THREE SMART GIRLS

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THREE SMART GIRLS

Post  English Crusader on Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 2:26



MOVIE INFORMATION:
Universal Studios – 1936
1 Hour, 26 Minutes
Black & White

MAIN CREDITS:
Producer…Joe Pasternak
Director…Henry Koster
Screenplay…Adele Commandini
Music…Charles Previn

MAIN CHARACTERS:
Penny Craig…Deanna Durbin
Kay Craig…Barbara Read
Joan Craig…Nan Grey
Judson Craig…Charles Winninger
Dorothy Craig...Nella Walker
Donna Lyons…Binnie Barnes
Mrs. Lyons…Alice Brady
Michael Stuart…Ray Milland
Bill Evans…John King
Count Arisztid…Mischa Auer

MOVIE SYNOPSIS:
Penny Craig and her sisters, Kay and Joan live in Switzerland with their mother, Dorothy. Penny’s parents have been divorced for ten years and her father, Judson is now planning to marry Donna Lyons, a well known socialite, much to the dismay of Penny’s mother. The three sisters hate the thought of their mother being unhappy so they try to stop the wedding. Their father lives in New York so they secretly travel to America with their governess to visit him. When they arrive, it soon becomes evident to the girls that Donna and her mother are only after their father’s wealth. With the help of Bill Evans, the girls hatch a plan to get Donna to fall for another rich man. They hire Count Arisztid, an out of work drunk to be the bait, but the plan doesn't work out. Michael Stuart, who is really rich, gets involved by mistake, but the girls don’t know his true identity. Meanwhile, Judson and Donna announce a wedding date which causes Penny to run away. Judson is so upset that Penny has gone missing that he cancels the wedding much to the anger of Donna and Mrs. Lyons. Michael hatches a plan of his own and tricks Donna and her mother to go on a cruise without him. The police find Penny and return her to her father who now plans to get back with Dorothy much to the joy of the three smart girls.

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THREE SMART GIRLS

Post  English Crusader on Tue 5 Feb 2008 - 10:26

Penny Craig (Deanna Durbin) is on a sailing boat with her two sisters, Kay (Barbara Read) and Joan (Nan Grey). Penny beautifully performs My Heart Is Singing written by Gus Kahn & Bronislau Kaper & Walter Jurmann.



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Post  English Crusader on Tue 5 Feb 2008 - 10:32

The girls comfort their sad mother, Dorothy Craig (Nella Walker) who has just learned that her ex-husband, Judson Craig (Charles Winninger) is planning to remarry.



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Post  English Crusader on Tue 5 Feb 2008 - 10:34

The three smart girls find their father in a restaurant.



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Post  English Crusader on Mon 3 Mar 2008 - 23:01

Penny sings to her father Someone To Care For Me written by Gus Kahn & Bronislau Kaper & Walter Jurmann.



Some of the words were changed to make the lyrics more suitable for Deanna's character.


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Post  English Crusader on Sun 9 Mar 2008 - 10:58

At the Jungle Club, Kay introduces a confused Michael Stuart to Mrs. Lyons.



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Post  English Crusader on Wed 12 Mar 2008 - 10:04

Penny goes to her father to ask him if he is really going to marry Donna Lyons (Binnie Barnes).



In THREE SMART GIRLS, many of the gestures that are done by Deanna were taught to her by Henry Koster. He also had to have her ham it up a little bit to make her more of an actress, because she wasn’t ready yet for subtlety. But there was one scene where she really surprised him! She had to sit by her father’s bed and break down, crying, and tell him not to get married again, because her mother couldn’t stand it, and she couldn’t stand it, either. Koster told Deanna sad stories, and she did the scene, almost without rehearsal. She gave an astonishing and convincing performance! It was the only subtle scene she played in the whole movie.

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Post  English Crusader on Mon 24 Mar 2008 - 8:42

The beautiful aria, Il Bacio written by Luigi Arditi is brilliantly performed by Penny at the Police Station.



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Post  English Crusader on Mon 24 Mar 2008 - 9:33

MEMORABLE LINES:

Penny says to her father when he tells her he is going to take her to the zoo, "Oh, I see enough monkeys around here."



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Post  English Crusader on Thu 27 Mar 2008 - 10:43

A psychology professor, Dr. O.B. Baldwin of Whittier College put Deanna Durbin, Nan Grey, and Barbara Read through a series of intelligence tests.

According to the results of the tests, each of the Three Smart Girls had received a grade higher than the average for their age group!!!



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Post  English Crusader on Sun 6 Apr 2008 - 7:38

Mistakes found in the movie are as follows:

In the opening scene, notice when Penny dives off the boat she is wearing shoes, but in the next camera shot that shows her swimming, she is not wearing shoes.

When Penny spills wine onto Mrs. Lyon's dress there is no stain to be seen.

In the gymnasium scene Penny's hair ribbon suddenly becomes wider when her father walks in.


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Post  English Crusader on Tue 6 May 2008 - 6:27

The opening scene was shot at Lake Arrowhead in California - not Switzerland!

