USA, Vincente Minnelli (1944)
My New Year’s resolution (more of a goal, really) has already gone to pot. I was going to try to write at least a paragraph about every movie I see this year. When I sat down to write this, I knew that I was behind, but I had no idea HOW behind—all the way back to January 27! (That’s 15 movies!!!) Yikes—when your blog becomes your homework. So, here goes. This will be an exercise in brevity; not my strong suit.
Meet Me In St. Louis is one of those classic films that I could watch again and again. It’s a big, colorful piece of candy wrapped up in high-Hollywood Americana, and I love it. Set at the turn-of-the-century, the story concerns a year in the life of a family eagerly anticipating the World’s Fair, an event they’re sure is going to put St. Louis on the map. Judy Garland is great as the girl in love with the boy next door. She’s got personality to spare, she gets to wear amazing costumes that look as if they were converted from upholstery, and she sings songs that have since gone down as classics (“The Trolley Song” and the most beautiful version of the now standard Christmas tune “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”) I first saw Margaret O’Brien in this film; she plays the youngest member of the family, scene-stealing Tootie. She’s great, and until I saw In America, I thought she was the finest child actor ever.
Here’s the Gist: Classic Hollywood musicals don’t get any better than this. [****]