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Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 3:17



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Let Them Eat Cookies

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 3:38

MAD ABOUT MUSIC was Deanna Durbin's third movie, but there were other scripts and titles that were considered by Joe Pasternak in 1937 after the success of 100 MEN AND A GIRL including, THE BABY OF THE FAMILY, LITTLE LADY, YESTERDAY'S HEROES, PRIZE GIRL, and QUEEN AT FOURTEEN about Marie Antoinette.



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Pure Acting

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 12:46

The thing Deanna Durbin most wanted to do, professionally, was to play the non-singing role of Joan of Arc.



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Circus Circus

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 12:51

Universal once planned a movie for Deanna Durbin which had her in a circus singing on the back of an elephant to a Sousa march! elephant



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Swedish Nightingale

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 12:53

Deanna Durbin was to star in a dramatized biography of Jenny Lind based on a story of the Swedish singer's early life. Universal Studios bought the story from Hans Rameau and the movie was to be made after the production of FIRST LOVE, but Deanna never made the movie.



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Electric Guitar

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 12:55

This is a photo of Deanna Durbin with Clayton Kauffman who invented an electric guitar with a new tremolo effect that duplicates the tonal qualities of an electric organ, accordian, vibra-harp, and rhythm strings:



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Out-Of-Court

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 12:58

In 1948, a law suit against Deanna Durbin by Universal-International was resolved out-of-court and her contract was also revised.

The $87,083 suit was regarding money that was advanced to her. The contract revision involved reducing the number of movies that Deanna would make from five to three. The old six year agreement contract which expired the following year on the 31st of August, called for fourteen movies, of which only nine had been made. Universal-International would have been required to pay Deanna for the other five movies which could not have been made within the time remaining under the contract.



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No Place Like Rome

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 13:00

In 1949, Deanna Durbin was to be the female lead in a movie called THE WESTERN STORY, but she was replaced by Yvonne de Carlo. Deanna was then scheduled to be in a movie to be produced in Italy. It was to be a joint venture between Universal-International and Scalera Films of Rome. The director would be Gofferdo Alessandrini, but the production never saw the light of day.



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The Odeon

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 13:03

Deanna Durbin was so popular that in 1942 a seven day "Deanna Durbin Festival" was held during which her films were screened exclusively on the Odeon Theatre Circuit throughout Britain, a feat that has never been duplicated for any other star.



STOP PRESS: The Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto held a Deanna Durbin film festival which started on the 1st of December 2012 and finished on the 7th of January 2013.


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Royal Albert Hall

Post  English Crusader on Wed 9 Jul 2008 - 13:05

On the 4th of July, 1939, Universal Studios announced that Deanna Durbin had accepted the invitation of Queen Mary of England to give a concert performance at the Royal Abert Hall for the benefit of the London Hospital. Due to the war, Deanna had to postpone that trip to England.



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Kindness

Post  English Crusader on Fri 12 Dec 2008 - 10:40

Deanna Durbin in 1940 visiting a hospital:



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Syracuse

Post  English Crusader on Sat 20 Dec 2008 - 11:26

In 1937, actor William Lundigan presented Deanna Durbin a special badge making her an honorary staff member of the office of the Mayor of Syracuse:



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Too Mature

Post  English Crusader on Thu 1 Jan 2009 - 0:12

Believe it or not, Walt Disney Studios rejected young Deanna Durbin to play the part of Snow White because they said her voice sounded "too mature" for the role. Actually, doctors looked at Deanna's vocal cords and were amazed to find that they were mature even at an early age.



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Earthquake

Post  English Crusader on Sat 7 Feb 2009 - 21:15

Deanna Durbin tells us about the Long Beach earthquake:

"It was March 10, 1933. Dad had telephoned that he would not be home for dinner, so we
were just about to sit down. There came a strange rumbling sound that couldn't be
identified at first. Edith understood quickly and she was calm, but I could see she was
frightened.

'That's an earthquake,' she said. 'Come on, get outside.'

Mother and Edith and I got out on the run. We went through the kitchen and I remember
that a water cooler in one corner was swaying back and forth. It fascinated me in spite of
my fright because when it leaned forward and seemed about to fall, it would stop and go
back.

As we ran past it, the cooler fell and struck a petcock on the gas range, opening it wide.
We could smell the gas escaping and the pilot light was burning. Of course, at the time, I
didn't think of anything but a method of escape for all three of us. But Edith thought of
that gas.

