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Mad About Music

Mad About Music
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Taurog
Produced by Joe Pasternak
Screenplay by
Story by
Edited by Ted J. Kent
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • February 1, 1938 (1938-02-01) (USA)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $858,000[1]

Mad About Music is a 1938 American musical film directed by Norman Taurog and starring Deanna Durbin, Herbert Marshall, and Gail Patrick. Based on a story by Marcella Burke and Frederick Kohner, the film is about a girl at an exclusive boarding school who invents an exciting father. When her schoolmates doubt his existence, she has to produce him. Mad About Music received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Original Story.[2]


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Awards and nominations 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Gwen Taylor (Gail Patrick) is a famous Hollywood film star and about to become more famous. On her manager's advice, she has concealed from the press the fact that she's a widow with a fouteen year old daughter, Gloria (Deanna Durbin). Gloria lives in a girls-only boarding school in Switzerland.

Gloria never sees her Mother and never knew her Father, who died when she was just a baby; he was a navy pilot during wartime. She has invented a fictitious 'father', from who she receives letters, which she writes herself. But the other girls are getting curious and Gloria decides to kid them that he's about to visit her. Felice (Helen Parrish), another girl at the school, is suspicious and tries to prove that her father doesn't exist.

The girls often meet the boys from a nearby boarding school. One of them, Tommy, (Jackie Moran), has a crush on her, and she likes him as well. At a church service, Gloria sings, "Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)" with a boy's choir.

Gloria needs to quickly find someone to act as her father for a day. She goes to the train station to meet her "father" and the man she picks at random is Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall), an English composer on holiday, accompanied by Tripps (Arthur Treacher), his valet/secretary. Amused at her presumption, he decides to play along, and comes to her school, acting like he really is her father.

Gloria discovers that her mother will be visiting Paris and that Richard is also planning to visit Paris on business. She stows away on a train and manages to persuade Richard to pay her fare.

In Paris, Richard discovers who Gloria's mother is and decides that it's about time for a reunion between her and Gloria. At a press conference, Gwen admits to having a fourteen-year-old daughter. Mother and daughter are tearfully reunited and Gwen is grateful to Richard for bringing Gloria back to her. A budding romance between Gwen and Richard is now obvious and the movie ends with Gloria singing, "A Serenade to the Stars" while the girls from her school, her mother and Richard sit happily together.


Surrounded by reporters, Gwen Taylor (Gail Patrick) and Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall) answer a barrage of questions following the press conference in Mad About Music

Awards and nominations

The film received four Academy Award nominations:

  • Best Art Direction (Jack Otterson)
  • Best Cinematography (Joseph A. Valentine)
  • Best Music Scoring (Charles Previn, Frank Skinner)
  • Best Original Story (Marcella Burke, Frederick Kohner)[2]


  1. ^ Michael A. Hoey, Elvis' Favorite Director: The Amazing 52-Film Career of Norman Taurog, Bear Manor Media 2013
  2. ^ a b

External links

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