7.1/10
515
14 user 3 critic

First Love (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 10 November 1939 (USA)
An orphaned boarding school graduate secretly attends a prestigious ball, where she falls for the boyfriend of her snobbish cousin.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Bruce Manning (screenplay), Lionel Houser (screenplay) (as Lionel Hauser)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Deanna Durbin ... Constance Harding
Robert Stack ... Ted Drake
Eugene Pallette ... James Clinton
Helen Parrish ... Barbara Clinton
Lewis Howard ... Walter Clinton
Leatrice Joy ... Grace Shute Clinton
June Storey ... Wilma van Everett
Frank Jenks ... Mike the Cop
Kathleen Howard ... Miss Wiggins
Thurston Hall ... Anthony Drake
Marcia Mae Jones ... Marcia Parker
Samuel S. Hinds ... Mr. Parker
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Parker
Charles Coleman ... George, Clinton's Butler
Jack Mulhall ... Terry
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Storyline

In this reworking of Cinderella, orphaned Connie Harding is sent to live with her rich aunt and uncle after graduating from boarding school. She's hardly received with open arms, especially by her snobby cousin Barbara. When the entire family is invited to a major social ball, Barbara sees to it that Connie is forced to stay home. With the aid of her uncle, who acts as her fairy godfather, Connie makes it to the ball and meets her Prince Charming in Ted Drake, her cousin's boyfriend. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinderella See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal considered filming in three-strip Technicolor. Instead, the studio would first use this color process for shooting Arabian Nights (1942). Note: Universal already had co-produced, along with Gilbert & Sullivan Films, and distributed in the U.S. The Mikado (1939), a British picture filmed in three-strip Technicolor. See more »

Goofs

The movement of Deanna during the scene with her mirror. See more »

Quotes

Miss Wiggins: The trouble with you young people is you don't believe in anything. You're afraid, afraid of hope, afraid of happiness.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hers to Hold (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Un bel di (One Fine Day)
from "Madama Butterfly"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Sung by Deanna Durbin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
While not a great film, it was highly enjoyable.
2 February 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"First Love" is a slight reworking of the Cinderella tale--updated to 1939 and starring Deanna Durbin. As a Deanna Durbin film, you can be sure there is a lot of her singing. While Miss Durbin had an incredibly powerful and operatic voice, it is not at all the style I like nor would it appeal to a lot of folks today--though it made her immensely popular back in the day.

The film begins with the graduation of Connie (Durbin) from a girls school. Sadly, she has no family at the graduation--her parents are dead and her aunt, uncle and their family just doesn't want to be bothered. However, she is invited to come live with them. Once Connie arrives, she sees that her family is too self-absorbed to make her feel the least bit welcome. What's worse is that her vain cousin Barbara (Helen Parrish) feels threatened by Connie and does nothing but demean her. Fortunately, like Cinderella, Connie is so sweet that by the end of the film she gets her own happy ending. However, unlike Disney's Cinderella, Connie gets help from the nice servants that work for her aunt and uncle--not a bunch of cool animated mice!

This is a highly enjoyable film from start to finish. It did, however, feature a lot of singing--during which time I usually fast-forwarded the DVD! The ending also was a tiny bit weak but still enjoyable. Overall, this is fun--at least as much fun as the animated version. Plus the use of a lot of wonderful supporting actors really helped as well as the film's nice sense of humor.


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