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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment & footage of Stokowski in his prime, 14 Aug 2004
By 
Dr. Paul R. Terry (Bedworth, Warwickshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
This film was very influential, in that it showed classical musicians as quite likeable, and classical music (in small enough extracts) to be palatable to a mass audience. Certainly it worked on my father, who saw it when it came out around 1937. He had been completely uninterested in classical music, but immediately started buying classical 78's (mostly Stokowski's) on the strength of the performances in this film. Although we have footage of Stokowski later in his career taken from actual concerts, these early scenes of him (admittedly conducting a play-back) give us some idea of how charismatic he must have been. He's also a good actor, delivering his dialogue in a pleasant, natural voice, almost like a documentary in tone. This contrasts with the other actors, who are obviously trying very hard to act their roles (perhaps a little too much!).
The depiction of the class divide in the States is interesting. The wealthly industrialist is only interested in betting $100 a time on silly things, or in playing practical jokes on his so-called friends. He won't even think of supporting an orchestra - until someone points out the free publicity for his business! His scatter-brained wife holds lavish parties for her friends (sycophants, hangers-on), and is empty-headed and shallow. The poor unemployed musicians are at the other end of the spectrum, struggling to make ends meet in the supposed land of opportunity, with its 'classless' society.
On an even deeper level, we can see Stokowski as bridging this gap with his music. Classical music is the compensation that the poor receive to make their daily struggle for existence more bearable. It has a redemptive character bestowed by Stokowski on rich and poor alike.
I hadn't seen this film for 30 years myself, and found it still very enjoyable, although the trite plot and slightly mannered performances have dated a little. On the other hand, it is valuable for the reasons I've tried to outline. I recommend it highly.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depression daydream, 25 Jan 2005
By 
Michael Bo (Frederiksberg Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
Lovely Deanna Durbin is the young girl whose father, the ever-touching Adolphe Menjou, is a trombone player out of a job, and in order to make her dream of a whole symphony orchestra consisting of unemployed musicians come true, Durbin has to enlist the services of famous maestro Leopold Stokowski in order to get financial backing. But how does she go about it?
A delightful, sweet movie, the ultimate Depression daydream, and you will need your Kleenex for the wrap-up. God knows, Frank Capra did the same stuff with a lot more style, but 'One Hundred Men and a Girl' has enthusiasm, guts and is very well, albeit conventionally made and edited. It must have given a lot of people of lot of, admittedly, pretty phoney hope.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY COMEDIC AND BEAUTIFUL SINGING, 28 Feb 2012
By 
B. C. Lapping - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
WITH BEAUTIFUL SINGING AND VERY FUNNY DEANNA, ALL GIVE A VERY GOOD PERFORMANCE. WHOEVER INTRODUCED THE HAT WITH A FEATHER WAS INSPIRED!!! VERY ENTERTAINING AND UPLIFTING, SET IN THE DEPRESSION ERA IN AMERICA. A GOOD WATCH.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Never to be forgotten film, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
I n 1938, I was sixteen and getting very interested in classical music and symphony orchestra. And yes,I had seen "Fantasia"..Although this film had an extremely corny plot and badly acted, this was Deanna Durbin and Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra on screen and that was wonderful,
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Happy Mother, 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
Do something nice for your aged mother/grandmother and buy this - my Mum was so happy that she phoned one of her friends to tell them about it. A return to innocence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lost none of its charm., 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
I think I last saw this sixty years ago with my mother. I was spellbound then and seeing this again brings back happy memories. The quality of the disc is outstandinging considering the film was made in 1937. The sound quality is excellent and Deanna Durbin's magical voice comes across clearly. She sings Mozart Alleluia and an aria from La Traviata and other things. This film would be an excellent introduction to good classical music, and the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski delivers wonderful excerpts from Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 and Wagner's Lohengrin. I won't spoil the story for you, there is much comedy but this is a seriously entertaining film from beginning to end. It is a feel good movie of the best kind. Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oldie film, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
I love this film & was very happy to find out it was on dvd! Not something you see on the telly very often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL MOVIE, 25 July 2013
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David Lyulkin (DALY CITY, CA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
It's a bit old fashioned but it's so warm and cheerful. A perfect remedy after a stressful day at work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, glorious!, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
Not as well-known as it should be, this whimsical feel-good movie features a whole orchestra under the baton of Leopold Stokowski (..er, possibly once Leonard Stokes..) ..an orchestra of out of work musicians!

Girlish Deanna Durbin dashes about, trying to raise cash and a venue for the musicians, and trying to persuade Stokowski to be their conductor for one night only - a break from his day job at the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic orchestras!

She's ebullient, manic, frantic and way up there with the best of the "screwball comedy" stars ..but sings, too! Adolphe Menjou is her sad-faced dad who can't get a gig, and gravel-voiced Eugene Pallette is the "should I / shouldn't I?" reluctant benefactor who gets the show on the road.

81 minutes of the best feel-good black-&-white bliss, with perfect acting, joyful comedy and a great up-beat ending!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 7 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD] (DVD)
Hadn't seen it for more years than I care to remember! A beautiful copy, and such a delightful film. Having it now that dear Deanna has died makes it all the more special.
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Deanna Durbin - 100 Men And A Girl [1937] [DVD]
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