Frankly, My Dear, Search This Blog

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Movie Review: "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944)

I'm not dead, promise. I know, I missed the review last Sunday, and I'm terribly terribly sorry as usual. But I assure you now that I'm done and graduated, and on summer vacation, I'm going to be spamming you with posts; I'll probably even revert to my two posts a week schedule. Thank you thank you for not unfollowing me or anything :)

I've seen a lot of great movies lately but for this Sunday I have chosen a movie I actually saw (for the first time, anyway) a few years ago: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). The reason for this is because today is Judy Garland's 90th birthday! Though not a *favorite favorite* of mine, she was definitely a fabulous actress, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and a lady I happen to adore. (Plus, that VOICE!).

So here we go. (And excuse me if this review is even weaker than usual, I haven't seen this movie in like half a year so I had to jog my memory and such).


MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944): Cast, plot details

In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.
[from IMdb]

  • Judy Garland as Esther Smith
  • Margaret O'Brian as Tootie Smith
  • Mary Astor as Anna Smith
  • Lucille Bremer as Rose Smith

A sweet coming of age film about a St. Louis family at the turn of the century, led by Judy Garland in a  wonderful performance and filled with great music

This might very well be my favorite Judy Garland movie (because I'm dumb and haven't seen A Star is Born, though don't worry, I'm not so stupid to have not seen The Wizard of Oz - but I *do* like this movie better, still). The thing about me and musicals is that if I were employed at MGM in the 40's, chances are I wouldn't be hanging around the Arthur Freed unit as much. But when I do like a musical, I really love it, thus resulting in several being some of my favorite films (like Singin in the Rain and The Sound of Music).

Though Meet Me in St. Louis isn't one of my all-time favorite films, it's still a musical that I happen to adore. Maybe the number one reason is Judy Garland because was anyone woman ever so built for a musical? 

Anyway, seeing it's Judy's 90th, I guess it would be fitting to focus on her for this review. The music in this film is some of my favorite and I know a great deal of the songs lyric for lyric. Most of my favorites are, appropriately, sung by Judy. Besides the film's title song, which is quite obvious ("Meet me - in St. Louie - meet me at the fair - we can dance the hoochie coochie - and you can be my tootsie wootsie!"), I absolutely adore The Trolley Song! I remember watching some TCM segment about this in which someone was talking about someone in charge of this film's production insisting there be a song about a trolley in the movie, and so this was the result. 

Another scene from this movie that I always remember is Judy and Margaret O'Brien singing Under the Bamboo Tree, or the one that goes like, If you like a me, like I like a you, then you like a me too... or something like that... Anyway, you can watch it here. Absolutely adorable scene I think. And this isn't to forget Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; though the song wasn't written for this movie, I believe, this is my favorite version of it. And last but not least, The Boy Next Door, which also contains some absolutely gorgeous closeup shots of Judy and her fantastical red hair which POPS in the Technicolor.

The music aside, I of course love her performance in this movie. This film is very much a character study of the Smith family in 1910s St. Louis and in the months they spend preparing for the World Fair, and I enjoyed watching the growth of Judy's Esther character throughout the film. I especially love all the spunky things she does in this movie.

Judy, Judy, Judy is all I've talked about so far so I will pause and talk a little bit more about the rest of the film. Maragaret O'Brien is one of my favorite child actresses. Annoying to some perhaps but I always liked her performances. This is a good example. I always remember the scene right before her cake walk dance with Judy where she sings to the group of adults, "I was drunk last night, dear mother!" and how she causes the Halloween fiasco scene. So yes, she is one of my favorite things about this movie, even though she goes all abominable and kills all the snowmen after Judy sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

It should also be added that Lucille Bremer (who danced with Fred Astaire in Ziegfield Follies) and Mary Astor are wonderful as the sister and mother. Marjorie Main makes an appearance as the maid. This is a feel good sort of movie and everything about it just makes it the kind of movie you would want to watch over and over.


