First Love (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

First Love (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Best remembered as the film in which 17-year-old Deanna Durbin receives her first screen kiss, First Love is a modernized variation of the Cinderella legend (there's even "six white mice" in the form of a sextet of motorcycle policemen!). The film casts Durbin as Constance Harding, the poor relation of wealthy tycoon James Clinton (Eugene Pallette). When she comes to live with the Clinton family, she runs headfirst into her eccentric, social-climbing aunt Grace (Leatrice Joy) and her nasty, nightclub-hopping cousin Barbara (Helen Parrish); James himself rather likes the girl, but most his attention is directed towards dealing with his monumentally lazy son Walter (Lewis Howard in a comic turn). Left behind on the night of a fancy society ball, Constance is championed by the household servants, who provide her with a gorgeous gown and transportation to the event. She meets her Prince Charming in the form of likeable socialite Ted Drake (Robert Stack in his film debut)- but, just after the stroke of midnight, leaves her slipper behind. Later that night, the hateful Barbara convinces Constance that Ted was only toying with her emotions. Sorrowfully, Constance decides to return to school and bury herself in her studies, only to be dissuaded by her head teacher (Kathleen Howard), who made the same mistake herself many years before. Naturally there's a happy ending, with time to spare for Durbin to sing five numbers, including the Puccini-inspired aria "One Fine Day".


Deanna Durbin
as Constance Harding
Robert Stack
as Ted Drake
Helen Parrish
as Barbara Clinton
Eugene Pallette
as James Clinton
Lewis Howard
as Walter Clinton
Leatrice Joy
as Grace Clinton
June Storey
as Wilma van Everett
Kathleen Howard
as Miss Wiggins
Thurston Hall
as Mr. Drake
Marcia Mae Jones
as Maria Parker
Samuel S. Hinds
as Mr. parker
Doris Lloyd
as Mrs. Parker
Jack Mulhall
as Chauffeur
Mary Treen
as Barbara's Maid
Dorothy Vaughan
as Mrs. Clinton's Maid
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Critic Reviews for First Love

All Critics (2)

There is nothing at all to resent in the picture; it is admirably directed, amusingly written, and acted with immense virtuosity by a fine cast.

May 9, 2018 | Full Review…

Amazingly adept at being a screwball comedy while being almost giddily romantic, striking just the right note in both capacities.

January 20, 2011 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

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First Love Quotes

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