Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1941. Universal Pictures. Screenplay by Norman Krasna, Leo Townsend, based on an original story by Hanns Kraly. Cinematography by Rudolph Mate. Produced by Joe Pasternak. Music by Hans J. Salter. Production Design by Jack Otterson. Costume Design by Vera West. Film Editing by Bernard W. Burton. Academy Awards 1942.
Another adorable comedy of errors starring Deanna Durbin. This time she plays a nightclub hatcheck girl who is asked by a wealthy young gentleman (Robert Cummings) to impersonate his fiancee. Cummings’ father (Charles Laughton) is on his deathbed and about to check out, but wants to meet the woman his son is going to marry; when Cummings can’t find the real woman fast enough, he figures any old girl will do so long as she’s pleasant enough. Trouble is, Laughton recovers and wants to get to know the young woman more, and all manner of trouble ensues. It couldn’t possibly go anywhere unexpected, but the film has a surprise delight: the relationship between Laughton and Durbin is wonderfully charming from beginning to end, thoroughly making up for the lack of chemistry between her and her romantic lead. Durbin even manages a couple of tunes (classical music set to lyrics mainly), though her musical fans won’t be as entertained by this one as they were with Three Smart Girls or 100 Men And a Girl.