It Started with Eve

1941

Comedy / Musical

10
IMDb Rating 7.6

Synopsis


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1.73G
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English
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90 min
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1.10G
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English
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90 min
P/S 1 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lugonian 9

IT STARTED WITH EVE (Universal, 1941), directed by Henry Koster, stars popular singer Deanna Durbin in one of her finest movie roles. Not quite a Biblical tale about Adam and Eve and the apple as the title might imply, nor is there any character in the story named Eve, but actually a comedy of errors in the screwball comedy tradition providing Durbin, still in her late teenage years, an opportunity in a more adult performance, with fine support by the diverse Charles Laughton in a character role that&#39;s both funny and touching, and Robert Cummings as a young man caught in the middle of a series of situations and having a difficult time coming up with a suitable explanations.<br/><br/>The scenario revolves around Jonathan Reynolds (Charles Laughton) a middle-aged millionaire on his death bed whose final request is to meet the young lady engaged to his son, Johnny (Robert Cummings). To make his father&#39;s last days on Earth a pleasant one, Johnny rushes out into the rain to get his fiancé only to learn from the desk clerk that she and her mother are not available. Not wanting to waste any more valuable time, Johnny encounters a hat check girl (Deanna Durbin) and offers her $50 to return home with him and pose as his fiancée for about an hour. Explaining the circumstances at hand, she agrees. Masquerading as &quot;Gloria Pennington,&quot; the girl, Anne Terry, meets the ailing Mr. Reynolds, who takes an immediate liking to her. After their union, the old man finds his son to be in good hands, and can now die in peace. The following morning, Jonathan miraculously recovers from his illness, gets out of bed demanding a large breakfast from his servants and for Johnny to bring &quot;Gloria&quot; back to visit with him. Complications ensue when Johnny not only has to locate Anne, who&#39;s about to take the next train back home to Shelbyville, Ohio, but to explain to the real Gloria (Margaret Tallichet) and her mother (Catherine Doucet), having returned from their trip, the situation that has occurred. Things become even more complex when Johnny tries to prevent his father from learning Anne not to be his fiancée, and keeping Anne from attending his father&#39;s dinner function where she wants to audition for his theatrical agent friends in hope to land a singing career.<br/><br/>A highly enjoyable comedy with an original premise done at a leisurely pace with a couple of classical songs thrown in for good measure making use of Deanna Durbin&#39;s singing talent, including Peter Tchaikowsky&#39;s &quot;The Tchaikowsky Waltz&quot; and Antonin Dvorak&#39;s &quot;Going Home.&quot; Supporting players consist of Guy Kibbee as Bishop Maxwell; Walter Catlett as Dr. Harvey, the nervous family physician; Dorothea Kent as Jackie Donovan, Anne&#39;s roommate; Clara Blandick as The Nurse; and comedian Mantan Moreland adding humor as the harassed train station baggage man.<br/><br/>Obviously a high point in Durbin&#39;s career that did very well at box office, it&#39;s interesting to note that a fun movie such as this is not relatively better known. Durbin and Cummings do well in the roles that might have been tailer-made for Irene Dunne and Cary Grant for example. However, the characters of Anne Terry and Johnny Reynolds were obviously written for much younger performers as enacted by Durbin and Cummings.<br/><br/>IT STARTED WITH EVE did play for a while on American Movie Classics (1992-93) about the same time it was distributed on video cassette by MCA Home Video. The Hans Kraly story was redone by Universal as I&#39;D RATHER BE RICH (1964) featuring Sandra Dee, Robert Goulet and Maurice Chevalier, with a few alterations, but like the original, has been lost to cinema history, known mostly by film scholars and historians. Even with the original currently available on DVD and latter cable broadcast on Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: December 30, 3013) might offer IT STARTED WITH EVE some new life to a new generation of movie lovers looking for something amusing, nostalgic as well as lighthearted entertainment by its three principal actors. (***1/2).

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Reviewed by MovieZoo 10

1941, an old man, once living the high-life, is now dying. His son returns home for what may be his last visit to his dear old father. When father and son once again meet, your eyes will likely start to swell as they talk softly and tenderly. Their nostalgic talk turns to the present with the father asking to meet his son&#39;s bride-to-be. With the old man&#39;s dying request fresh in our memories, the son rushes to the hotel to get his wife at the hotel. Unable to find his wife, he talks the coat-check girl at the hotel into accompanying him home as the woman his father had not yet met. The deception, well intended and light-hearted, becomes the story and evolves beautifully to the benefit of everyone – especially the viewer.<br/><br/>What at first starts out to appear as a serious drama, quickly becomes a great comedy. This is a believable, human story with emotion, music and love that can make nostalgia appear not so nostalgic while even causing one to hope for a remake of this movie. Every main character earns its own level of adoration so easily, it takes no effort to relate.<br/><br/>Charles Laughton plays a comical, aging, old fart who is brought back to life because of his admiration for the woman he believes to be his future daughter-in-law. Always known as a great actor, he appeared to be having a lot of fun while giving us his all. He is easily the most comical character and, just as easily, the most loved.<br/><br/>Robert Cummings was truly at his best as well. While I cannot say I know a lot about his movies, I have seen some of his other movies and some reruns of his TV shows. I remember enjoying what he did. He effortlessly switches from the saddened son to the man in the middle, frustrated with a plot gone wrong.<br/><br/>Now for the reason I even looked at this movie – Deanna Durbin. She has one of the best voices, ever! Yes, singing styles have changed, but her clarity and tone win her a place in my heart forever(despite our age differences). Back to the movie, her character was simply fun, quirky, adorable and desirable. While being used to make Cummings&#39; character and his father happy, she eventually becomes the one to save. While her situation with loneliness and doubt looms, her music and charm so pleases the old man, he has to do something to help her while not letting her know that he knows she is not really who she at first pretended to be. Her emotional moments are her best. Singing a song the old man requests, her tears nearly tore me up and then in the next scene, her fits of hysterical laughter just as easily rip at the soul.<br/><br/>I do encourage anyone who likes 40&#39;s style movies to see this. I have seen a few of Durbin&#39;s movies but, so far, this was the best in style, story and quality. This movie gets a 10 from me. Excuse me while I dry my tears.

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Reviewed by aberlour36 10

This little heralded musical comedy is Deanna Durbin&#39;s best film and is arguably the finest film of its kind ever produced by Universal studio. It is a gem from start to finish, featuring first-rate acting by Durbin, Cummings, and Laughton (who comes close to stealing the entire movie), good music, and an excellent script. One thinks of what Durbin might have made had she worked for MGM. Still, even though Universal was part of &quot;poverty row,&quot; the movie enjoyed a decent budget, providing sets and outdoor scenes of a first class quality. Deanna was only 20, and her youth and exuberant singing and piano playing reach heights rarely seen on the screen. You do not want to miss this one. These days it is usually encountered as part of the Deanna Durbin &quot;Sweetheart Pack,&quot; which is well worth the money.

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