- Vintage short: Martin Block's Musical Merry Go-Round #3
- Classic cartoon: Professor Tom
- Theatrical trailer
A Date with Judy
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Release Date: 22-APR-2008
Media Type: DVD
Shot in soft-focus Technicolor by Oklahoma!'s Robert Surtees, A Date with Judy offers a candy-colored version of the high-school musical. In a cozy seaside town, 16-year-old Judy Foster (tiny soprano Jane Powell) and poor little rich girl Carol Pringle (a stunning Elizabeth Taylor, dubbed) prepare for the school dance. When Carols brother, Oogie (former child star Scotty Beckett), stands up Judy--on Carols advice--she takes new soda jerk Stephen (Written on the Wind's Robert Stack). Though Stephen can't take his eyes off Carol, he concedes, "You're the prettiest girl in Santa Barbara--and you know it." Afterwards, the girls compete for his affections, while Judy's dad, Melvin (The Champ's Wallace Beery), takes rumba lessons from Carmen Miranda's Rosita in preparation for his 20th wedding anniversary. Carols mild conniving aside, there are no bad guys here, and all's well that ends well. Notable numbers include Powell's "It's a Most Unusual Day" and Miranda's "Cuanto le Gusta" with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra. Aside from the ladies on screen, Dorothy Cooper and Pal Joey's Dorothy Kingsley adapted the script from Aleen Leslies 1941 radio play, hence lines like, "Don't try to understand women, just accept them." With direction by Ivanhoe's prolific Richard Thorpe and choreography from Singin' in the Rain's Stanley Donen, MGMs A Date with Judy serves up wholesome entertainment for all ages. Special features include the original trailer and two shorts, Martin Blocks Musical Merry-Go-Round #3 with Ray Noble and Buddy Clark and Tom and Jerry's Professor Tom. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top customer reviews
Admittedly, I probably shouldn't be a sap for this film but I am. Powell's singing is infectious, Taylor segues from pretty to va voom, Cugat injects lounge lizard heat in his performances, and perenially grouchy Beery gives a nice performance as the cranky and misunderstood father who inadvertently lets his kids think he has more than learning how to dance to please his wife on his mind. The end result is a chaste comedy of errors that is a perfect post WWII piece of entertainment that doesn't try to get it's viewer to think as much as to be entertained on a very concious level.
No hoodwinking here; this is fun entertainment with very little message.
Still, I love it for its innocent humor and focus on family values and Jane Powell.
Based on a radio show that had been popular since the early 40's, this starred Jane Powell, a young singer who was getting very big in films and recordings and who would soon be so popular with high school girls that she would even have a "Dear Jane " advice column aimed at them. The role of Judy Foster was simply made for her. The rest of the cast is full of surprises with enough disparate elements that it's a wonder it all held together.
For one thing, musicals aimed at the youth audience were usually swing musicals and needed a big band. This was especially true because Jane Powell had an operetta voice and often recorded the repertoire of Jeanette MacDonald, and was no swing singer by any means. So they brought in Xavier Cugat and his orchestra, as Latin rhythms were becoming increasingly popular by the late 40's. They went even further and brought in Carmen Miranda, who did not play herself (which would have been usual), but proved herself to be sweet and funny in the role of Rosita, the local dance teacher, and had her biggest hit with Cuando La Gusta.
Scotty Beckett, who had been in juvenile roles in MGM films as long as anybody could remember plays her bemused and confused boyfriend Ogden "Oogie" Pringle convincingly. Then there's his sister and Judy's best friend Carol, who is played by Elizabeth Taylor, whose presence is responsible for more interest in this little film than it would ordinarily have. MGM had noticed that she was maturing early into a very beautiful woman, and seemed to want the world to notice this too. This role and her role in Father of the Bride would be breakout roles for her in this respect. As Carol, she looks absolutely amazing and steals the spotlight in almost every scene she's in. However, MGM put so much makeup on her and dressed her in such fashionable clothes that she seems to be from some other movie altogether and not this little high school comedy. At best you'd think she was someone's college age sister.
Then there's Robert Stack. I've never figured out just what he's doing here as the love interest of both Judy and Carol, as he's more than ten years older than them. He plays the nephew of the owner of the local soda fountain who agrees to take Judy to the big dance as a favor to his uncle. Even then he resists taking "a kid" to a dance. Later, he seems to be falling for Carol, and has to tell her that maybe he'll see her "in a few years". All this seems rather awkward when all the studio had to do was use a younger actor. I imagine the studio was out to promote Stack and that's why he got the role.
The rest of the cast is a great bunch of old hands like Wallace Beery,Leon Ames, George Cleveland and Selena Royale. The hit song is It's a Most Unusual Day. Everyone works well together in this one, and it was a huge hit in its day and definitely worth checking out.
I love Musical dancing, singing and this movie was a lot of fun for a 10 yr old child.
The quality was not what we have grown to expect. This was perhaps one notch up from our old video. And while it's not common, we have seen this done before with the occasional DVD that was "home-brewed."
That being said, the story itself still stands as a fun musical with great songs. By today's standard, this may be viewed as corny, but I think you have to keep in mind that this was a different era. To a certain extent, getting a new dress for the dance may have been a teenager's biggest dilemma back in the day. And to a certain extent, some issues are universal in any era- wanting to fit in and be accepted by peers. In the case of "A Date With Judy," the bigger issue centers on boyfriend "Oogie" (played by Scotty Beckett) and maintaining acceptability with older friend "Carol" (played by Elizabeth Taylor.)
"A Date With Judy" presents the typical story "formula" which at times can get a little silly, but the story is punctuated with some great lines and wonderful old songs including the Jimmy McHugh tune, "It's a Most Unusual Day."
And it's absolutely worth the price of admission to see Wallace Beery's character learn how to rhumba. He takes dance lessons from "Miss Rosita," played by Carmen Miranda. And Xavier Cugat drops in as if this sort of thing happens every day.
You got to love a 40s MGM musical.
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