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...
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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 has to produce him. Interesting things happen as she talks a visiting Englishman into helping her out.Written by
Sonya Roberts <email@example.com>
Attractive characters, lovely music, and a wonderful performance from Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin is irresistible as 14-year-old Gloria Harkinson. Living at a ritzy girls' school in Switzerland and blessed with friends and talent, Gloria is nevertheless lonely for a parent—and gets herself into a mess by writing herself letters from her imaginary big-game-hunter father.
Composer Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall) steps off a train in the small Swiss village and finds himself recruited to play the role of that father; Marshall gives a most charming performance as the initially reluctant phony parent who rather quickly takes to Gloria and looks to help her out.
Durbin sings beautifully .the picture opens with a bicycle-riding gang of girls singing "I Love to Whistle"; she sings "Ave Maria" in front of a boys choir; and she performs a beautiful number called "Chapel Bells" with Marshall (a composer, after all) sitting at the piano.
A strong cast includes Gail Patrick as Gloria's movie star mother—although she misses her daughter, she follows the guidance of her agent (William Frawley), who thinks his "glamor girl" client's fans would be shocked if it were known that she even had a daughter. Arthur Treacher is amusing as Marshall's (very) English valet.
The best supporting roles belong to the kids: Jackie Moran as Gloria's young would-be suitor; Marcia Mae Jones as her loyal friend Olga; and especially Helen Parrish as Felice—suspicious from the start of Gloria's tales about her father, she is eventually softened by kindness received.
The plot is of course fantastic, but when characters are this charming, who cares? It all comes across as the kind of thing we would love to believe if only it could be true. –And I guess that's what the movies are all about.
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