America’s Canadian Sweetheart, 1921-2013 — 5 Comments

  1. Back in the 1970s, WTTW, the local PBS station in Chicago, ran the first five Durbin titles for one week at 10:30 p.m. It was during a pledge drive and the movies got a lot of local press.

    If memory serves, one of the bigwigs at the station was a Deanna Durbin fan and couldn't figure out why none of her movies ever showed up on TV. So he arranged a one-time showing of the movies and got a ton of newspaper coverage and very strong ratings.

    I had yet to appreciate musicals, but because they were so rare, and my dad, was a Durbin fan, my parents agreed I could stay up late on a school night if I took a rest earlier in the evening. They were wonderful movies and I remember how eager I was for the next night's shwoing.

    When the movies were over, they would switch over to the pledge drive folks in the studio and there was genuine applause and cheering from the people manning the phones. I bet they were as enraptured as those of us at home. That was a wonderful week.

    I never did see another Deanna movie until the days of VHS tapes, but that week surely whetted the appetite.

  2. Thank you, Java, for linking me on your own tribute page to Deanna; you've put Cinedrome in some very good company.

    And Silver, yes, an amazing voice. I had great fun trolling YouTube looking for clips to post here. I finally settled on "I Love to Whistle" because it seemed to me to epitomize the spirit of her early pictures. (I knew all along I'd be posting "Gimme a Little Kiss" if it was there anywhere.)

  3. Great tribute to Deanna Durbin. Her voice was amazing, wasn't it?

    Thanks for this overview of her career. I realized, reading your post, that I didn't know that much about her!

    Also, I loved your phrase "graceless hack".

  4. Two paragraphs in and already I have learned two things that I've never known before about Deanna Durbin and will not likely forget.

    1. She can resemble Jessica Rabbit – a here-to-fore anatomically incorrect drawing that you didn't think could be replicated in real life.

    2. In all these years I've never noticed the anagram of Edna in the name Deanna. It's Edna with another "na."


    After I finish reading this, your post is going on my list of tributes to Deanna Durbin.

    – Java

  5. I love listening to Deanna sing. Whether it is opera or operetta or a popular standard, her technique is flawless and her voice is thrilling.

    That her talent surpassed the studio missteps is a tribute to Deanna Durbin.