6.8/10
1,090
22 user 15 critic

Three Smart Girls (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 20 December 1936 (USA)
Three sisters scheme to reunite their divorced parents before their wealthy father marries a conniving gold digger.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Adele Comandini (original story), Adele Comandini (screen play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The daughter of a struggling musician forms a symphony orchestra made up of his unemployed friends and through persistence, charm and a few misunderstandings, is able to get Leopold ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Adolphe Menjou, Alice Brady
First Love (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An orphaned boarding school graduate secretly attends a prestigious ball, where she falls for the boyfriend of her snobbish cousin.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Robert Stack, Eugene Pallette
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Now that their parents are back together, the Craig girls think life is going to be easy. It is, until Kay falls in love with Joan's fiance! Complications arise when youngest sister Penny ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Winninger, Nan Grey
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A grandson of a recently deceased millionaire mistakes a beautiful female disc jockey for her aunt, who once dated the grandfather.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Donald O'Connor, John Dall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In order to avoid a prearranged marriage, a rebellious French princess sheds her identity and escapes to colonial New Orleans, where she finds an unlikely true love.

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Frank Morgan
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lillian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a newspaper man, ... See full summary »

Directors: Roy Del Ruth, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In New York, a woman who partially witnesses a killing from a train window seeks the aid of a crime novelist to solve the murder.

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A senator's daughter (who can't help singing) follows her boyfriend West in the days of the California gold rush.

Director: Frank Ryan
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Robert Paige, Akim Tamiroff
Action | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Binnie Barnes ... Donna Lyons
Charles Winninger ... Judson Craig
Alice Brady ... Mrs. Lyons
Ray Milland ... Lord Michael Stuart
Mischa Auer ... Count Arisztid
Ernest Cossart ... Binns
Lucile Watson ... Martha
John 'Dusty' King ... Bill Evans (as John King)
Nella Walker ... Dorothy Craig
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Wilbur Lamb
Nan Grey ... Joan
Barbara Read ... Kay
Deanna Durbin ... 'Penny'
Edit

Storyline

The three Craig sisters, in Switzerland with their ten-years-divorced mother, run away to New York to prevent their father from marrying calculating socialite Donna Lyons. The overpowering vivacity of the Smart Girls (nominal ages 14-20) sweeps all before it, but a romantic complication between middle sister Kay and their accidental ally, Lord Michael Stuart, threatens shipwreck to their schemes... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tri zlate deklice See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$326,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was the inspiration for Disney's The Parent Trap (1961) and the 1998 remake of the same name. See more »

Goofs

In the 'long shot', Penny dives headfirst into the lake, getting thoroughly drenched, but in the nearly immediate 'medium shot', she has dry hair, hat, and face as she swims to shore. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Lyons: You say the most amusing things, Count.
Lord Michael Stuart: Family trait, you know; a ready wit and complete lack of character. We drink, you know.
[Kay kicks him under the table]
Mrs. Lyons: [laughing] Oh, how amusing! You drink. Oh, yes, of course, you drink.
Lord Michael Stuart: They're funny things, these family traits. For instance, the Stuarts drink and the Craigs, they like to kick people. Tell me, what do the Lyonses do, madam?
Mrs. Lyons: The Lyons roar!
[laughs giddily]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
In the score when wedding rings are shown
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Light, Amusing; A Minor Classic of Its Kind
4 May 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Although she is little known today, Deanna Durbin was one of the most popular stars of the 1930s, a pretty teenager with a perky personality and a much-admired operatic singing voice. This 1937 was her first major film, and it proved a box-office bonanza for beleaguered Universal Studios.

THREE SMART GIRLS concerns three daughters of a divorced couple who rush to their long-unseen father when their still-faithful mother reveals he may soon remarry--with the firm intention of undermining his gold-digger girlfriend and returning him to their mother. Although the story is slight, the script is witty and the expert cast plays it with a neat screwball touch. Durbin has a pleasing voice and appealing personality, and such enjoyable character actors as Charles Winninger, Alice Brady, Lucile Watson, and Mischa Auer round out the cast. A an ultra-light amusement for fans of 1930s film.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed