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Meet Me In St. Louis (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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There's a lot of material on the second disc as well. The 30-minute making-of from 1994 is solid and informative, the 1972 hourlong history of MGM is a little unfocused but has some great clips, and "Becoming Attractions" (1996) is a 45-minute look at how Judy Garland was marketed through the movie trailers of the time. You can also see a very young Garland appearing with the other Gumm sisters in a 1930 short, and hear an audio-only version of her "Boys and Girls Like You and Me," a lovely Rodgers and Hammerstein tune cut from Meet Me in St. Louis. A 1946 radio adaptation that includes Garland, O'Brien, and Tom Drake proves surprisingly listenable, and much more entertaining than the charmless pilot of a proposed 1966 TV series. But it's all icing on the cake, really, compared to the satisfaction of finally having Garland's glorious performances of "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on DVD. --David Horiuchi
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Given its stature, it is ironic that both MGM and Judy Garland originally fought the project. Based on a collection of autobiographical stories by Sally Benson, the script is little more than a series of domestic adventures in the lives of the Smith family of 1903 St. Louis. But it became a thing of wonder: a careful balance of sly but gentle humor, a collection of memorable performances, an understated score shorn of the usual movie-musical affectations, and at the center of it all Judy Garland, one of Hollywood's most memorable talents.
The transfer is excellent, capturing every nuance of the film's meticulously and beautifully designed sets in full Technicolor; the sound elements, remastered in Dolby 5.1, are equally fine and Garland's unique vocal skills are undimmed by time. All in all, it seems safe to say that not even the original 1944 theatrical release could surpass the quality of picture and sound offered here.
Although the bonus package would have better without the awful pilot for a failed television series based on the film, by and large it offers a superior collection. Previously available on VHS, the Roddy McDowell-narrated "making of" documentary is worth revisiting, as is the TCM-produced "Becoming Attractions.Read more ›
Esther Smith (Garland) is in love with "The Boy Next Door", and when she discovers that the Worlds Fair is coming to her town, everyone in St Louis is thrilled.
Her enchantment only grows when she discovers the feeling of love is mutual, but when her father announces that the family is moving to New York, the romance could be finished before it even began...
Margaret O'Brien steals every scene she's in as Esther's little sister Tootie, while the supporting cast, led by Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor and Leon Ames is first-rate.
Initially more popular at the box-office than THE WIZARD OF OZ, the evergreen MEET ME IN ST LOUIS continues to be loved by generations of movie-lovers.
My 6 year old daughter is hooked on it too now (and I guess that's about the age when I first saw it) and we often watch it together for a treat. I have watched it countless times and am always happy to watch it again.
Meet Me in St. Louis is essentially a "pastoral" musical that celebrates the values of small town America, a popular theme in MGM musicals, especially those directed by Minelli. The so-called delights of the big metropolis New York are exposed as undesirable and compared unfavorably with the simple "purer" family life of St. Louis - which is a big city too but "doesn't seem big, out here where we live".
But it is not just a chocolate box movie, in spite of the beautiful music, romantic theme and gorgeous costumes and photography. Of course it is full of great musical set pieces - such as The Trolley Song and Skip to My Lou - but it has many "dark episodes" as well. The best is when Vincente Minelli borrows very sucessfully from the horror genre for the Halloween scene, and the dark disturbing scene when the snow people are decapitated by Tudy who would rather destroy them rather than leave them behind for strangers. Also, I'm not sure what the two nuns at the Fair mean in the final scenes, but I'm sure they are significant because the camera focuses on them rather than the lead characters who are actually talking in that scene. Maybe I'll need to watch it a few hundred times more to decide.
Garland gives generously to her costar, Margaret O'Brien, a sort of Shirley Temple for the forties, who is nothing short of brilliant as the morbid youngest daughter Tootie, with the fascination for "dead" dolls. Her Halloween scene is remarkable and hilarious. The minimalist plot--Will Dad take the job in New York? Will Esther marry the boy next door, John Truitt? Will Rose wind up an old maid, like Katie?--never gets in the way of the lavish staging of the musical numbers. "The Trolley Song" is like a great music video, and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is still a standard. Great for the Holidays or any day, this movie is always sure to bring a smile. Watch for a very young June Lockhart ("Timmy and Lassie", "Lost in Space")as Lucille Ballard, the much-maligned New York socialite.
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Some girl wanted me to buy it to watch it together. It was a terrible movie waste of money.Published 1 month ago by Waldo Calrisian
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