Mad About Music
|Mad About Music|
|Directed by||Norman Taurog|
|Produced by||Joe Pasternak|
|Edited by||Ted J. Kent|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Mad About Music is a 1938 American musical film directed by Norman Taurog and starring Deanna Durbin, Herbert Marshall, and Gail Patrick. Based on a story by Marcella Burke and Frederick Kohner, the film is about a girl at an exclusive boarding school who invents an exciting father. When her schoolmates doubt his existence, she has to produce him. Mad About Music received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Original Story.
Gwen Taylor (Gail Patrick) is a famous Hollywood film star and about to become more famous. On her manager's advice, she has concealed from the press the fact that she's a widow with a fourteen-year-old daughter, Gloria (Deanna Durbin). Gloria lives in a girls-only boarding school in Switzerland.
Gloria never sees her Mother and never knew her Father, who died when she was just a baby; he was a navy pilot during wartime. She has invented a fictitious 'father', from who she receives letters, which she writes herself. But the other girls are getting curious and Gloria decides to kid them that he's about to visit her. Felice (Helen Parrish), another girl at the school, is suspicious and tries to prove that her father doesn't exist.
The girls often meet the boys from a nearby boarding school. One of them, Tommy, (Jackie Moran), has a crush on her, and she likes him as well. At a church service, Gloria sings, "Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)" with a boy's choir.
Gloria needs to quickly find someone to act as her father for a day. She goes to the train station to meet her "father" and the man she picks at random is Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall), an English composer on holiday, accompanied by Tripps (Arthur Treacher), his valet/secretary. Amused at her presumption, he decides to play along, and comes to her school, acting like he really is her father.
Gloria discovers that her mother will be visiting Paris and that Richard is also planning to visit Paris on business. She stows away on a train and manages to persuade Richard to pay her fare.
In Paris, Richard discovers who Gloria's mother is and decides that it's about time for a reunion between her and Gloria. At a press conference, Gwen admits to having a fourteen-year-old daughter. Mother and daughter are tearfully reunited and Gwen is grateful to Richard for bringing Gloria back to her. A budding romance between Gwen and Richard is now obvious and the movie ends with Gloria singing, "A Serenade to the Stars" while the girls from her school, her mother and Richard sit happily together.
- Deanna Durbin as Gloria Harkinson
- Herbert Marshall as Richard Todd / "Mr. Harkinson"
- Gail Patrick as Gwen Taylor, Gloria's mother
- Arthur Treacher as Tripps
- William Frawley as Dusty Turner
- Marcia Mae Jones as Olga
- Helen Parrish as Felice
- Jackie Moran as Tommy
- Elisabeth Risdon as Annette Fusenot
- Nana Bryant as Louise Fusenot
- Christian Rub as Pierre
The film was announced in March 1937. It was based on an original story by Frederich Kohner and Marcella Burke. The original title was Father Meet Mother.
In October Norman Taurog signed to direct.
In November Herbert Marshall signed to star. The film would be the first for Durbin's next contract with Universal starting at $1,250 a week with a $10,000 bonus for each film made.
The following month Gail Patrick was cast as Durbin's mother.
Awards and nominations
The film received four Academy Award nominations:
- Best Art Direction (Jack Otterson)
- Best Cinematography (Joseph Valentine)
- Best Music Scoring (Charles Previn, Frank Skinner)
- Best Original Story (Marcella Burke, Frederick Kohner)
- Michael A. Hoey, Elvis' Favorite Director: The Amazing 52-Film Career of Norman Taurog, Bear Manor Media 2013
- Dick, Bernard K. (2015). City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures. University Press of Kentucky. p. 115. ISBN 9780813158891.
- "Mad About Music (1938)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2012. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
- ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD PRIMA DONNA WILL SOON BURST INTO SCREEN SONG Los Angeles Times 29 Mar 1937: A14.
- JEAN HERSHOLT LOANED TO M.-G.-M. TO STAR IN "I'LL NEVER FORGET": Deanna Durbin's Next Feature Selected Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 21 Aug 1937: A7.
- NEWS OF THE SCREEN: New York Times 27 Oct 1937: 47.
- TAUROG TO DIRECT NEW DURBIN FILM: New York Times 20 Oct 1937: 27.
- NEWS OF THE SCREEN New York Times 8 Nov 1937: 19.
- BASIL RATHBONE SOUGHT FOR ROLE OF BARD IN "MASTER SKYLARK" Los Angeles Times 16 Nov 1937: 10.
- NEWS OF THE SCREEN. New York Times 27 Nov 1937: 20.
- 'PINOCCHIO' BASIS FOR DISNEY FILM New York Times15 Dec 1937: 31