First Love (1939)

First LoveFirst Love Poster
Directed by Henry Koster
Written by Bruce Manning and Lionel Hauser
Universal Pictures

First viewing/Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack DVD


Amapola, lindisima amapola, Será siempre mi alma tuya sola. Yo te quiero, amada niña mia, Iqual que ama la flor la luz del día. (“Amapola” lyrics by Garcia Josè Maria Lacalle)

I really enjoyed this modern take on the Cinderella fairy tale.

Orphan Connie (Deanna Durbin) graduates from boarding school, where she was supported by a wealthy uncle (Eugene Pallette).  She goes to live with the family and is met with indifference from most of the family and outright hostility from gossip column darling cousin Barbara.  The servants love the plucky, talented lass though. When Barbara conspires to keep Connie from attending a ball, the servants arrange a dress and transport for her.  They ask only that Connie leave by midnight because they have arranged to have the family waylaid until then. How will Cinderella be reunited with her handsome prince?  With a very young Robert Stack as the “prince” and Kathleen Howard as a crusty boarding school matron with a heart of gold (AKA “fairy godmother”).

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Eugene Pallette reprises his role in My Man Godfrey as a pater familias driven mad by his family and his performance alone would have made the movie for me.  The script is witty and Durbin is in fine voice.  Someday I will understand why dieing babies do nothing for me but something like this turns on the tears at the happy ending. I can’t ask for more in a Sunday afternoon viewing than this.

Clip – Durbin sings “Amapola” – superb!

2 thoughts on “First Love (1939)

  1. Durbin was such an appealing personality……not beautiful but “cute as a button” and very talented. I think Robert Stack was the first to give her a screen kiss.

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