE (1940), she's saddled with two high-profile grown-up co-stars, Walter Pidgeon and faded 1930s star Kay Francis, both of whom considerably slow down the normally hyperactive Deanna.

The plot involves aspiring actress Deanna being offered a part that was originally promised to her stage diva mom (Kay). Then, in Hawaii, the plot shifts to a romantic triangle as the two women grapple, not for a part, but for the attentions of a pineapple tycoon, Pidgeon, who's more interested in the mother. The inherent drama in such a situation is jettisoned in favor of standard Universal Pictures sitcom antics. Kay Francis overacts but is never given any good lines, forced too often to simply react to the bubbly, aggressive Deanna.

The first section of the film offers the flavorful ambiance of a theatrical milieu, both Broadway and regional theatre, but then, after Deanna's offered the part of St. Anne, the action shifts to a cruise ship, where Deanna meets Pidgeon, and finally to Hawaii where she reunites with Mom. Once Deanna boards the ship, she leaves behind her quirky boyfriend Freddy, an aspiring actor played by the funny Lewis Howard, who then disappears from the movie. Freddy has a great bit early on where he tries to impress a casting director by acting like a 'dope fiend' which is what he thought Deanna said when she told him to try out for the part of the Dauphin. He starts going into withdrawal tics, rubbing his nose and scratching his arms, a daring bit at a time when the Production Code strictly forbade drug references.

Norman Krasna's script (from a 'story' credited to three writers) offers plenty of bright dialogue and funny bits, but the shifts in setting make it play like three movies crammed into one. William Seiter's heavy-handed direction seems more intent on showing off the lavish (for Universal) sets and less on showing off the actors, giving a bloated feel to the whole enterprise. Deanna's earlier films were leaner, zippier and bursting at the seams with youthful energy. The soundtrack is short on original songs and big on choral standards: Deanna's big numbers are 'Loch Lomond' and 'Ave Maria.'


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