I just turned on "Meet Me in St. Louis" and it was the Trolley Song scene
Was it some kind of gay universal karma at work?\
Also, did Judy Garland''s character actually think those blue gloves went with a tartan plaid skirt?
Funny...I did the same thing.
The gloves and skirt were a nice juxtaposition for Technicolor.
[quote]Also, did Judy Garland''s character actually think those blue gloves went with a tartan plaid skirt?\
Have you ever seen a homeless drunkard''s attire?
>>>You''re a dumb-ass, [r3]
Tom Drake is dreamy. I understand Judy ravished him the very first day they met on the set, but it didn''t pan out, thus Vincente. It''s so unfair that Drake went on to become the neglected "other man", and quite an alcoholic, to some other gay star.
Well now I feel rotten I started my own thread without looking thoroughly! Can someone tell me the name for that thing Judy is wearing around her head and then unbuttons and removes while she sings HYAMLC? Thanks!
I was once having a terrible nightmare and woke up with a start, and I put on the TV to get my mind off the dream and it was right as the trolley song was about to begin. It must have been the work of my gay guardian angel.
When little Margaret O''Brien takes a baseball bat to all the snowmen in the backyard that has to be one of the Top 5 most hilarious moments in cinema.
That entire scene was filmed in one take.
It looked like a sequined headscarf to me, R6
It''s really just a beaded scarf with a button at the chin, don''t know if there''s a real name fo it, R6. I think those are glass beads (maybe crystal).%0D\
Sure is a pretty thing.
When Judy was lucid, she was able to film even complex scenes in one take. I believe "Get Happy" was also an example of this.
It''s called a "fascinator", r6.
I wish Liza would reprise her mother''s role as Esther in a musical update of what became of the family.
r8 that scene is cinema gold
Tootie is one twisted pup in that film. She nearly dies from overexcitement during the Halloween sequence. She kills off her dolls. She lies her head off. And then she goes beserk with the snowmen, who never did her any harm. I''m thinking Esther slipped her a mickey while she sang "HYAMLC."
R12 "Get Happy" is no where near one take. There are cuts all the way through it. Chuck Walters wasn''t good enough to film anything that way.\
Minnelli, on the other hand, was phenomenal with a camera boom. Judy''s Madame Crematante ("Great Lady has an Interview") from Ziegfeld Follies is the ultimate. It''s about 10 minutes long with only six edits in the entire thing, and NONE after Judy starts her rap/song. Every change in visual perspective during the number is due to Minnelli''s camera movement.
The costumes for the film were designed by the great (and gay!) Irene Sharaff who was not only a major contributor to The Freed Unit at MGM (including An American in Paris) but also designed both the Broadway and film versions of West Side Story, The King and I and Funny Girl as well as Elizabeth Taylor''s Cleopatra and Who''s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?%0D\
So I wouldn''t question any of her decisons on Meet Me in Saint Louis, OP.%0D\
Irene Sharaff was NOT the same Irene who was credited by just her first name and was head of the Wardrobe Dept. at MGM but tended to design more mundane fare (and was straight and committed suicide).
Vincente filmed her in "frames" for the entire movie. Window frames, door frames. The cinematography was a valentine to Judy in this movie. Minnelli made her look beautiful for the first time on film (according to her and she did really never look better except, perhaps, in The Clock OR Presenting Lily Mars).
Esther Smith chose those gloves and that skirt, r18, not some nobody named Irene Sharaff. I don''t even remember a character named Irene in the movie at all, unless you''re talking about the frau in the chartruse coat with pink buttons who is always lurking around in that scene.
"I''m thinking Esther slipped her a mickey while she sang "HYAMLC.""\
It''s not as though Judy wasn''t carrying.
during Trolley Song, there is a hot to death cute gay boy behind Judy in a few shots.....forget about the boy next door, how can I ignore HIM?
In spite of Vincente Minnelli''s and Arhtur Freed''s adoration of Irene Sharaff, Louis B Mayer hated the scrupulous period detail in her costuming and often insisted she glamorize his leading ladies at the cost of historic reality. So Judy''s clothes are actually far more theatricalized than Mary Astor''s and some of the other ladies in the film.
r18, yakking away.
Judy was sewing her pills into the hems of her costumes in this movie.
R22, you beat me to it...a "fascinator" must have feathers involved, and you showed a perfect example of one...Aunt Eller has a line in "Oklahoma!" when, with the prospect of all those hunky cowmen and farmers at the box social that night, replys "I think I''ll wear my fascinator!" while rolling her eyes....\
As far as Irene, the costume designer in Hollywood goes, she was married to Cedric Gibbons, the MGM Art Director, and had a wonderful career...one afternoon she laid out all her sketches around their apartment, left a note saying "find someone good to design" and jumped out the window.....\
Horray for Hollywood....
Janet''s husband Adrian
r25 is correct. A perfect example of this is the simple, elegant red velvet gown that Esther wears at the dance. No adornments, no fru fru, no rick rack, no lace, no sequins. SIMPLE. NOT period appropriate, either. Ballgowns at the turn of the century were gathered, flounced, adorned and much "busier" than Judy''s gown. The costume is a simple thing that probably no one other than a costume designer or one interested in period/Hollywood costume would notice.
