6.8/10
1,089
22 user 15 critic

Three Smart Girls (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 20 December 1936 (USA)
Three sisters scheme to reunite their divorced parents before their wealthy father marries a conniving gold digger.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Adele Comandini (original story), Adele Comandini (screen play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | 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 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
First Love (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An orphaned boarding school graduate secretly attends a prestigious ball, where she falls for the boyfriend of her snobbish cousin.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Robert Stack, Eugene Pallette
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In order to please his dying father, a man convinces a hat-check girl to impersonate his fiancée, but complications arise when the father's health suddenly improves.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings
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 | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Herbert Marshall, Gail Patrick
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In order to avoid a prearranged marriage, a rebellious French princess sheds her identity and escapes to colonial New Orleans, where she finds an unlikely true love.

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Frank Morgan
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lillian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a newspaper man, ... See full summary »

Directors: Roy Del Ruth, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In New York, a woman who partially witnesses a killing from a train window seeks the aid of a crime novelist to solve the murder.

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Binnie Barnes ... Donna Lyons
Charles Winninger ... Judson Craig
Alice Brady ... Mrs. Lyons
Ray Milland ... Lord Michael Stuart
Mischa Auer ... Count Arisztid
Ernest Cossart ... Binns
Lucile Watson ... Martha
John 'Dusty' King ... Bill Evans (as John King)
Nella Walker ... Dorothy Craig
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Wilbur Lamb
Nan Grey ... Joan
Barbara Read ... Kay
Deanna Durbin ... 'Penny'
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tri zlate deklice See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$326,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was made at one of the many times when Universal Pictures Corporation was on the brink of bankruptcy. It was Universal's big Christmas release for 1936. It became a critical success and a box office sensation It led to a string of highly popular Deanna Durbin pictures that helped keep Universal in the black through the war years. See more »

Goofs

In a scene in his rooms, the telephone continues to ring after Ray Milland picks up the handset. See more »

Quotes

Penny Craig: [after the waiter delivers her lunch in the restaurant, she feistily exclaims] Muffins and milk! That's no food for fighters!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Booky Makes Her Mark (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
In the score when the wedding announcement appears in a newpaper
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"The Parent Trap", Thirties Style
15 January 2007 | by movingpicturegalSee all my reviews

Cute film about three lively sisters from Switzerland (often seen running about in matching outfits) who want to get their parents back together (seems mom is still carrying the torch for dad) - so they sail off to New York to stop the dad from marrying a blonde gold-digger he calls "Precious". Dad hasn't seen his daughters in ten years, they (oddly enough) don't seem to mind and think he's wonderful, and meanwhile Precious seems to lead a life mainly run by her overbearing mother (Alice Brady), a woman who just wants to see to it her daughter marries a rich man. The sisters get the idea of pushing Precious into the path of a drunken Hungarian count, tricking the two gold-digging women into thinking he is one of the richest men in Europe. But a case of mistaken identity makes the girls think the count is good-looking Ray Milland, who goes along with the scheme 'cause he has a crush on sister Kay.

This film is enjoyable, light fare. Barbara Read as Kay comes across as sweet and pretty, Ray Milland looks oh so young and handsome here (though, unfortunately, is given little to do), Alice Brady is quite good as the scheming mother - but it is Deanna Durbin, a real charmer and cute as a button playing youngest sister Penny, who pretty much steals the show. With absolutely beautiful vocals, she sings several songs throughout the film, though I actually would have liked to have seen them feature her even more in this. The plot in this film is a bit silly, but nevertheless, I found the film to be entertaining and fun.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed