Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It Started with Eve

We're in the middle of our all-time favorite movie, It Started with Eve, starring Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton and Robert Cummings.  Every time I watch it, the lines and the antics delight me so much that I find myself laughing out loud throughout the show.  Even now I'm smiling, just thinking about the rich old man, Jonathan Reynolds, suddenly recovering from a long and terrible illness, and demanding that his son Johnny, introduce him to his fiancé.

Johnny, who has returned from Mexico with his fiancé Gloria and her mother to see his father before he dies, rushes to the hotel to find Gloria but must bring home a stand-in instead.  For fifty dollars, he hire Ann Terry, a hotel employee, to pretend to be Gloria.  After two years of living in New York, futilely pursuing a music career, Ann agrees, and plans to use the money to return home to Ohio.

Charles Laughton is charming as Jonathan Reynolds.  Hungry and ready to live again after his extended illness, he is enchanted with "Gloria."  What a wonderful daughter-in-law she'll make for him!  Johnny, played by Cummings, is a nervous wreck as he tries to undo the fiasco he has created.  And Deanna Durbin, the hat-check-girl-turned-fiancé, is tender and funny and determined and oh, so talented!  Her talent and training as a musician equip her to accompany herself as she sings with ease and lightness,captivating her audience.

Deanna was three months shy of her 20th birthday when It Started with Eve was released.  Born in 1921 in Montreal, Edna Mae Durbin spent most of her childhood in southern California.  At the age of 14 she began her association with Hollywood, studying music.  At 15 she auditioned for the singing part of Snow White but Walt Disney rejected her; he said her voice was too mature!

That same year she won an Academy Juvenile Award for her role in Three Smart Girls.  Her acting career lasted twelve years.  She settled in France and has lived a private life, granting only two interviews (1949 and 1983) since then.

Enjoy this short clip from It Started with Eve.  And in case you'd like to own the movie and a few others in which she stars,  here's a link to her Sweetheart Pack.

1 comment:

camilla said...

I'm intrigued. I'm going to see if the library has it.

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