7.6/10
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It Started with Eve (1941)

In order to please his dying father, a man convinces a hat-check girl to impersonate his fiancée, but complications arise when the father's health suddenly improves.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Norman Krasna (screenplay), Leo Townsend (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deanna Durbin ... Anne Terry
Charles Laughton ... Jonathan Reynolds
Robert Cummings ... Jonathan 'Johnny' Reynolds Jr.
Guy Kibbee ... Bishop Maxwell
Margaret Tallichet ... Gloria Pennington
Catherine Doucet ... Mrs. Pennington (as Catharine Doucet)
Walter Catlett ... Doctor Harvey
Charles Coleman ... Roberts
Leonard Elliott Leonard Elliott ... Reverend Henry Stebbins
Irving Bacon ... Raven
Gus Schilling ... Raven
Wade Boteler ... Harry - Newspaper Editor
Dorothea Kent ... Jackie Donovan
Clara Blandick ... Nurse
Edit

Storyline

A young man asks a hat check girl to pose as his fiancée in order to make his dying father's last moments happy. However, the old man's health takes a turn for the better and now his son doesn't know how to break the news that he's engaged to someone else, especially since his father is so taken with the impostor. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Romantic Riot Since Eve Gave Adam the Applesauce! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Casi un ángel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,166,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of Deanna Durbin's 21 features released between 1936 and 1948, only this film opened at Manhattan's famed Radio City Music Hall, starting October 2, 1941. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Newspaper Editor: Ain't it pretty!
[shows staff the newspaper's front page mock-up with screamer headline "JONATHAN REYNOLDS DEAD"]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Lux Video Theatre: It Started with Eve (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Clavelitos
(uncredited)
Spanish Music and Lyrics by Joaquín Valverde
English Lyrics by Mrs. M. T. E. Sandwith
Sung by Deanna Durbin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
lovely Deanna, wonderful film
8 August 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Let's see - you're a classically trained singer with a gorgeous voice, you're pretty, a good actress, highly paid...and all you want is to get out of show business.

That's Deanna Durbin's story, and thank goodness, she didn't get her wish until she made films like "It Started with Eve," also starring Charles Laughton and Robert Cummings.

Durbin plays Anne Terry, a hat check girl trying to make it as a classical singer. One night, she is drafted by Johnny Reynolds Jr. (Cummings) who believes his father (Laughton) is dying. His father has insisted on meeting his fiancée, but when Johnny returns to the hotel to find her, she and her mother (Margaret Tallichet and Catherine Doucet) aren't in their room. Desperate, he offers Anne money if she will pose as his fiancée. Anne wants to return home to her family, so the money will come in handy. She accompanies him to his father's deathbed.

Well, Jonathan Reynolds Sr. rallies! He's not going to die, and his son may well -- he now has two fiancées. Jonathan Sr. plans a party for all his high falutin' friends, including people like Leopold Stokowski, to meet Anne and to have her sing for them.

Johnny Jr. is in a pickle and tells Anne that he will say that they broke up and then introduce his father to his real fiancée, whom Reynolds Sr.'s doctor will bring to the house. But Anne wants to sing at the party, so after he announces the big breakup, Anne rushes in and begs forgiveness.

Robert Cummings, a huge star in television, was usually second tier in films. He always excelled in comedy, and he does a great job here. Laughton, playing a man who's supposedly dying, looks quite gaunt and is, of course, marvelous as a man who has a great relationship with Anne and grows fond of her.

Deanna Durbin herself acts and sings like a dream and looks beautiful. Her warm personality shines through. She sings "Clavelitos," "Goin' Home," "When I Sing," and "Ahi, viene la conga" impressively.

"It Started with Eve," is a fast-moving, fun, highly entertaining film with moments of poignancy. This film marked the end of Deanna Durbin's work with producer Joe Pasternak and director Henry Koster; Pasternak went to MGM, and Deanna went on suspension for turning down a script. In the end, she was given approval of her directors, stories and songs.

Hard to believe this songbird, now 90, retired at the age of 26 and never looked back. It's a tribute to her that 64 years post-retirement, Deanna Durbin still has plenty of fans.


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