'Wait here,' she told us when we got outside. 'I'll be right out.'

She started back into the kitchen alone, but Mother went after her and I followed them
because I was more afraid to be alone than I was of the gas.

Edith shut off the gas and we returned to the backyard. By that time all the neighbours
were out and there was great excitement. Fortunately, the quake did no great damage in
the neighbourhood.

But it was not so kind to other districts, and where ever buildings were constructed of brick
the damage was heavy. It was a miracle that it did not happen when the schools were in
session for many of the buildings were wrecked.

I remember that for months afterward the city was rebuilding. Daddy and I would take
long walks together, as we still do when there is time between my pictures. We would see
the workmen straightening up the houses or razing them altogether to make way for new
ones.

The night of the earthquake, he came home through the worst of it, as many men did, not
knowing what had happened to us. That was one of the few evenings at home when I did
not sing a note, nor did I, or any of us, sleep a wink, although the quake subsided very
soon."



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Real Age

Post  English Crusader on Mon 23 Feb 2009 - 11:05

At the beginning of Deanna Durbin's career, her year of birth was said to be 1922 instead of the real 1921. The reason why 1922 was published and accepted is that Universal Studios had spent thousands of dollars advertising "Deanna Durbin, the 13-year-old wonder girl" and she was 14 even before the campaign got well under way. Consequently, to protect its investment, Universal deducted one year from her age and held to it until Deanna herself confessed her true age with the announcement of her engagement to Vaughn Paul.



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Deanna Durbin Deed

Post  English Crusader on Wed 25 Feb 2009 - 12:07

In early 1944, Deanna Durbin agreed to a request by Kinsmen International to sponsor a home that would be raffled off to raise funds for their Milk for Britain program that shipped powdered milk to England for children impacted by the blitz and wartime rationing. The Rural Municipality of Saint Vital, Winnipeg donated a property at 8 Kingston Row. After Deanna approved the final design of the house, architects Lloyd Finch and Fred Walker commenced work on the project. Ada Durbin participated in the sod turning and Deanna did a ceremonial signing over of the deed. From time to time Deanna sent messages of support to the Winnipeg media. The home was won by Mr. W. Campbell, a farmer from Neville, Saskatchewan who opted instead for the $10,000 cash guarantee. The house was then sold to a third party.



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King George

Post  English Crusader on Thu 26 Feb 2009 - 6:14

A young Deanna Durbin was thrilled when she was asked to appear before King George the VI of England. king



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Trailer Talk

Post  English Crusader on Thu 26 Feb 2009 - 8:48

Deanna Durbin dancing with Lou Costello:



Lou Costello was a master at getting perks from Universal Pictures. Deanna Durbin was the star actress on the movie production lot, and she had a trailer that served as her dressing room; therefore, Mr. Costello wanted trailers for him and for his partner, Bud Abbott. After making his pitch for the trailers to a Universal executive and having his request turned down Mr. Costello said that he would be reasonable, and he would show up for work on time, and he would know his lines. He paused, then added, "But I don't know how funny I'll be." He and his partner each got a trailer. And when Abbott and Costello first appeared on Kate Smith's radio program, "The Kate Smith Hour," the audience complained that Bud Abbott and Lou Costello sounded alike. Lou solved the problem by speaking with a high-pitched voice that fitted his comic persona well.


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Two Wheels

Post  English Crusader on Sun 1 Mar 2009 - 0:08

This is a 1943 photo of Deanna Durbin with John Fulton:



