It's a Date
Universal Pictures 

Directed by William Seiter
Written by Norman Krasna
Story by Jane Hall, Frederick Kohner, Ralph Block
A Joe Pasternack Production


Released March 27, 1940

    Picture spotlights excellent performances by Deanna Durbin, Kay Francis, Walter Pidgeon, Cecilia Loftus and S.Z. Sakall.  Steering Miss Durbin from the adolescent to the ingénue period, Pasternak again displays rare production guidance with both script and direction. Story rolls along smoothly highlighting the happy combinations of spontaneity in acting, directing, screenplay and supervision.

     Miss Durbin as the daughter of Kay Francis, Broadway musical star, has stage ambitions.  Attending a summer stock school while her mother is vacationing in Honolulu, youngster is picked for lead in fall show originally assigned to her mother.  Girl hops to Hawaii to get coaching from Miss Francis in the role and encounters island millionaire Walter Pidgeon on the boat. Miss Durbin discovering her mother is a rival for the play's lead, tries to step aside for romance with older Pidgeon. Anne Gwynne is swell as show castmate. It's a happy conclusion when, through the Miss Durbin's persistence in chasing Pidgeon, the latter falls in love with Miss Francis, leaving the way clear for Miss Durbin to score in the show.


 

Cast:

Deanna Durbin

Kay Francis

Walter Pidgeon

Henry Stephenson

S.Z. Sakall

Anne Gwynne

Cecilia Loftus

Fritz Feld

 

Production:

Norman Krasna- Writer 

Jane Hall, Frederick Kohner, Ralph Block- Original Story

William Seiter- Director 

Juan Valdez- Producer

Joseph Valentine- Cinematographer

Bernqard Burton- Editor

Charles Previn- Composer

Songs by: Pinky Tomlin, Farry Tobias, Ralph Freed, Fran Skinner, Eddie Cherkose, Leon Belasco, Jacques Press

Full Storyline

Pamela Drake, the daughter of the famous but aging Broadway star Georgia Drake, has inherited her mother's acting ambitions. At the closing night party of her mother's latest production, Pam convinces director Sidney Simpson and writer Carl Ober to visit her summer stock school. While Georgia travels to Honolulu to prepare for Ober's new production, Ober and Sidney visit the school and, as a theatrical exercise, stage the second act of Ober's new play with Pamela playing the lead. Ober believes that Georgia is too old for the part, and when he sees Pamela's impressive performance, he offers her the role. Unaware that she has stolen her mother's part, Pam, overwhelmed by her unexpected opportunity, decides to seek out the greatest coach she knows, Georgia, and sets sail for Honolulu.

Aboard the ocean liner, Pam attempts to live her prospective role of the tragically spurned woman, thus earning her the sympathy of pineapple king John Arlen, a man twice her age. Pam misunderstands John's attentions, however, and believes that he is in love with her. In Honolulu, Pam discovers that she and her mother are competing for the same part and decides to give up the stage to marry John. To keep her mother from receiving Sidney's phone call, in which he plans to tell her she has lost the role, Pam arranges to dine with Georgia and John. While Pam leaves the table to intercept the call, however, John becomes infatuated with Georgia. John soon finds himself pursued by Pamela but in love with Georgia. Escorting both women to the governor's ball, John must avoid Pam's attempts to propose to him so that he can propose to Georgia. John finally pops the question just as Sidney and Ober arrive. Before they can tell Georgia that Pamela has the lead, Georgia declines the role and announces her engagement to John, thus clearing the way for Pamela to score in the show.

 

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