Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Franchot Tone, Deanna Durbin, Robert Stack
NICE GIRL? (1941). Director: William A. Seiter.

Small-town girl Jane Dana (Deanna Durbin) has a perfectly swell, handsome boyfriend in Don Webb (Robert Stack of The Tarnished Angels), but wanting to appear more sophisticated, she makes a flagrant play for an older man, Richard Calvert (Franchot Tone of Honeymoon), which only makes her seem like an idiot. That's basically the plot of this dull movie that hasn't enough drama or laughs to make it even worth sitting through -- not even Durbin's singing can save it! There are some good actors in it, including Robert Benchley [The Bride Wore Boots] as Jane's father; Helen Broderick as a housekeeper, Cora; and Walter Brennan (almost looking young) as a mailman who has a hankering for Cora. Ann Gillis and Anne Gwynne play Jane's younger sisters, and we've also got Elisabeth Risdon from the Mexican Spitfire movies and Kenneth Howell from the Jones Family series in much smaller roles.

Verdict: This picture is so slight it hardly seems to exist. *1/2.


angelman66 said...

Not a big Durbin fan, here, though I do like Stack and Franchot Tone.
Judy Garland was so funny about describing her rivalry with Durbin when they were both singing kids at MGM. "I was Mr. Mayer's little hunchback, but at least I didn't have eyebrows like Deanna Durbin--they were like two caterpillars!!"

I think I will skip this one. Just saw Franchot in his first film with his soon to be bride Joan Crawford--Sadie McKee--it was really good!

William said...

This move is very skipable! I, too, like Stack and Tone but found it hard to believe Durbin's character would go after Tone for any reason when she already had Stack.

As for Garland's comment -- meowww! I'll have to check out those eyebrows next time!