Sorry 22 and 27, but that is a modern day version of a fascinator. In Victorian and Edwardian times a fascinator was a knitted head scarf that generally fastened in front. There are hundreds of patterns from Victorian publications for ladies to make these themselves. \
Google "fascinator scarf" and you should get some hits showing these.
Had to see what you poofs were on about.\
Here is a picture of a facscinator, and a little bit of history. Seems R29 is correct.
Poor, cute Tom Drake. He had to please the druggie, pushy, needy leading lady by sleeping with her.\
And you know Judy had one of the hairiest pussies in Hollywood. How awkward for a gay man to have to pretend to be interested in that. \
Well, unless he was her husband, of course . . .
How do we know she had one of the hairiest pussies in Hollywood?%0D\
R32: Don''t ask for things that will terrorize you until the day you die.
[quote]When little Margaret O''Brien takes a baseball bat to all the snowmen in the backyard that has to be one of the Top 5 most hilarious moments in cinema.\
Margaret O''Brien comes dangerously close to stealing the show from Garland. Close, I said. But no cigar, of course.
Interesting info about those knitted fascinators but I would have thought that all that woolen yarn on one''s hair would kill the shape of any pretty hairdo. Thank goodness for the invention of the nylon kerchief!
R34, I don''t think she comes close to stealing it because she comes across like a trained animal, i.e. interesting for a trick now and then but, in terms of emotional impact, not nearly as powerful, for example, as Judy singing the shit out of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
That woolen yarn was pretty light, actually. They would have used what''s called "fingering weight" yarn. Also, Victorians used oils and what we would consider hair gels to set those creations in place to the point where a gale force wind wouldn''t dislodge so much as a hair. Google "pomade".
r13/29, historical costumer for 45 years
Did Esther''s brother Lon get it on with the boy next door? They would have made a cute couple.
Great point about Judy''s ball gown, r25. But since that is one of my favorite movie costumes of all time, I can''t argue with Sharaff/Minnelli/Mayer''s decision to bypass historical reality in favor of a stunning, timeless dress.
"I understand Judy ravished him the very first day they met on the set, but it didn''t pan out."%0D\
I doubt seriously that Judy "ravished him the very first day they met on the set." They supposedly dated, but briefly. And of course "it didn''t pan out." Drake was gay as a goose. So was Minnelli, but Drake obviously had the good sense not to get seriously involved with the pill-poppin'' Judy.
Didn''t Sharaff also design Streisand''s "Hello Dolly" costumes? I loved the "Parade Passes By" purple dress --
I read that Judy and Drake tried to have sex on the first day they met but Drake was unable to rise to occasion and a miffed Judy gave him the cold shoulder throughout the rest of the shoot. Drake was already known as a heavy drinker and was known for the spectacles he''d make of himself at parties. I really think he tried to have successful intercourse with Judy. Poor guy.
I think Judy eventually forgave him because they supposedly reunited on one of her tv shows.
Drake was a talented actor. Cute and sexy with a deep rich whiskey voice. He appeared sad and almost embarrassed at the 1974 That's Entertainment premiere, though, all those years later. I guess it's because he was an alcoholic and gay and his career never went where the other "big" stars went who were there. He never had much sustained high profile success in films or television. Then again, neither did some of the others who were there, either, other than their MGM work. For many performers, that was the pinnacle of their careers.%0D
I remember seeing the footage of that reunion photo they took of everyone as they walked out on the stage and took their place for the shot. They had to coax Drake to come up out of the audience, as if he didn't think he belonged up there. Hell, Drake is part of MGM's permanent history if ONLY for the boy next door. He was in a lot of films and even co-starred with Mickey Rooney in Words and Music. He BELONGED there. It was rather poignant to see him be so reticent about getting up there with the others.
Irene Sharaff did indeed design Streisand''s costumes for Hello, Dolly. I believe she''s credited as designing all the costumes but actually only did the star''s, which to me, at least, is very obvious.
I''ll have Warren Sheffield, please. Oh that dark, wavy hair...
I love the take on the film in the book [italic]1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die[/italic] - and it sort of bounces off what R16 joked about above. Here's a couple of passages from the book . . .%0D
"Vincente Minnelli's [italic]Meet Me in St. Louis[/italic] is one of the most unusual and highly charged musicals in Hollywood history. It blends the two genres at which Minnelli was most adept - musical and melodrama - and even, in its darkest moments (such as a sequence devoted to Halloween terrors), edges toward being a horror movie. It is also a film that, then as now, offers itself up to be read in starkly contrasting ways: either as a perfectly innocent and naive celebration of traditional values, or else a brooding meditation on everything that tears the family unit apart from within. Put another way: Is it comforting 'safety valve' entertainment that admits to just enough that is problematic in order to smooth out and reinforce the status quo, or is it - almost despite itself - a subversive gesture at the heart of the Hollywood system, a howl of unrepressed rage like Tootie's slaughter of imaginary snow people?"%0D
"Beneath the elegant display of filmic style and the civilized veneer of manners, it is only Tootie who can express emotions that are savage and untamed - as her 'exotica' duet with Judy, 'Under the Bamboo Tree,' jovially indicates."
If you like-a me%0D\
Like I like-a you%0D\
And we like-a both the same....
Under the bamboo tree!
Plus the audience knew that the family would probably lose someone in WWI, the 1918 flu epidemic, then in 20 years the family would be hit by the Great Depression and then WWII.
I always hated the fact that Tootie was considered to be just a lively, mischievious child when it was obvious she was just plain nuts. Her psychotic breakdown towards the end of the movie where she beheads the snow people in the yard (who represent her family!) is ghastly, and those guttural, animalistic noises she makes while Esther is trying to calm her down sound like something you''d hear in the "criminally insane" section of a lunatic asylum.
[quote]And you know Judy had one of the hairiest pussies in Hollywood.\
r47, that description is why the movie is classic and timeless, despite the time period in which it occurs. It touches on deep psychological and all too human aspects of behavior that are ever present. The happy family facade (or ANY facade) and what lies beneath. The fact that the characters (like Tootie''s scary outbursts) are all dolled up in a Valentine of Technicolor and flouncy turn- of-the-century costumes makes it all the more effective and always just a tad unsettling. That, plus what we know of Judy''s turbulent personal life and how UNlike Esther Smith she "really" was make it for fascinating viewing.
You must also see the film in the context of the time it was made: 1944, the darkest and scariest year of World War II, when Allied victory seemed almost impossible. That the film brought audience''s back to a nostalgic, gorgeous and carefree time in American history (albeit earlier than many of them personally experienced) cannot be denied for its huge success.
It''s remarkable that MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is only Garland''s third feature film appearance in Technicolor after OZ and the awful AS THOUSANDS CHEER.%0D\
I wonder whether ZIEGFELD GIRL was intended to be in color.
I didn''t notice the gloves and skirt. I was too busy looking with horror at Miss Garland''s hideous hair. It''s square.
Her hair actually looks sticky in that scene. In most of the movie she''s lovely, but not in that scene. I don''t understand the gloves, either. Even the fabric is wrong.\
I live in St. Louis and when they were tearing the real house on Kensington Place down I drove over to take a brick. It was night and the neighbor came out to yell at me. All I could find was a broken one, but it''s in my office. The house, of course, wasn''t grand like the one in the movie. \
The neighbor part was very funny, because of the "Boy Next Door" aspect. He was old, fat and seemed to lack most of his teeth by the slurring of his words. I explained what I was doing but he was too drunk to get it.
Tom Drake was gay, you know.
OP, saying "tartan plaid" is like saying "sherry wine" or "pancetta ham". Pick one word and stick with it.
Well, you queens could play all you want with Esther''s fascinator if you had this:
One of my favorite details is the consistency of the ice cream everyone is eating after the big dinner table fight scene. I imagine homemade ice cream never got as rock solid as the ice cream in industrial freezers gets today. Look at everyone''s ice cream, it''s more than a bit soupy, like ice cream you might churn at home....or maybe it was just the hot lights.
I''m the only one in the world who doesn''t like this movie. I''d rather watch Judy in The Clock or A Star is Born.
Ice cream was simulated with mashed potatoes and food coloring in olden movies. We covered this in another thread.
Irene Sharaff''s golden yard stick
Tom Drake died of pneumonia at age 64 in 1982. Was it AIDS related?
Minelli was such a master. I watched "Father of the Bride" and "Some Came Running" last week, and they''re both beautifully made. Odd that "On a Clear Day" was such dreck.
IMDB says he died of lung cancer.
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With my high-starched collar, and my high-topped shoes%0D
And my hair piled high upon my head%0D
I went to lose a jolly hour on the Trolley and lost my heart instead. %0D
With his light brown derby and his bright green tie%0D
He was quite the handsomest of men%0D
I started to yen, so I counted to ten then I counted to ten again%0D
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley%0D
Ding, ding, ding went the bell%0D
Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings%0D
From the moment I saw him I fell%0D
Chug, chug, chug went the motor%0D
Bump, bump, bump went the brake%0D
Thump, thump, thump went my heartstrings%0D
When he smiled I could feel the car shake%0D
He tipped his hat, and took a seat%0D
He said he hoped he hadn't stepped upon my feet%0D
He asked my name, I held my breath%0D
I couldn't speak because he scared me half to death%0D
Chug, chug, chug went the motor%0D
Plop, plop, plop went the wheels%0D
Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings%0D
As he started to go then I started to know how it feels%0D
When the universe reels%0D
The day was bright, the air was sweet%0D
The smell of honeysuckle charmed you off your feet%0D
You tried to sing, but couldn't squeaks%0D
In fact, you loved him so you couldn't even speak%0D
Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer%0D
Plop, plop, plop went the wheels%0D
Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings%0D
As he started to leave I took hold of his sleeve with my hand%0D
And as if it were planned he stayed on with me%0D
And it was grand just to stand with his hand holding mine%0D
To the end of the line
spam button for r66
They ran an old interview of Hugh Martin after he died. He said that the costume for the Trolley Song inspired some of the lyrics. \
She was fantastic and that movie and I think most of the musical numbers in those days were so well done. Usually in only a few takes with very little cutting, which required the performers to be fantastic. Also, frequently shot head to toe. \
Unlike today''s chop chop chop musical numbers which are an easy way to hide that the actor isn''t can''t sing or dance more than 2 seconds at a time.
Except that Esther isn''t wearing a high-starched collar and her hair isn''t piled high upon her head. Can''t vouch for the high-topped shoes, one way or the other, however.
There was a Trollish scene in Meet Me in St Louis?
I hated Hollywood movies that were trying to be set in a certain period. Even if it was set in medieval times they still had those 40-50''s hairstyles. Totally incongruous.
Sharaff was an amazing designer, she did Barbra''s costumes for Funny Girl to. Her girlfriend was a chinese princess and they had an amazing apartment in NY\
Judy''s wig was by Sydney Guillarof, he was the king of hair at MGM. Judy said the wig was so tight it made her head bleed!
Judy was a horror show for Meet Me in St. Louis. She was hardly ever on-set and jumping out of her skin through most of the numbers.%0D\
It''s not one of her better movies.
R73, post again when your meds kick in. "Not one of her better movies." "Hardly ever on set."%0D\
R71, the worst example is June Allyson singing "Thou Swell" surrounded by two brylcreemed men dancing in medieval costumes.
"Not one of her better movies"! Are you kidding!? This movie was wonderful all the way through! I loved every min of it. I also loved loved loved The Harvey Girls! I could watch and listen to Judy Garland all day every day. I have those movies and my granddaughters (3,6,9 and 13) have seen them over and over again. They ask me if they can watch them every time they come over.
Was thinking about this movie earlier. Thanks for the reminder.
It's gonna be my last ditch effort to get in the holiday spirit.
Shit, it's not stream-able.
I think Tootie was meant to add an element of what used to be known as "black comedy" to the story so that it wouldn't come off as being too saccharine and nostalgic and goody-goody. Remember this was the era of Charles Addams and "Arsenic and Old Lace."
Yes, Tootie is a VERY troubled child. The most amazing moment in the film is when she tries to derail a trolley full of people as a "prank," and then is only mildly scolded by her family. Talk about "the bad seed!"
It's when I read threads like this, I think: "My people!"
Thank you for being you, Datalounge.
Odd. MMiSL shows how a family stays together, not how it falls apart.
The way they rally behind Rose when her dud of a call from New York finally comes through. Everyone doctoring the ketchup. The parents singing "You and I" (led by the Mother) while the family wanders back down the stairs after Father's devastating announcement about being moved.
So many examples of how the family can heal and survive the worst that fate has to offer.
Yeah, it's corny, but it's true.
I mean, "To me, MMiSL shows how..."
A lot of the musical numbers in those days were done in one long take or with only a few cuts. They were rehearsed for weeks and even the big numbers with lots of people in them were done with few cutaways. Judy was a brilliant performer when she was on.
For those who are obsessed, check out the EASTER PARADE DVD extras. They show multiple takes of a number that was cut from the movie. You can see how Judy was able to consistently deliver a spot on performance and hit all her marks on take after take.
[quote]So many examples of how the family can heal and survive the worst that fate has to offer.
That and the Tootie aspect.
I actually found the movie quite progressive.
The original author was the Agnes character. Most of her adventures in the book are taken away from her and re-assigned to Tootie in the film. Intentional or not it's kind of a neat touch that the writer in the family is the observer, not the primary participant in most of the action.
The real Smith actually ended up moving to NYC. They never did return to St. Louis not even to see the World's Fair which opened after they left.
p.s. The ice cream isn't homemade. Rose carries it home in a cardboard carton when she accepts a ride from Colonel Darly.
I never get bored re-watching this film. It is warm, beautiful, charming, funny, and every visual detail adds to the story. It's either your kind of thing, or it isn't, but it's expertly done.
Minnelli is such a master director. I can watch a piece of piffle like "Father of the Bride" over and over again and still be amazed at all the shadings of feelings he managed to convey in a big commercial movie.
Even if you're putzing around the house and it's background sound, the script is many times better than what passes for comedy today, with some pretty funny lines.
"And it only takes one."
"Here comes the invalid."
'There's your cat."
"Personally, I wouldn't marry a man who proposed to me over an invention."
"Agnes, if I forget to remind Papa, you remind me."
It's been a long time since I've seen this movie...who was psychotic little Tootie referring to when she said, and repeated, "he tried to kill me!" Was it Tom Drake? I remember Esther physically attacking him for doing something to poor little Tootie and then finding out that poor little Tootie had lied through her teeth. Esther must be pretty damn stupid if she believed the deranged Tootie. Despite being kicked and punched and scratched by the enraged Esther, the Tom Drake character nonetheless falls in love with her. How implausible can this movie get? What man would fall in love with a woman who acted that way, or marry a woman who is so mentally unstable? Not to mention her crazy little sister! Obviously mental illness ran in that family. I'm surprised the Boy Next Door didn't move far, far away from his crazy neighbors.
