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Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack

Three Smart Girls (1936)        First Love (1939)        It Started with Eve (1941)

Can't Help Singing (1944)        Lady on a Train (1945)       Something in the Wind (1947)


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In anticipation of Universal and TCM releasing Deanna Durbin: The Music and Romance Collection in the summer m0f 2010 (already delayed twice) - I dug up Universal's first collection of Deanna Durbin movies released in region 1 in 2004; Deanna Durbin: Sweetheart Pack. There are 6 movies on 2 double-sided discs -

Disc 1, side A - Three Smart Girls, Something in the Wind
Disc 1, side B - First Love
Disc 2, side A - It Started with Eve, Can't Help Singing
Disc 2, side B - Lady on a Train

Deanna Durbin's first appearance on film was in MGM short with Judy Garland Every Sunday, available on For Me and My Gal disc from Warner. It was filmed while Deanna was already signed with Universal. Thus all movies by Ms Durbin are owned by Universal except Spring Parade (1940) due to some rights dispute and It's a Date (1940) which was purchased by MGM to be remade as Nancy Goes to Rio in 1950. For some reason, there is no much love to Deanna Durbin in US even though she was Universal's most popular actress of her era. In UK 19 of her Universal films are released on DVD by DD Home Entertainment, available separately, in 3 different sets or in one mega-set with a soundtrack CD of her songs (the mega-set is now out of print). A similar set was also released in Australia (also out of print and without a CD) and many movies were released separately in Russia, Spain, Brazil.

Deanna Durbin: Sweetheart Pack starts with her first feature for Universal, Three Smart Girls. She is not the center of this film, sharing the spotlight with Nan Grey and Barbara Read as her sisters, but she is very memorable from the very first time she appears on screen with a song My Heart Is Singing. This film fares the worst image-wise with very heavy grain and some damage visible. The next film on the first disc is Something in the Wind, which was one of her last movies. When the set was announced, this title was missing from the press release and One Hundred Men and a Girl - her best known film - was in its place. It would, actually, make more sense being in the package. That film to this day has not been announced in region 1. The rest of the films are presented in chronological order and while there are some specks and marks, overall the transfers are superior to
Three Smart Girls. Her only Technicolor effort, Can't Help Signing, is included in this set as well and the transfer looks very impressive considering there was no special restoration done.

Each film has English, Spanish and French subtitles and 4 of them include theatrical trailers. "Featurette" listed for Something in the Wind is actually just a 10-minute clip of 4 music numbers from the movie edited together. 2 discs are housed in a flimsy digipack - poor packaging. It would have been nice for Universal to include a short documentary or featurette about the actress, who retired from acting in 1948 and leads a private life only granting interview once in 1983. For movies themselves, the package is recommended and unfortunately these movies won't be released again or in a better packaging.

For more about Deanna Durbin, visit a site/forum dedicated to her HERE.
 

  - Gregory Meshman


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directed by Charles David
USA 1945

Theatrical Release: 3 August 1945 (Los Angeles, California)

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DVD Review: Universal (Deanna Durbin: Sweetheart Pack) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:34:21
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 'Three Smart Girls' trailer (0:57)
• 'Something in the Wind' Featurette (4 music numbers from the film) (10:23)
• 'Something in the Wind' Trailer (2:35)
• 'First Love' Trailer (2:03)
• 'Can't Help Singing' Trailer (2:16)

DVD Release Date: August 3, 2004
2 double-sided discs in a digipack

Chapters 18

 



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directed by Henry Koster
USA 1936

Theatrical Release: 20 December 1936 (USA)

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directed by Irving Pichel
USA 1947

Theatrical Release: 21 July 1947 (USA)

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(aka "Cinderella" )

 

directed by Henry Koster
USA 1939

Theatrical Release: 8 November 1939 (New York)

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directed by Henry Koster
USA 1941

Theatrical Release: 26 September 1941 (USA)

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(aka "Caroline" )

 

directed by Frank Ryan
USA 1944

Theatrical Release: 25 December 1944 (New York City, New York)

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Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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