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Nice Girl?

Nice Girl?(1941)

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The working title of this film was Love at Last. The play on which the picture was based was first presented by the senior class of New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts on January 25, 1929, but no information about commercial productions has been found. According to Hollywood Reporter, this was actress Deanna Durbin's ninth film with producer Joe Pasternak and cameraman Joseph Valentine, and the first film in which she played an adult character. A July 1940 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that writers Ralph Block and Frederick Kohner were working on a "final screen play" for the film, but the extent of their contribution to the released film has not been confirmed. Early in the production of this film, Universal held a nineteenth birthday party for Durbin, during which she was presented with the song "I'm Nineteen Now," written especially for her by Walter Jurmann and Bernie Grossman. In mid-January 1941, the film's finale sequence was shot on location at Fort MacArthur, CA, with the use of approximately two hundred extras. During the production of this film, director William A. Seiter agreed to a two-picture contract with Universal, cinematographer Joseph Valentine endorsed a five-year agreement, and actor Franchot Tone signed a five-year, ten-picture deal with the studio.
       NTY pointed out that, for the first time, a Deanna Durbin film was slightly censored by the Hays Office, as the line "I trusted Gerald until one night...," as read by Ann Gillis' character "Nancy Dana" from a "confession" magazine, was edited from the film. Universal publicity materials state that this was the first film for the studio by noted character actor Walter Brennan, who was loaned to the studio by Samuel Goldwyn. Hollywood Reporter production charts include George Ernest in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In late February 1941, Durbin was recalled to the studio to shoot and record additional musical numbers for the foreign release of the film. The song "There'll Always Be an England" replaced "Thank You, America" in the British release, and a Spanish-language version of "Thank You, America" was produced for the Latin-American release. Modern sources claim that the film's title was changed from Nice Girl to Nice Girl? to improve business, as the original title was deemed "too virginal to intrigue ticketbuyers." Durbin had previously worked with director Seiter on the 1940 Universal film It's a Date (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2185).