Damn, Judy was absolutely gorgeous, wasn't she?
Was MMISL supposed to be Judy's first breakthrough adult role. Were the stakes high? Did she show them all? And what was her follow up?
Did the Trolley Song land on the "charts" or hit parade? Did it peak @ #1?
R91, "The Trolley Song" officially peaked at #3, with a bullet. That pleased Tootie, who remarked, with an evil gleam in her eye, "Oooooh. A bullet!"
Would Tootie's official diagnosis be sociopath or psychopath?
Did Rose have borderline personality disorder?
Did Liza know her father was gay when she was very young, well...old enough to understand what gay was but still a young girl?
There is no doubt he did at least once with Judy since Liza looks more like him than like her mom. I don't think they knew how to conceive kids any way but just doing it back in those days.
There's nothing but rumor that Vincente Minnelli ever had any homosex. If you read up about him he comes off as more the class nerd, the one endlessly teased.
This is a brilliant and hilarious thread. Thanks everyone!
I've been obsessed for years about the way Garland doesn't blink while she's singing. Or rather, she times her blinks to go with the phrasing of the lyric, which i guess reinforces the sense of long phrase and intimacy. She totally controls the image that the camera captures in close up. Someone had to have taught her that, but who? Watch HYAMLC - it's kind of a little freaky once you see it.
Also - try to do it yourself. It's really hard!
Wasn't Kay Thompson coaching Judy at MGM at this point in her career?
It should also be mentioned in this thread that Arthur Freed's mistress Lucile Bremer played older sister to Judy in MMISL and Judy didn't much care for her.
Arhtur Freed's Unit
r97: Alice Faye does the same thing.
I know I'll get viciously bitch slapped but I hate musicals especially the old ones. So goody two shoes and cornball.
[quote]I've been obsessed for years about the way Garland doesn't blink while she's singing...Also - try to do it yourself. It's really hard!
[quote]I remember seeing the footage of that reunion photo they took of everyone as they walked out on the stage and took their place for the shot. They had to coax Drake to come up out of the audience, as if he didn't think he belonged up there. Hell, Drake is part of MGM's permanent history if ONLY for the boy next door. He was in a lot of films and even co-starred with Mickey Rooney in Words and Music. He BELONGED there. It was rather poignant to see him be so reticent about getting up there with the others.[/quote]
It was Keenan Wynn they had to drag out of the audience.
Is Little Tootie supposed to be some sort of serial-killer-in-utero in this film? I find her violent acts of aggression (especially toward the snow family) really disturbing.
People - the snow family is made of SNOW.
Let's get a grip, shall we? Haven't you ever known any kids?
They get upset and do things.
Violent, psychotic things!
Judy apparently refused to sing the original lyrics to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas which went sonmething like:
It may be your last
Christmas is in the past
the dark days of 1944
"People - the snow family is made of SNOW.
Let's get a grip, shall we? Haven't you ever known any kids?
They get upset and do things."
In Tootie's case, it was a little more than getting "upset." She was a pathological liar, had an obsession with death and her "pranks" were potentially dangerous. As one poster noted, she wanted to derail a trolley car! And her breakdown near the end of the movie where she decapitates the snow people who are representing her family ("I'd rather kill them than leave them behind!" I think is what she screams) indicates that this is a very emotionally disturbed child.
Now available on blu-ray.
What r53 says - back in 1944 when terrible things were happening in Europe (the concentration camps etc) hollywood was churning out light escapist fare like this, as if the real world did not exist, and anything gay had to be censored or unmentionable.
Mary Astor is fascinating here too - a few years earlier she had been a glamorous lead, now she is suddenly playing mothers!
Marjorie Main is terrific too as the cook - with the excuse of having dinner early so she could go and sort out her sister who is having trouble with her husband "him being a man and all..." So the ideal family has the grandfather living with them, and their own servant/cook.
Clang, clang, clang" went the trolley
"Ding, ding, ding" went the bell
"Zing, zing, zing" went my heartstrings
For the moment I saw him I fell
"Chug, chug, chug" went the motor
"Bump, bump, bump" went the brake
"Thump, thump, thump" went my heartstrings
When he smiled, I could feel the car shake
He tipped his hat, and took a seat
He said he hoped he hadn't stepped upon my feet
He asked my name I held my breath
I couldn't speak because he scared me half to death
"Buzz, buzz, buzz" went the buzzer
"Plop, plop, plop" went the wheels
"Stop, stop, stop" went my heartstrings
As he started to leave I took hold of his sleeve with my hand
And as if it were planned
He stayed on with me and it was grand
Just to stand with his hand holding mine
All the way to the end of the line!
