Deanna Durbin (1921-2013)

Deanna Durbin’s movies and music were a large part of my childhood. I had four of her movies on VHS: It Started with Eve (1941), Lady on a Train (1945), I’ll Be Yours (1947) and Something in the Wind (1947). I also went with my parents to the Film Forum for their screening of Christmas Holiday (1944) many years ago. Deanna’s movies always had a special appeal, perhaps because she had had such a short career. At least she ended it on her terms, living out the rest of her many decades with her family.

“Nessun dorma,” here sung in English in His Butler’s Sister (1943), shows off her operatic range.

“Night and Day” from Lady on a Train (1945) was probably the one Deanna performance, more than other, than affected me as a young kid. I love the way that the scene is photographed, obviously influenced by film noir.


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