In the Good Old Summertime 1949
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In the Good Old Summertime – a tale of squabbling music-shop clerks who don’t know they’re romantic pen pals – shares a celebrated movie lineage that includes James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in The Shop Around the Corner and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. In between those two, Judy Garland and Van Johnson had mail plus Gold Old tunes evoking an era of straw boaters and silvery moons.
Sparked by Garland’s comedic zest and musical appeal, this confection is “one of the sweetest, most unpretentious entertainments of 1949” (Clive Hirschhorn, The Hollywood Musical). It’s also a nostalgic farewell and a sunny hello. Buster Keaton appears in his final film for the studio he first joined in 1928. And Liza Minnelli, all of 18 months young, makes her debut in the finale.
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This movie is a musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner with Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart.Great movie!
I am not a musical movie fan, and I really liked this movie!!! Judy Garland! Beautiful voice! And Van Johnson was very good in it, too!!!
One of the characters you meet at the end of The Shop Around the Corner, Rudy, sings in this movie with the Quartet!
The next movie with the same story is You've Got Mail, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks! Also a great movie!!!
The story in this version takes place in Chicago IL. at the turn of the century, and is centered around OBerkugen's Music Store, primarily around Christmas time. That is why the title is misleading.
Judy Garland plays Veronica Fisher, a young woman who has fallen in love with a man she corresponds to through the mail. What she doesn't know is that her pen pal is her co worker, Andrew Larkin (Van Johnson), a cocky young saleman,whom she despises. In fact, they spend so much time sparring with each other that after awhile, you begin to wonder how on earth could these two people, who are always getting on each other's nerves, ever have a romantic relationship, let alone fall madly in love with each other...Only in Hollywood
But the movie does redeem itself on many levels. The setting of a music store is the perfect excuse for us to hear Garland stretch those glorious vocal chords of her's, and the characters within the music store are also unforgettable. The supporting cast is superb, with some of the best character actors that MGM had on its roster at the time. Hungarian actor S. K. Sakall, plays Mr Otto Oberkugen, the store's portly and stubborn owner who is engaged to marry his long time lady friend, Nellie Burke (Spring Byington). Silent film comedy legend, Buster Keaton, plays Mr Oberkugen's inept and brow beaten nephew, Mr Hickey, and veteran MGM character actor, Clinton Sundberg, plays Rudy Hanson, who is Andrew Larkin's best friend and voice of reason. Then there is Marcia Van Dyke, who plays Louise Parkson. She's very pretty, and a very talented violinist, but definitely not a convincing actress.
Like Easter Parade, and Meet Me In St Louis, In The Good Old Summertime is a visual treat for the eyes, with colorful sets and period costumes. The songs are great too, and Garland is at the top of her form, even though her life at this point,was in turmoil. She looks absolutely beautiful. The final scene in the film between Garland and Van Johnson was daringly seductive for the year 1949, and is very memorable indeed. Unfortunately, after this film, Judy Garland's health and career would continue their downward spiral. After completing Summer Stock the following year, at age 28, her career at MGM would be over. This is also the last film for Buster Keaton at MGM, a studio he had been with since 1928. In fact, he was originally brought on board just for consultation purposes, but he was eventually offered a part because no one else could properly execute a crucial pratfall that was needed toward the end of the movie.
In the end, some people will like it, and some people won't. But its a pleasant way to pass by a couple of hours. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes MGM musicals, is a Judy Garland fan, a Van Johnson fan, or a Buster Keaton fan.