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

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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'
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tri zlate deklice See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$326,000 (estimated)
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 »
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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 the 'long shot', Penny dives headfirst into the lake, getting thoroughly drenched, but in the nearly immediate 'medium shot', she has dry hair, hat, and face as she swims to shore. See more »

Quotes

Judson Craig: Do you realize that I have guests downstairs, that Miss Lyons was singing? I thought the ceiling would come down!
Penny Craig: Why didn't you stop her?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Il bacio
(1860) (uncredited)
Music by Luigi Arditi
Lyrics by Gottardo Aldighieri
Performed by Deanna Durbin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Light, Amusing; A Minor Classic of Its Kind
4 May 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Although she is little known today, Deanna Durbin was one of the most popular stars of the 1930s, a pretty teenager with a perky personality and a much-admired operatic singing voice. This 1937 was her first major film, and it proved a box-office bonanza for beleaguered Universal Studios.

THREE SMART GIRLS concerns three daughters of a divorced couple who rush to their long-unseen father when their still-faithful mother reveals he may soon remarry--with the firm intention of undermining his gold-digger girlfriend and returning him to their mother. Although the story is slight, the script is witty and the expert cast plays it with a neat screwball touch. Durbin has a pleasing voice and appealing personality, and such enjoyable character actors as Charles Winninger, Alice Brady, Lucile Watson, and Mischa Auer round out the cast. A an ultra-light amusement for fans of 1930s film.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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