Middle class people were far more likely to have hired domestic help in those days. There was a great deal more manual labor involved in housekeeping before electricity took full hold. Women didn't have many other options in the working world. Many single women and widows would have been grateful enough for room and board to demand much more in the way of pay.
R111- you forgot the intro
With my high starched collar and my high top
shoes and my hair, piled high upon my head..
I went to lose a jolly hour on the trolley
my heart instead.
With his light brown derby and his bright
he was quite the handsomest of men
I started to yen
so I counted to ten
then I counted to ten again..
'WIDER JUDY.. OPEN YOUR EYES WIDER!!!'
Jennifer Jones won the Best Actress Oscar in 1944 for playing a French peasant girl who sees a vision of The Virgin Mary and becomes a saint herself in The Song of Bernadette, a treacly performance in an utterly unwatchable film that could have only been popular and revered in that darkest of years.
Judy wasn't even nominated! I don't think in those years there was even any outrage over the omission as musicals were rarely considered Oscar-worthy.
But then, of course, Jimmy Cagney won the Oscar for his starring performance as George M. Cohan in Warners' musical Yankee Doodle Dandy just the year before!
How to explain this phenomena?
It's a fucking flag-waving musical called YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.
It's tough-guy old-pro Cagney doing a musical.
OF COURSE he's gonna win an Oscar.
And nobody gives a fuck about YANKEE DOODLE DANDY today.
(Didn't Margaret O'Brien win a miniature Oscar for MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS?)
What I don't understand is why Judy gave Tom Drake such a weird look after he was late boarding the Trolley. He did board the Trolley on time.
Are you watching the same movie as the rest of us, R117? The train leaves without Tom Drake and he has to run after it to hop aboard.
As a macho gay man who loves watching sports, I admit that "Meet Me in St. Louis" is my favorite Holiday movie, and I do get all gitty when Judy performs "The Trolley Song" "The Boy Next Door" and "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas".
I love the way Judy sings The Boy Next Door, she lowers her voice and sound velvety smooth!
[quote] As a macho gay man who loves watching sports, I admit that "Meet Me in St. Louis" is my favorite Holiday movie
But of course you watch it while drinking a six pack of Bud, tossing each empty crushed can on the floor and belching after each one. Then you scratch your butt, not caring who sees.
We all thank you for "admitting" that you enjoy this movie.
I herby nominate this thread for the 2011 MARY! of the Year
r109, actually Mary Astor, a few years earlier than this, was still playing Judy's mother. Judy sang Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart! to her in 1938.
You'd have to go back about 10 years to Mary's glamorous leading lady days.
I'm quite old and remember as a kid a big color TV special in the late 1950s of Meet Me in Saint Louis with Jane Powell in Judy's role, Jeane Crain as the older sister and lovely Tab Hunter as The Boy Next Door.
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Pop that champagne cork. Next year we will all be living in New York."
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas. It may be your last. Next year we will all be living in the past."
These are some of the rejected lyrics that Judy told Hugh Martin were just too depressing, since the song was rather sad anyway. She was right.
They used the very first recording of The Trolley Song because it was Judy at her freshest and most vibrant. She even messed up a lyric (I can't recall what it was) but it was decided that the take was SO damned good that it didn't matter. Of course, Garland could hit her marks and do take after take, each one as good as the last. (watch Mr. Monotony on the Easter Parade DVD extras.) She was the consummate genius and professional IF the drugs were not fully in control.
Tom Drake was, indeed, gay. And a protege of Spencer Tracy, as was Van Johnson, for whatever that's worth.
Mary Astor had a helluva life, which would make a great biography that no one would film.
As she famously stated: "There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who's Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who's Mary Astor?"
Mary Astor wiki.
It's fascinating that details of her steamy diary (where she discussed at great length George S. Kauffman's hard, meaty cock) and scandal of her trial made her MORE popular with her mostly female audiences, not unlike Dinah Shore's romance (or 'romance') with Burt Reynolds many years later.
This is especially interesting: "Another noteworthy performance was her Oscar-winning role as Sandra Kovak, the selfish, self-centered concert pianist, who willingly gives up her child, in THE GREAT LIE (1941). George Brent played her intermittent love interest, but the film's star was Bette Davis. Davis wanted Astor cast in the role after watching her screen test and seeing her play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. She then recruited Astor to collaborate with her on rewriting the script, which Davis felt was mediocre and needed work to make it more interesting. Astor further followed Davis's advice and sported a brazenly bobbed hairdo for the role.
The soundtrack of the movie during the scenes where she plays the concerto, with violent hand movements on the piano keyboard, was actually dubbed by pianist Max Rabinovitch. Davis deliberately stepped back to allow Astor to shine in her key scenes. As a result of her performance, Astor won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, thanking Bette Davis and Tchaikovsky in her acceptance speech. Astor and Davis became good friends."
I'm stunned Jack Warner let Davis and Astor work on the script.
It's just starting again! Oh, and "Auntie Mame" is on at 11 (central) tonight!
[quote]You'd have to go back about 10 years to Mary's glamorous leading lady days.
