"Enchanting" is the perfect description for FIRST LOVE, an inventive retelling of the Cinderella story starring Deanna Durbin.
Durbin plays Connie, an orphan who graduates from boarding school and goes to live with her rich uncle's family in New York. Most of Connie's relatives ignore her, and her cousin Barbara (Helen Parrish) is positively mean. The servants, however, quickly take Connie under their wing and plot for her to attend a grand ball, where she dances with her Prince Charming (Robert Stack, in his first movie).
Durbin is delightful as spunky Connie. She's surrounded by a wonderful cast, including Eugene Pallete as her long-suffering uncle and Leatrice Joy as her astrology-addled aunt, plus Thurston Hall, Kathleen Howard, Samuel S. Hinds, Mary Treen, and Charles Coleman. Marcia Mae Jones, who recently passed away, is seen in the opening scenes as Connie's friend Marcia.
The movie runs 84 minutes and was filmed in black and white. It was directed by Henry Koster. Just a couple years later Koster would marry Peggy Moran, who plays one of Deanna's schoolmates in the movie. They were happily married for nearly 46 years, until Henry's death in 1988.
Deanna Durbin is now in her 80s. She has lived a quiet retirement in France for many decades.
FIRST LOVE has been released on both DVD and video.
FIRST LOVE is a treat from start to finish, a wonderful mixture of musical, fantasy, screwball comedy, and romance. Highly recommended.