Thanks to commenter Mark R. for bringing this article to my attention.
The New York Times
|Life Magazine 1938|
March 26, 1939
A UNIVERSAL ERROR ABOUT GLAMOUR
With Special Reference to the Appeal of Deanna Durbin
By Frank S. Nugent
Spring seems to be a little late this year, so until it arrives we'll have to get along with Deanna Durbin, the closest thing to this side of the equinox. A couple of books could be written on Miss Durbin's
singular appeal, but none of them would contain the horrible epithet Universal's advertising staff fastened on the miss last week.
"Glamorous" was the word they dared employ and we haven't said a civil word to Universal since. It doesn't matter how the dictionary defines it--some literal poppycock about "a charm or enchantment working on the vision and causing things to seem different from what they are."
We know what Hollywood means by glamour and we won't have our Deanna playing in the same category as Hedy, Marlene, Greta, Joan, Carole, Loretta, Merle and Tyronne.
Glamour indeed! As if it had not been her very freedom from glamour, Hollywood style, that has endeared her to her millions. Glamour! as if that were a quality more precious than the freshness, the gay vitality, the artful artlessness and youthful radiance she has brought to the screen!
Glamour! as if that were what we wanted of the perfect kid sister (not that there really ever was one). Glamour forsooth! and was it glamour that made Judge Hardy and his brood, or glamour we found in the late Marie Dressler and Will Rogers, or glamour in Mr. Deeds or Zola or Pasteur, or glamour for that matter (though we hate to mention it) which keeps little Mistress Temple as the nation's four time box office champion? What is this thing, glamour, anyway, that it has grown so great?
Deanna, to put an end to the libel, is not the least bit glamorous in her latest delight "Three Smart Girls Grow Up," and she has not grown up so much herself. She leaves that, and the romantic troubles, to the older sisters, contenting herself with being the matrimonial broker of the family. Usually we dread these Little-Miss-Fixit roles. The brats are all so superior about it all and so right--like George Arlis as Disraeli or somebody. But Deanna manages to make even a half-grown meddler attractive. She is guilty of the most awful ---blunders; she quite forgets her manners; she sulks and has tantrums when her plans go agley; and eventually she has to call on father.
And that, of course, is the way it should be, and would be unless the Miss Fix It had been Shirley Temple. No, Deanna is all right, up to par or better, and when Universal next says 'G.....r' it had better smile.