Actually, you'd just have to go back two years to "The Palm Beach Story,"
in which she's very glam - and "The Maltese Falcon" the year before that, where she's the femme fatale.
LB Mayer seemed so intent (possibly obsessed?) with creating and maintaining Mary Astor's image as The Perfect Mother, it shocks me that he allowed her to be loaned to Warner Bros to play that iconic femme fatale in The Maltese Falcon.
Or was she not under exclusive contract to MGM at that time?
And r127, thanks for the good tip on The Great Lie. Can't believe I've never seen it but will certainly check it out!
She signed a seven-year contract with Metro in 1943. She had brief contracts with Fox and Warners thru the mid-30s, but she mostly free-lanced.
R114, Jennifer Jones won an Oscar in 1944 as Best Actress of 1943. Ingrid Bergman was the best actress for 1944. There were rumors that Bergman won in 1944 because she lost to Jones in 1943. But even if Judy had been nominated the Oscar probably would have gone to (or should have gone to) Barbara Stanwyck for Double Indemnity.
And Judy Davis, brilliant in the other parts of the TV biopic, looked like a shriveled apple doll trying to imitate the 22 year old Garland in The Trolley Song re-enactment. And her blue gloves in the TV movie were SHINY when, in the movie, they were suede or fabric.
Judy was so gorgeous as a redhead. I wonder why she didn't maintain that color longer in her career? It softened her a lot.
r134: I think Judy was at her most beautiful in black and white - in GIRL CRAZY, THE CLOCK and PRESENTING LILY MARS. Metro Technicolor was strangely unflattering to her - she often looked like some glamorous Kabuki doll with her pallid white skin and bright red mouth. In MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, Dot Ponedel re-did her makeup, removing the putty from her nose (good) but giving her those awful stylized eyebrows she wore for the rest of her Metro career. After Ponedel was done with her, Judy looked more like a Hirshfeld caricature than the beautiful woman she was.
And the awful 'box' hairstyle...
I simply love Judy Garland. Doesn't she just make you smile?
[quote]I'm quite old and remember as a kid a big color TV special in the late 1950s of Meet Me in Saint Louis with Jane Powell in Judy's role, Jeane Crain as the older sister and lovely Tab Hunter as The Boy Next Door.
I have that on tape. It's not in color as it is a kinescope. Several years ago a copy was sent to TCM host Robert Osborne who in turn sent one to Jane Powell. Patty Duke played Tootie in that production. Tab was beautiful.
[quote]You must also see the film in the context of the time it was made: 1944, the darkest and scariest year of World War II, when Allied victory seemed almost impossible. That the film brought audience's back to a nostalgic, gorgeous and carefree time in American history (albeit earlier than many of them personally experienced) cannot be denied for its huge success.
Arthur Freed said that Judy was always current. In fact, she had impeccable luck in the timing of two of her greatest films. The Wizard of Oz hit theatres at the very beginning of WWII and Meet Me In St. Louis at the Battle of the Bulge. Can you imagine audiences, at Christmas 1944, sitting and crying in the dark at Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas while their local papers feature the names of all those popular boys from HS dying in the field every day. My great-aunt said those days, even though everyone knew by then they would win the war, was overwhelming.
Well r137, then hopefully it will turn up on TCM this year...that would be fantastic! I just remembered that Myrna Loy and Walter Pidgeon play the parents. Quite a cast!
Way upthread, speaking of how few takes Judy would need in a number, check her out on youtube in "Who (Stole My Heart Away)? as Marilyn Miller in Words and Music. It's one of MGM's best filmed musical moments IMHO. Did Minnelli direct it?
And apparently she was already a few months pregnant with Liza at the time! She's rather blonde in it (as Miller) and it suits her there....doesn't look to be a wig either.
The number also appears in That's Entertainment III.
Sorry I couldn't link!
R133- they should have used Tammy Blanchard for the St. Louis sequence before the switchover to Davis.
Speaking of That's Entertainment, I,II and III will be on TCM Thursday afternoon.
A beloved thread but what more is there to say?
From Mary Astor's diary re: her lover playwright George S. Kaufman:
"He fucked the living day lights out of me."
[R111]- you forgot the intro
With my high starched collar and my high top
shoes and my hair, piled high upon my head..
I went to lose a jolly hour on the trolley
my heart instead.
"With his light brown derby and his bright
he was quite the handsomest of men
I started to yen
so I counted to ten
then I counted to ten again.."
OMG, I love that!
Do you think good old bisexual Vincente was a tiger in the sack with Judy?
R85, Sally Benson's childhood nickname was Tootie. Benson, the author of the original stories in The New Yorker, represented herself in her reminiscences of St. Louis as "Tootie," not as her older sister, Agnes.
It's true that most of the adventures re-assigned to Tootie in the movie were carried out by her older sister Agnes in the short stories. Maybe the movie producers felt that such wild actions would be (even more) disturbing if carried out by Agnes, so they re-wrote them to be played by little Tootie instead.
It's surprising that MGM didn't try and create a sequel to the film. There were so many characters who would have been interesting to follow a couple of years later.
