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Durbin, Garland, Day-A Comaparison

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stuart.uk
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Durbin, Garland, Day-A Comaparison

Postby stuart.uk » May 3rd, 2013, 10:06 am

With the sad passing of Deanna Durbin at 91 I found myself comparing the legendary singer with Judy Garland and Doris Day.

I can't pretend to be an expert on Deanna, but I do remember as a teenager Deanna Durbin film season's being shown on a Sunday afternoon in the U.K, but I have very little memory of them. However, I do recall Three Smart Girls and was impressed by her in what some regard as her more serious films Christmas Holiday and Lady On A Train.

Since her death became public, it has been no surprise to me that even folk the same age as myself have no idea who Deanna was, given the fact she retired so early in 1949 at the age of 28. Yet it's almost hard to credit, but Doris Day, a yr-older, was for a while a Contemporary of Deanna in the 1940s. To be fair Deanna was an established movie star by then while Doris was just making a name for herself. However, while Deanna is to some extent a forgotten figure to those not film buffs like you or myself, Doris Day's star still shines brightly today, because her career continued into the 50s, 60s and 70s. There are still many tribute shows of Doris as well, mind you even some of the younger generation don't know of her either.

I was also wondering who had the better of life between Deanna and Judy Garland. Both appeared in the MGM short Every Sunday. I don't know how right the rumours were regarding the studio's young stars, but it was suggested that MGM made a mistake in letting Deanna go. It was even suggested that it was Judy they wanted rid off, but mistakenly dropped the wrong girl. It looked like Deanna was going to be the bigger star, making Three Smart Girls and the films sequel at Universal, but after a 3 yr wait Judy made The Wizard Of Oz and herself became a major star. As I said earlier I don't have much memory of Deanna's movies, but could more or less tell you every Garland movie post TWOO, some of which were some of the greatest musicals ever made.

On the face of it appears Garland was the bigger star, but maybe Deanna was the luckier of the two girls. I think MGM missed the boat regarding the massively talented Judy, allegedly giving her pop up pills to help her get through the long demanding hours of making those great musicals. I think they should have done the same as they did with Mickey Rooney, give her a break and given her more straight acting roles (The Clock was her only MGM non musical role). I wonder how Deanna might have coped with the demands MGM might have made on her and possibly life at Universal was easier. While Judy died young at 47, Deanna lived a full life.

While I think Judy was the most gifted female entertainer of the 20th Century, IMO Doris Day achieved more. That's funny in the sense, Judy made her last film I Could Go On Singing at age 43 and Doris her last With Six You Can Get Egg Roll at 44. However, as I stated earlier, Judy didn't get that many oportunities to show the world want a great actress she was, like in A Star Is Born. Whereas Doris showed off her acting skills in several films including Julie, Storm Warning, Love Me Or Leave and Midnight Lace. Garland was also a great comic actress, but I feel we saw more of Doris' lighter touch in Teacher's Pet and Pillow Talk. Garland was also IMO the better singer of the two, but Doris I felt crossed more musical genres.

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Uncle Stevie
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Re: Durbin, Garland, Day-A Comaparison

Postby Uncle Stevie » May 13th, 2013, 11:54 pm

This was a very nice observation, Stuart. Much of all of their would be lives is just conjecture and no one will ever know. there were tight reins on all the women but I did notice that Deanna Durbin never appeared as a guest singer/actress in other peoples films. Deanna only appeared in her own films without even a public concert somewhere. Someone was strangling her career and perhaps led to her desire to get out of the business. IMO she was a very good actress as well as singer.

Notice that Judy had some fine films but she was constantly appearing as a guest in other films. They promoted Judy to the public through films and TV but not Deanna. Deannas only publicity was for her own movies she starred in. I never before compared Doris Day to the others and I am a big fan Of Doris. I always considered her to be a pop singer from the 78 and 45 rpm record days. Her comedy and acting roles were paired with big name movie stars and although she had terrific ability she was always Doris Day. Becoming a character in a serious movie is tough for most actors and the stories needed to be terrific for them to sell themselves as someone other than Judy, Deanna, and Doris.

I found myself happy to watch any film those three Divas were in. They made me happy and God bless their souls.
Uncle Stevie


"Great Marriages Are Made In Heaven,
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stuart.uk
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Joined: January 21st, 2008, 12:25 pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland

Re: Durbin, Garland, Day-A Comaparison

Postby stuart.uk » May 17th, 2013, 11:33 am

Somemight disagree with me, but I felt Doris Day did a little rock an roll, in fact it's a pity IMO she didn't do more. I consider the Pyjama Game a 50s rock an roll movie and Doris' version of I'm The Girl Who Invented Rock And Roll from Teacher's Pet is terrific.

I also think that Doris' Move Over Darling is one of the great recordings of the 1960s


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