This photo shows Joe Pasternak standing on the far left watching his new discovery, Deanna Durbin playing the role of Penny Craig in her debut movie. Director Henry Koster is in the chair and ready for action:



At Lake Arrowhead, Deanna became so excited as the time came to shoot her first scene in THREE SMART GIRLS that her vocal cords paralyzed and she couldn't say a word when she faced the camera. Nothing the studio nurse could do seemed to help. The scene had to be postponed, but thankfully, the condition passed away during the evening.

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Post  English Crusader on Tue 6 May 2008 - 6:42

When THREE SMART GIRLS was being filmed, Henry Koster was under pressure to keep the cost of the movie down as much as possible which would somtimes interfere with his directing. One day he was shooting a scene with Charles Winninger. He didn’t notice that one of the studio executives came on the set and stood behind him. Koster told Winninger to back away from Alice Brady when she said her daughter might not marry him. The plan was for Winninger to back into an open piano so that there would be a sound of a terrible discord. As the scene was being shot, Winninger backed away from Brady, but missed the piano keys and sat on the wooden part of the piano. Koster said to the film crew to shoot it again, but the studio executive interrupted the proceedings and said, "It will do for us. You leave that scene as it is and stop shooting every scene you’re doing two, three times." If you check out that scene, you will see that Winninger does not back into the piano as Koster originally planned.



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Post  English Crusader on Tue 6 May 2008 - 9:06

Binnie Barnes gave a convincing performance as "Precious" who would stop at nothing to get Judson's money.



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Post  English Crusader on Sun 25 May 2008 - 0:33

As a joke to play on his little star during the filming of THREE SMART GIRLS, Henry Koster told Deanna that they were going to shoot a close-up of her in bed, and he wanted her to close her eyes and relax. Deanna doesn't know how long she kept her eyes closed, but when she finally opened them the entire cast and crew had walked out and gone home for the day. Embarassed


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Post  English Crusader on Sun 29 Jun 2008 - 14:27

James Durbin and Edith Heckman at the Pantages Theatre for opening night of THREE SMART GIRLS:



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Post  English Crusader on Thu 8 Jan 2009 - 10:17

The original title was THREE LITTLE SISTERS:



Deanna Durbin, Adele Commandini's script, Pasternak and Koster were thrown together to make a B picture. Pasternak saw the possibilities in the story and while he was pleading for an enlarged budget, Joseph Breen of the Hays Office, to whom the scenario had been sent for approval, called the head of Universal Studios, Charles Rogers and complimented him on it. As a result, without fanfare or announcement, the picture was put on the A list. The budget was raised from $100,000 to $400,000 and THREE SMART GIRLS earned Universal Studios $1,600,000 at the Box Office!!

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Post  English Crusader on Thu 8 Jan 2009 - 10:19

The three smart girls are always up to something:



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Post  English Crusader on Thu 8 Jan 2009 - 10:21

A group photo of Barbara Read, Joe Pasternak, Deanna Durbin, John King, Nan Grey, and Henry Koster:



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Post  English Crusader on Thu 8 Jan 2009 - 10:33

Three very happy smart girls:



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Post  English Crusader on Fri 23 Apr 2010 - 10:44

A photo taken in February 1937 of Deanna Durbin, Nan Grey, and Barbara Read:

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Post  English Crusader on Thu 20 May 2010 - 12:37

The girls have plenty to smile about considering the huge success of THREE SMART GIRLS:

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Post  English Crusader on Sat 25 Dec 2010 - 3:16

The movie sisters monkey around during the production of THREE SMART GIRLS:



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Post  English Crusader on Tue 18 Oct 2011 - 10:27

Deanna Durbin with John King and Nan Grey enjoying toast during a break in filming THREE SMART GIRLS:



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Post  English Crusader on Sat 21 Jun 2014 - 9:54

Deanna Durbin with Barbara Read and Nan Grey prepare for the filming of the opening scene of THREE SMART GIRLS:



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Post  English Crusader on Mon 29 Feb 2016 - 8:44

Henry Koster with the three smart girls:

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Post  English Crusader on Mon 29 Feb 2016 - 8:45

A radio promotion for THREE SMART GIRLS. From left to right is Charles Winninger, Louella Parsons, Deanna Durbin, and Binnie Barnes:

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Post  English Crusader on Thu 26 Jan 2017 - 8:27

BACK ROW: John King, Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger, Ray Milland.
FRONT ROW: Barbara Read, Deanna Durbin, Nan Grey.



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Post  English Crusader on Thu 26 Jan 2017 - 8:33

The trailer for THREE SMART GIRLS:

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Post  English Crusader on Thu 26 Jan 2017 - 8:35

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS:
Best Picture
Best Writing
Best Sound Recording

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Post  English Crusader on Thu 26 Jan 2017 - 8:36



After Judy Garland and her mother saw THREE SMART GIRLS at the Pantages Theatre she remarked: "I couldn't believe that it was Deanna. She was so much more beautiful, and more poised, than she had ever been before. Mother and I were really thrilled about it, but it made me awefully envious! I couldn't help thinking - why couldn't I get a break like that, too. Anyway, I called her up right away from the candy shop next door and told her how wonderful the picture was and congratulated her, and she was awefully thrilled that I called. I told her too - 'Gee, I hope I get a break like that someday,' and she said she hoped I did, too, and we were really just as friendly as ever. Only, well, she was important and I wasn't, and I don't think she thought about it very much, but I did. I really felt aweful."
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