Judy Garland

In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Albert Hackett

Frances Goodrich

Ivan Tors

Starring:

Judy Garland

Van Johnson

S.Z. Sakall

Spring Byington

Clinton Sundberg

Buster Keaton

Blurb:

In turn-of-the-century America, Andrew and Veronica are co-workers in a music shop who dislike one another during business hours but unwittingly carry on an anonymous romance through the mail.

Thoughts:

Close to fifty percent of this movie’s dialogue is word for word from The Shop Around the Corner. I feel like this could only happen in the time before home viewings. The only meaningful addition was the music, which was very good.

I’ve watched In the Good Old Summertime back to back with The Shop Around the Corner before, but the reused dialogue never bothered me before. I’m not sure if it bothers me now either. I just noticed it a lot. I realize this is supposed to be a musical adaption, but they had no issues changing other things.

Judy Garland did a much better job with the female character than Margaret Sullavan. Jimmy Stewart did a marginally better job than Van Johnson. Sullavan and Johnson weren’t bad actors by any means. Garland and Stewart were just better.

In the Good Old Summertime was the first movie that Liza Minnelli appeared in. She was only at the end in the sort of epilogue part. It was also the next to last film Garland made with MGM.

While watching the film, I read up on Garland for the first time in a while. She deserved so much more than she received. The way the men around her treated her was awful. Studio heads, husbands, and managers, all seemed to be out to use her in one way or another. It’s sad to read about. She was such an amazing woman, and I can’t imagine what wonderful things she would have given us if she hadn’t died so young.

After watching these two older versions of this story, I’m looking forward to watching You’ve Got Mail when I get to it. Out of the three of them, I feel it does the better job with the romance.

Easter Parade (1948)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Easter Parade (1948)

Director:

Charles Walters

Writers:

Sidney Sheldon

Francis Goodrich

Albert Hackett

Starring:

Judy Garland

Fred Astaire

Peter Lawford

Ann Miller

Blurb:

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Thoughts:

Easter Parade suffered from following Meet Me in St. Louis, and It’s a Wonderful Life. On its own, Easter Parade is an enjoyable movie, with lots of good songs and dancing. However, it isn’t on the same tier as those two. There were a couple of dance routines that ended up slowing the movie down. This is only going to get worse in the coming musicals. For whatever reason, musical numbers that do nothing other than showing off dance skills are shoved into many musicals. It’s pretty to look at it, but a lot of times, they drag on too long for my taste.

All that being said, I love Judy Garland. Fred Astaire is nice too, though I didn’t believe he was in love with Judy’s character. His character was too slick and full of himself to believe he loved anyone but himself.

Unlike the previous movies, there isn’t much history or anything interesting about the making of this movie. A scene was cut because it was felt to be too risqué, but cutting scenes for various reasons is pretty standard. What gives this movie staying power is the quality of the songs and performances.

Here’s a link to my review of the movie from five years ago.

Meet in St. Louis (1944)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Meet in St. Louis (1944)

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writer:

Irving Brecher

Fred F. Finklehoffe

Starring:

Judy Garland

Margaret O’Brien

Mary Astor

Lucille Bremer

Leon Ames

Tom Drake

Marjorie Main

Harry Davenport

Henry H. Daniels Jr.

Joan Carroll

Blurb:

Young love and childish fears highlight a year in the life of a turn-of-the-century family.

Thoughts:

Something I learned in my most recent re-watch of Meet Me in St. Louis was that in the sixties, they tried to make a TV Show based on the movie. The pilot was on my blu-ray, and I managed to watch about seven minutes before stopping. It was… interesting.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas comes from this movie. Along with several fantastic songs that have not made it into our lexicon but make the film a pleasure to listen to. There are also a few fun dance numbers. It’s a classic musical that has Judy Garland at her best.

The Smith family is prone to drama, and seeing each of them, at some point, succumb to its draw is amusing. The older girls are obsessed with boys. The younger girls are obsessed with violence and death. The father has a bit of a temper and can be hyperbolic at times. The mother and son seem to be the least dramatic, but even they have their moments. As a family, they’re bursting with character, and there are very few moments that lag.

I am a fan of musicals, as you’re about to see if you continue following my blog. This is one of my all-time favorites and remains to be even after all these years.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Directors:

Victor Fleming

George Cukor

Mervyn LeRoy

Norman Taurog

Richard Thorpe

King Vidor

Writers:

Noel Langley

Florence Ryerson

Edgar Allan Woolf

Starring:

Judy Garland

Frank Morgan

Ray Bolger

Bert Lahr

Jack Haley

Billie Burke

Margaret Hamilton

Blurb:

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Thoughts:

If you don’t have a horrible story to tell about working on The Wizard of Oz, did you really work on it? Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch, got third-degree burns on her face and hands. Her stunt woman was horribly injured as well. Buddy Ebsen, the original Tin Woodman, was admitted in critical condition to a hospital when he had an allergic reaction to the aluminum dust they used for his costume. Jack Haley, the Tin Woodman in the movie, ended up getting an eye infection from the aluminum paste they switched to. Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow, received permanent lines to his face caused by the glue they used for his mask. To top it all off, they sprinkled asbestos all over the set to look like snow and Judy Garland, Dorothy, got to lie in a pile of it.

All of that and so much more happened with this movie. When you read back over it all, it feels like a miracle that it was even made. That could be my ignorance of the behind the scenes of making movies, though.

I was introduced to this movie by my grandmother when I was relatively young. I loved it. Unlike my sister and brother, the flying monkeys never bothered me. I was too caught up in the music and bright colors. I loved Dorothy. I honestly think this movie may have been what started my love of fantasy.

It is yet another movie that has been added to the US Library of Congress. This might make my movie taste basic, but I don’t care. This movie is a classic and should be watched by everyone.

Easter Parade (1948)

I wish the Blu Ray had this cover

I wish the Blu Ray had this cover

Easter Parade (1948)

Director:

Charles Walters

Starring:

Judy Garland

Fred Astaire

Peter Lawford

Plot:

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Review:

This is basically a dancing My Fair Lady, well more focused on dancing. Love Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and this is one of my favorite musicals.

Judy Garland’s character naturally falls in love with Fred Astaire, though, I’ll be honest I was always more into Peter Lawford.

Watching it again for the first time in years I was actually a little disappointed in Garland’s character. I wish she hadn’t fallen in love with him so quickly. That’s just my modern femaleness getting in the way. Just have to turn off my brain and absorb the romance, pretty music, and awesome hats. Love the clothes in this movie.

I liked how fiery she was at the end. I like my women with a temper. She also goes after him and doesn’t let him get away, so she wasn’t a damsel in distress, she got her man.

5/5