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Life With Judy Garland: Me & My Shadows

4.5 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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(May 22, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

The remarkable story of Hollywood legend Judy Garland is vividly told in this widely acclaimed film, which features amazing, award-winning portrayals by Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard.
Loved by millions the world over, Judy was the brightest star in Hollywood's Golden Era. Away from the bright lights and brilliant performances, however, her devotion was to her family. But while she loved her children unconditionally, they could only desperately try to hang on to their mother as a powerful dependence on alcohol and prescription drugs consumed her life. Based on the book by Garland's daughter, Lorna Luft, Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows is a deeply moving testament to the healing powers of embracing one's past, facing one's demons and charting a course of self-discovery.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Judy Davis, Victor Garber, Hugh Laurie, Marsha Mason
  • Directors: Robert Allan Akcerman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 188 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AFBXF4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,579 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a pretty favorable treatment of the life of Judy Garland, at least from the standpoint of the role daughter Lorna Luft played in the context of growing up with a mother who became a legend in her own time. Lorna does, after all, narrate this thing, and as a result, you get the feeling that this is going to place herself and her father, Sid Luft, in the best possible light.
What makes this video worthwhile -- enough worth owning -- is that, flaws and all, it is still by far the BEST overall bio-pic available about Judy Garland. The firestorm of moods is all on display here, particularly with Judy Davis' spectacular (with a capital "S") performance covering Judy's post-adolescent years.
The music is incredible, the lip-synching is flawless and the re-creations are bulletproof to criticism. My aggravations associated with the near invisibility of daughter Liza Minnelli in her mother's life (she did tour with her didn't she? Sang with her, didn't she? But there's very little evidence of it here other than the notion that Liza was more career-focused and by implication, more selfish, compared to beloved daughter Lorna) -- were far outweighed by the sheer hypnotic delivery of the songs by both Tammy Blanchard and Judy Davis.
No one had a voice like Judy's, a true original, and thankfully for fans and non-fans alike, there's enough here that is jammed-packed great to make you overlook the "transitions" that act as bridges between songs. Certainly, you get the impression that Lorna's father, Sid Luft, was Judy's true love. Whether it was or not, this is Lorna's view, and the magnificent actor Victor Garber certainly makes a dashing and strong case on her behalf playing Mr. Luft.
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Format: DVD
Arguably the single greatest talent to emerge from golden-era Hollywood, Judy Garland continues to fascinate us even more than four decades after her untimely death. As a singer, she was incomparable; as an actress, she was exceptional; as a star, she was perhaps the most brilliant celebrity of her generation. But behind the brillance there was a deeply troubled woman who began her career as a child in the hands of a driven mother and an all-powerful studio, who raced through five husbands, who fought a losing battle with chemical dependency throughout most of her life, and who self-destructed time and time again--only to arise, phoenix-like, from her own ashes over and over again. It was an extraordinary life.

So it should come as no surprise, really, that this three-hour television falls a bit short. Realistically, it would take a talent of Garland's own scope to bring her fully to the screen. But what the film does right, it does extremely, extremely well--and the centerpieces of the film are the remarkable performances of Tammy Blanchard and Judy Davis. Both give extraordinary performances. That said, however, both performances are flawed due to the age of the actresses. Blanchard, who plays the teenage Garland, is clearly too old to be thirteen-ish when the film begins; Davis, who plays Garland from her twenties until her death, is clearly too old to be Garland in her twenties.

But so exceptional are the performances that these are actually minor quibbles. When made up for the role and placed in period attire, both Blanchard and Davis have the look to an absolutely uncanny degree.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just in time for the 90th Anniversary of Judy Garland's Birthday (she was born Francis Gumm on June 10, 1922), Echo Bridge has re-released this superior TV biopic from 2001. It was originally broadcast as a special "Two Night Event." Echo Bridge also divides the movie into two parts. I actually prefer the original DVD release; which was edited as one movie that ran 2 hours, 50 min. The Echo Bridge release runs 188 minutes-- that's 18 additional minutes in two parts. Some may appreciate this, feeling the need for an intermission in Judy Garland's roller-coaster life story. If so, a good intermission is provided around 94 minutes-- the end of Part One. Others have commented the picture quality is terrible; or badly formatted. I had absolutely NO trouble seeing the picture on my old 35 inch screen. It looks fine to me. So I don't know what to say about those who are seeing a bad, or badly formatted, quality picture.
Robert L. Freedman's teleplay gives Judy Garland's extraordinary life story the epic treatment she deserves. Robert Allen Ackerman's direction is solid throughout. Tammy Blanchard (young Judy) and Judy Davis (adult Judy) give mesmerizing, deservedly award-winning performances. The only real mistake the biopic makes is switching the two actresses much too soon. Blanchard plays Judy from 1935-1943. Davis takes over from 1944 (when Garland made "Meet Me In St. Louis") until her death in 1969. Blanchard should have played Judy through 1949-1950, with Davis taking over the role after Judy left MGM. Blanchard/Davis offer a clear, well-rounded, extremely compassionate portrayal of Judy; the most talented entertainer of the 20th Century, who struggled with countless personal and psychological demons away from the spotlight.
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