  • Judy Garland recorded The Trolley Song in one take (no surprise there!)
  • Judy and Vincente Minnelli met for the first time on the set of this movie, and would later marry. Judy said it was because she felt extremely beautiful during the filming of this movie. It shows on screen.
  • Van Johnson was originally cast as the male lead across Judy.



Writing this review has really made me want to see this movie again, and lucky for me they're showing it later today on TCM as part of Judy's birthday celebration, so... if you haven't seen it yet, go watch it!

Happy 90th Birthday, Judy! :)




Dani said...

Hey, nice to hear from you! I thought maybe you hadn't survived your graduation :)
I love this movie, too and the songs really are fantastic. Judy is an actress I admire very much and I think she's even more impressive as a singer. And I like "Meet me in St. Louis" better than "The Wizard of Oz", too.
Well, I'm looking forward to being bombarded with your posts. Hope you have a lovely Summer vacation and an even lovelier time stepping into this new part of your life. (You did graduate high school, right?)

Rianna said...

Haha, yes, I did indeed manage to survive! Thanks so much for all the warm wishes, I could use them because yes, things are going to be different! And I've mentioned this before, but thanks for all your awesome comments and stuff. I love getting your opinions on things :)

I agree with you, Judy is very impressive as an actress but even more so as a singer, which is why I list her as one of my favorite singers more often than as one of my favorite actresses. And yes, "The Wizard of Oz" was nice, but I do prefer this film.

I'm glad you're looking forward to it, because I really am going to try to stick to that promise. I have my favorite filmmakers series to finish and a lot of birthdays etc. during the summer so hopefully I should be posting wayyy more often! :D

LĂȘ said...

First, congratulations for your graduation. If your high school years weren't paradise, I hope everything to get better and better from now on.
Then, it's nice because a whole Meet me in St. Louis freak took place yesterday: my mom and I commented about it and it was shown here in Brazil too. When i saw it I was sick and didn't go to school, so that was how I enjoyed my free time. But the TV suddenly cut the end, and I had to wait like 8 months to know what happened...
anyway, the review was great, as Judy's performances always were.

Irene Palfy said...

Well.. yes.. I agree on that film, too. Just love it.. Also adore Judy Garland. She had such a talent for comedy - as far as I know she really was a good sport and known for being funny - also "in private". :")

Oh - and: of course - also congratulations to you for graduation! :")

Rianna said...

Thank you! :)

Wow, that's awful about you having to wait so long to see the ending! It would be especially terrible if it cut right at the Christmas scene, you know, before we know that the Smiths are staying in St. Louis. Anyhow, I'm glad you enjoyed the review and I agree, wasn't Judy Garland just a wonderful entertainer? A real legend!

By the way - I tried the Kate Hepburn brownie recipe, and we enjoyed it! But I didn't have enough sugar, so I'm going to remake them properly and hopefully do a blog post on it. Thanks for the recipe!!

Rianna said...

Yes, I once remember my queen (Lucy ;D) saying something about how Judy was always the real funny one at parties. Such a talented lady, it's unfortunate that her life was often unhappy at times and it ended so short. Still, isn't it commendable she still managed to have such a great personality? I really hope to read up on her soon. And thanks! :)

Kate Gorman said...


Meet Me In St. Louis is one of my favourite MGM musicals. I love all the seasons, especially, Autumn and Winter. I love the Halloween scene and the Christmas dance scene. Love all the songs, 'Have Yourself A Merry Christmas.' is lovely and Judy Garland had an amazing voice! I watch this film every Christmas Eve and it makes me feel warm and cosy!

Rianna said...

This movie would definitely be in my Top 10 Musicals. The Halloween and Christmas scenes are some of my favorites as well. The songs are wonderful, Judy Garland's voice is one of my all-time favorites. I know what you mean; I can rely on this movie to cheer me up and feel warm and wonderful, like Christmas movies always do. Christmas movies make you feel safe. Thanks for your comment & follow! :)

Post a Comment

I love getting comments and appreciate them so much. Comments don't require moderator's approval but I will remove your comment if it is spam or offensive. Thank you.