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It's a Date (1940)

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Reviews: 8 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.



(screen play), (original story), 2 more credits »
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Title: It's a Date (1940)

It's a Date (1940) on IMDb 6.8/10

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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 ...
Virginia Brissac ...
Miss Holden
Romaine Callender ...
Joe King ...
First Mate Kelly
Mary Kelley ...
Governor's Wife
Eddie Polo ...
Quarter Master


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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Release Date:

22 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Date  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


S.Z. Sakall's American film debut. See more »


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 »


Remade as Nancy Goes to Rio (1950) See more »


Ave Maria (Op.52 No.1)
(1825) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
Lyrics by P. Adam Storck
Sung by Deanna Durbin
See more »

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User Reviews

Mother and daughter want the same man and the same part
4 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Deanna Durbin stars in "It's a Date," a 1940 comedy also starring Kay Francis, Walter Pidgeon and S.Z. Sakall. Durbin plays Pam Drake, an aspiring young actress whose mother is a theater star, Georgia Drake. After the successful run of a play, Georgia and her maid Sara Frankenstein (Cecilia Loftus) head for Hawaii for R&R before she starts her new play. However, the author (Sakall) isn't sure she's right for the role; he thinks Georgia is too old. Ultimately he sees Pam perform and gives her the role. Not realizing her mother thinks it's hers, she takes a ship to Hawaii so her mother can help her prepare. On the ship, she meets a man (Walter Pidgeon) that she thinks is a stowaway - he's actually John Arlen, a successful businessman. Once in Hawaii, Pam finds out the truth about the role and tries to keep it from her mother; John, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Georgia, but Pam thinks she's in love with him and it's mutual. It's a mess.

In Durbin's earlier films, I found her speaking voice high-pitched and a little annoying and her acting overly energetic to the point of being hyper. Here, she's delightful, bubbly without being manic, and she looks very pretty. Her singing voice has matured as well - she sings "Musetta's Waltz," "Ave Maria" and "Loch Lomond." The whole voice is richer though I will never be a fan of the way sopranos in those days were trained to back off of their high notes. She puts a little too much weight in the middle voice and therefore has a somewhat screechy Bb at the end of "Quando M'en Vo." Still, however, she is one of the best classical singers in film.

Though Durbin was a huge star at Universal, the studio never bought big properties for her. This is a nice film with good performances but that's about it. Kay Francis is lovely as Georgia and Loftus is funny as Sarah. The handsome Pidgeon does his usual good job.

Deanna Durbin in the end out-Garboed Greta Garbo, retiring at the age of 27 and moving to the outskirts of France, and I don't believe she's been seen since or even interviewed. The image and voice of the young girl live, and thanks to TCM, she undoubtedly has new fans. She deserves them.

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