In the 50's NBC did a two hour TV version with Jane Powell, Tab Hunter, Myrna Loy and Jeanne Crain. Patty Duke played Tootie. Same script and all the songs included. I have a copy. Sent one to Robert Osborne who sent it on to Ms. Powell. Tab Hunter was beautiful!!!
r149, I think you made that same comment in this thread years ago during one of its bumps.
And I believe I replied that if the kinescope (or whatever you call it) was in the hands of Robert Osborne, hopefully and eventually, it would be shown on TCM.
Those blue gloves are so jarring that they steal the scene.
I did R150-- but wouldn't Osborne need permission from NBC to show it?
I wonder if the blue gloves were a last minute decision once they saw their mistake in dressing Judy in black against those girls in all their colorful frocks and hats?
Judy doesn't even wear a hat which was pretty de rigeur for a lady out on the streets, not only in 1900 but even in 1944.
Irene Sharaff's golden yardstick
I just saw Little Women with June Allyson looks like they used the same sets and costumes. Even the same Mama...
I think if there is one truth on DL that every poster can agree on, it's that Judy Davis took over the role of adult Judy Garland two scenes too soon in the biopic.
Tammy Blanchard shoulda done The Trolley Song.
It was a coincidence.
Think about all the times you might turn on a gay classic and it's NOT at that moment a gay universal classic scene.
R27, I do realize that it has been two years since that post, but I just read it now. Irene was married to Eliot Gibbons, not his brother, Cedric,who got her the MGM job. And her suicide was from the window of a hotel, not their apartment.
Thanks r158 for keeping up.
And please, everyone remember, that Irene is NOT Irene Sharaff, who designed Meet Me in St. Louis, but another costume designer who just went by her first name.
And interestingly, Cedric Gibbons, who was head of MGM's art department for at least 25 of its most glorious years, contractually was credited with the Production Design and Art Direction of all of the studio's movies during his tenure, even though he often only assigned an assistant or two to do the actual work. He mostly just focused on the big pictures.
As noted in the Lavender Marriage thread, Cedric was married to Dolores del Rio.
Has it been on tv this Christmas?
I usually watch, but I think I may have missed it.
[quote]Sharaff was an amazing designer, she did Barbra's costumes for Funny Girl to. Her girlfriend was a chinese princess and they had an amazing apartment in NY.
Nice retrospective (with pictures) about Sharaff and more information about her life partner, Mei Mei Sze, who was also an extraordinary woman and an artist.
It's on TCM right now. I just turned it on. It was the scene where the two younger girls are chortling about putting a dummy on the tracks to derail the trolley. The two older sisters are at first appalled and then they both burst into laughter at how funny it really is.
What a psychotic family.
Love this movie. Judy is great singing Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
I am the gayest gay alive, and here's my proof:
At the beginning of MMISL, Judy and Lucille Bremer are in their dressing gowns, singing the title song together, until it's broken up by their overwhelmed father Leon Ames. I've seen it a thousand times. Bremer's dressing gown has a very unique color scheme, a vivid blue-green.
Jump to "The Harvey Girls". In the big girl-on-girl barroom brawl scene, Showgirls vs. Waitresses, I noticed that in the melee, someone throws the very same costume right across Judy! It is unmistakably the same costume from MMISL!
Here's the scene, it's right at 1:24. Same dressing gown, right?
I finally watched this movie tonight and I found it to be quite disappointing. I mean, the technicolor is spectacular and Trolley Song and Have Yourself a Merry Litle Xmas scenes (which I've seen on youtube hundreds of times before) are spectacular, but otherwise it's a pretty average and dull movie filled with forgettable songs.
And the dialogue was trully cringe-worthy: all they talked about was how ketchup tasted, long distance phone calls from their boyfriends, lost tuxedos and that bloody fair. The movie is like a weird mix of Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, but without any interesting and edgy characters. And don't even get me started on how annoying Margaret O'Brien was. At least Marjorie Main's maid character was entertaining and funny.
There was also no chemistry between Judy and that neighbour character. I was hoping they will at least share a romantic kiss right before the movie ended, but instead the movie closes with a line about the world fair. This is not my idea of a romantic ending.
Luckily I watched The Man Who Came To Dinner later and saved this christmas from being a total disaster. Thanky you Monty Wolley!
Merry Christmas, and thank you, Robert Osborne and TCM! 19 and some terrific years.
TCM and "Friends" turn 20 next year - oy!
The wig made my head bleeeeed!
Talk about dated! The humor in "The Man a Who Came a to Dinner" hasn't aged well. Nobody remembers the man it's based on, Alexander Woollcott, and the jokes are boring.
Monty Woolly was a big ol' queen who used to cruise for young black meat with Cole Porter.
One of the best DL threads ever.
R168, you are an unmitigated idiot. Seriously. MMISL was the highest grossing film second only to Gone With the Wind for MGM. All the charm of that script, those characters, the warmth, nostalgia and depiction of a world that war weary Americans longed for (and that never really existed) is apparently completely lost on you.
You are just shockingly stupid. That is, unless your post was satire.