WHAT: Three Smart Girls, Durbin's debut film for Universal Pictures, was a huge hit and made an instant star out of the then-fifteen-year-old soprano when it was released just before Christmas 1936. Story goes, it also single-handedly saved the struggling studio from bankruptcy.
WHERE/WHEN: At 5:55 PM and 9:10 PM at the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, which first screened the film in March of 1937.
WHY: It's the final day of the Stanford's Deanna Durbin Festival which has presented all her features in double-bills over the past five weeks. Since she made an odd number of features, the Stanford has chosen to pair her final film For The Love of Mary with this one, ending the festival where it began. And if Three Smart Girls really saved Universal from bankruptcy in late 1936, just imagine some of the films that might not have been made had the studio folded: 1939's Tower of London starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and a very young Vincent Price, 1947's A Double Life featuring Ronald Colman as a cracking-up Shakespearean actor, or the melodrama masterpieces of the great Douglas Sirk, such as Written on the Wind and Imitation of Life. All of these films and more have just been announced as part of the Stanford's continuing Universal Pictures centennial spotlight in January. Here is the full schedule.