See that guy in the middle getting slapped by Deanna Durbin. That’s how I felt watching this film. I foolishly believed that Lady On A Train (1945) meant that the final film in this series would be enjoyable too. Instead, I was coldly smacked in the face with something as bad as the worst of her films that I have seen.
The movie begins with DJ Mary Collins (Deanna Durbin) finishing her set with the first of many musical numbers (I should have known that this spelled disaster for the film). After leaving the booth, she is approached by Donald Read (John Dall) who tells her that he doesn’t really care what her relationship was with his grandfather, but that it needs to end. Mary has no idea what he is talking about, so of course, Mary reacts with indignation at such an accusation and storms out. Mary goes home and has a heart to heart with her aunt who also happens to be named Mary Collins. Turns out it was the aunt that had the relationship with Donald Read’s grandfather. That relationship included the financial support that Donald Read alluded to.
Cut to the Read family and being rich and thinking themselves above others. They decide to resort to kidnapping. Of course, this task is given to the younger of the Read brothers named Charlie (Donald O’Connor). They know where she is going to be and wait for her to leave, where upon they gag her and stuff her into a car.
Taken to the Read home, she is confronted by the family who proceed to insult her for trying to milk off of them. They want her to sign away any financial ties that she has with the family. The mother makes the mistake of dropping a little information: Donald Read is to be married and any hint of scandal could ruin it. So Durbin being Durbin, she creates a fictitious baby to rub it in and drive up the cost of her silence. She puts the price at a million dollars. They talk and get nowhere when Charlie kindly suggests the two of them go to the library together.
He tells her in an song (why?!?) that he knows that she is full of hot air. Then he tells her that he wants her to continue doing it. He has a thing for his older brother’s fiancee and would love for her to drive a wedge between them so he can have her for himself. What follows is what you expect. Durbin gets closer and closer to Donald as she tries to drive a wedge between him and his fiancee. Since Durbin would be robbing the cradle with O’Connor, she saves him from his infatuation with the gold digging fiancee and he plays the helpful child role. Oh, and there are plenty of songs to make the boring film, annoying.
Since I only wanted to see Durbin gagged repeatedly throughout the film instead of wanting to bash my head in with a brick, I say approach with caution.
Final words on Deanna Durbin: She could sing, but was best, when she was simply allowed to act.