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Film Speed

Post  English Crusader on Mon 18 May 2009 - 9:30



Does Deanna Durbin's voice sound younger than you remember all those years ago? That could be your impression while viewing her films on television or video. That has nothing to do with her voice, but is to do with the way in which the pictures are transmitted and reproduced via TV set or video recorder. Many viewers are unaware that the TV standard adopted by Britain, France, and other European countries requires films that were made for the cinema to be reproduced a little faster than originally recorded. That has the effect of speeding up the action which at the same time causes the sound to be pitched a little higher - hence the question about Deanna's voice sounding younger. True, the pitch change is small, it amounts to a semitone; that is the difference when say a piano is played in the key of C sharp compared with C. Normally that is unnoticeable because the film cannot be compared with the original, and possibly only those with a perfect sense of pitch could detect any difference. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about that as the European standard, which has also been adopted by many other countries, is based on the transmission of 25 frames per second. The cinematograph industry standard for films produced for the cinema is 24 frames per second. So 25 frames per second represents about a 4% increase in film speed, and hence the corresponding increase in the pitch of speech and music. Naturally, the film running time is reduced. One can catch that pitch change in the film NICE GIRL, when Robert Benchley (Oliver Dana), asks for an A to be sounded prior to the song Beneath The Lights Of Home; that is reproduced more as A sharp. Similarly in ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL, Alleluia - which Deanna subsequently confirms is played in the key of F major when talking to the cab driver - is more appropriate in the key of F sharp. Films made for television are not affected that way as the cameras have been modified to run at 25 frames per second. Therefore speech and music are reproduced at the correct pitch, and of course the film running time is correct.


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First Test

Post  English Crusader on Sun 1 Nov 2009 - 20:37

When Edna May Durbin faced the camera for the first time, the scene required her to spear a fork into a dish of chopped chicken livers, take a bite and show delight at the taste.

"Only I'd never tasted them before," said Edna, "and I hated the taste, and I couldn't pretend to like them."

Okay, her first acting test didn't go too well, so they substituted chopped meat for the liver!

We all know as time went by that Edna (Deanna) became a successful natural actress!!





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Stamps

Post  English Crusader on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 0:24

One time Deanna innocently mentioned that she liked stamps. For months afterwards, the Durbin house was almost knee-deep in stamps!


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Porky's

Post  English Crusader on Sun 29 Aug 2010 - 9:38

Porky's Hollywood Sketch Book mentions the success of Deanna Durbin:


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Scream Test

Post  English Crusader on Tue 28 Jun 2011 - 19:00

When Deanna Durbin was just a baby in Winnipeg, she won a pewter plaque for being the loudest baby at the Province Fair:



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Louella Parsons

Post  English Crusader on Mon 6 Jan 2014 - 11:46

Louella Parsons did many interviews with Deanna Durbin right from the beginning of her career:



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Star Statistics

Post  English Crusader on Sat 18 Feb 2017 - 9:26



That the making of a cinema star is a complicated business and has its vital statistics, no less than the manufacture of structural steel, may be seen by a mathematical glance at the career of Deanna Durbin. In addition to her singing and acting, 1,748,837 individual elements, from letters to lettuce, have been used to construct the screen personality of the young soprano during her up to now nine Universal movies.

Deanna in her five year career has performed forty-one songs, twenty-three popular style and eighteen classical, written by thirty-nine composers and recorded on 215,250 feet of film. She has received 1,300,000 fan letters which have been carefully analyzed at the studio for guidance in choosing her roles and vocal renditions. All of her nine movies have been filmed from original stories or screen plays adapted by seven authors on 31,500 pages of script. She has had one stand-in, Betty Harrison; one hairdresser, Alma Armsrong; one make-up man, Billy Ely; one camera man, Joe Valentine; one singing coach, Andre de Segurola; one music director, Charles Previn; one producer, Joe Pasternak; and one costume designer, Vera West.

Deanna has worn 162 cinema costumes so far, created by Miss West in 912 colour wash sketches, and selected after 185,000 feet of film had been expended in wardrobe tests. Those costumes tell Deanna's success story in brief, ranging as they do from the two changes, costing $24.00, which she wore in her second film, 100 MEN AND A GIRL, to the $1,500.00 velvet and ermine gown she sported in IT'S A DATE, and the thirty changes in NICE GIRL. The job of making Deanna's outfits since her debut has given seventy-two weeks of employment to 250 fitters, seemstresses and embroiderers.

Some 1,500 singing lessons lasting 3,750 hours, three location trips, three ballroom dances and a czardas, four kisses, thirteen nicknames, one pet dog called Tippy, and five vitamins have all contributed to the Durbin hit parade. The vitamins (A,B,C,D, and G) have been absorbed by the star in 5,480 meals up to present writing, all planned according to a studio regimen directed by the studio medical staff during the filming of MAD ABOUT MUSIC. Those repasts have featured such fodder as 1,820 cups of hot chocolate and 1,820 oranges - her inevitable breakfast, 1,280 beef steaks, about 260 pounds of spaghetti, 1,040 lamb chops, and 2,600 salads.

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