Wed 29 Sep 2010
IT STARTED WITH EVE. Universal, 1941. Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings, Guy Kibbee, Margaret Tallichet, Catharine Doucet, Walter Catlett, Charles Coleman, Mary Gordon, Sig Arno, Mantan Moreland. Screenplay by Norman Krasna and Leo Townsend; cinematography by Rudolph Mate; music director, Charles Previn. Director: Henry Koster. Shown at Cinevent 42, Columbus OH, May 2010.
Tycoon Jonathan Reynolds (Charles Laughton) is expected to die momentarily, but when his playboy son Johnny (Robert Cummings) arrives at his bedside, Reynolds asks for his son’s fiancee Gloria Pennington (Margaret Tallichet), whom he’s never met.
The distraught son, unable to locate her at her hotel, persuades hatcheck girl Anne Terry (Durbin) to substitute for Gloria in what he believes to be his father’s final moments. Of course, the father recovers and is delighted with his son’s choice. And the plot is off and heating up rapidly.
Durbin is, as always, a perky delight, Laughton is wonderful as the irascible father, and Cummings is bearable. (I’ve never forgiven him for being the major casting flaw in King’s Row.)
But it’s Walter Catlett, as Reynolds’ frantic doctor, who walks off with the comedy honors. Durbin sings prettily and she and Laughton dance a mean conga in this very entertaining comedy.