Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #6 (From TWO JUDY GARLAND FILMS)

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The first film I saw Judy Garland in was The Wizard of Oz. I thought she was so lovely and loved the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The movie is still one of my favorites but I was probably 10 years old the first time I saw it back in 1964. It used to be on TV once a year and I couldn't wait until we got our color TV so I could see it change when she landed in Oz.

From this class, I have a new appreciation for Judy's talent. Actually, I hold her talent in much higher regard now. She does very well in the dancing area although I learned that dancing was not her background and her acting talent is also much greater than I previously thought. Her singing ability is always one of the best ever so that has not changed for me.

I have seen A Star is Born many times and love her singing in that film, especially the song The Man That Got Away. She makes people feel the song as she sings.

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1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her?

The first Judy film I saw was Wizard of Oz when I was very young, probably 7 years old.  I feel like it was the only one I saw of hers until I was a teenager where my dad introduced me to Meet Me in St. Louis.  Those two films always had a sweet, naive, innocence to them.  I recognized she had a great voice, a voice that seemed much more mature than her age, but other than that, I didn't think much of it.  There aren't strong dances to be blown away by, so it was always just how sweet she and her voice were.

2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?

I am happy to see more of her comedic timing in Easter Parade.  It shows diversity in what she is capable of doing as far as comedy goes.  For Me and My Gal is somewhat reminiscent to me of Rosemary Clooney from White Christmas.  Although I know the taps are foley, I watched her feet very intently and found her steps were quite graceful, with accurate steps to match the sounds.  From my own tap experience, I know that getting the most accurate sound is quite difficult, but either she had the steps down, or was quite close, as I was fooled.  This clip is the first time I feel like I see her as more of an adult, rather than sweet, young Dorothy, or teenage girl from St. Louis

3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric?

Sadly, I don't have much of a repertoire when it comes to Judy and her other films.  My knowledge so far is comprised of Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and a TV bio-pic I saw when I was about 10 years old, and a play about her called Over The Rainbow.  I'm very happy to be able to see more of Judy this week in the TCM movie selections. 

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1. The first Judy Garland I saw was most likely THE WIZARD OF OZ as a child. I don’t recall watching it back then at all though, so I would usually say THE PIRATE. When I was around eleven years old, my mother borrowed it from the library and told me she wanted me to see it. I did, and I remember loving her voice, and her character. I saw her as very versatile as she transitions from singing “Mack the Black” to “Be a Clown.” She had a very unique personality, a mix of strong and vulnerable, and I found that to be incredibly interesting.

2. Well, as someone who’s seen both of these films, and the majority of her others, I don’t view her differently at all. She was an extremely talented individual who could do it all, both comedic, romantic, and dramatic. 

3. A STAR IS BORN immediately comes to mind when thinking of films that show her increasing ability to capture an audiences imagination. Specifically the songs “The Man That Got Away,” “Swanee,” and “Born in a Trunk.” You can also see the increasing ability in movies such as SUMMER STOCK. She makes everything visual through her voice, something that in my opinion only three or four singers had.

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1. Like most of my generation, the first time I saw Judy Garland was in the annual presentation of The Wizard of Oz.  However, local television was kind enough to show lots of old movies in those time slots where we see talk shows today, so my next exposure was Love Finds Andy Hardy.  Many others followed.  Ironically, the last of her films I recall seeing was Easter Parade.  

2. I don't think the two clips in our assignment changed my view of Judy Garland at all.  She is/was a superstar, a term I don't use lightly.  She fit perfectly and naturally into every role she played, comedy, variety, drama or melodrama.

3.  In the Good Old Summertime is a musical retelling of The Shop Around The Corner, less than a decade after the original was released.  However, Garland's singing will make you forget that you are seeing a familiar story in a different setting.  She is magic.

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1. I think the first Judy Garland movie I saw was the Wizard of Oz, when I was in elementary school and me and my brothers and sister got to stay up a little later to watch it on t.v. So my first impression of Judy is going to be a kids impression. I didn’t recognize many actors or actresses at that age but I always recognized the girl from the Wizard of Oz when she was in other movies. Not sure why I recognized her, but more than likely it would be her singing. Her beautiful voice can always be heard over everyone else’s no matter who she sings with. It just stands out to me.

2. In the Easter Parade clip, I noticed that Judy puts just a little more emphasis on her facial reactions than Fred and she comes off more comical. She also does a little extra with her movements to accentuate the goofy movements. Not that Fred’s not doing those things, just Judy is doing them better. In For Me And My Gal I always thought that Judy could play the piano. To pay attention to your hands, sing, show appropriate emotions and dance, that’s a lot to juggle and Judy did it with finesse.

3. The Pirate is one of my favorite movies and Mack the Black is my favorite song from the movie. Judy gets hypnotized and confesses she’s in love with a pirate. She ends up singing the story of the pirate. Dancing seductively, putting on bracelets, at first she has a blank stare and at the end the stare turns to a romantic gaze. She acts the song perfectly. When she woke up I even felt a little embarrassed for her cause if she wasn’t hypnotized she wouldn’t have told anyone about her love of a pirate or dance the way she did. 

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1. The first film I saw her in was probably the same that many of us discovered her for the first time. It was "The Wizard Of Oz," I watched it when I was a small child. I remember thinking how beautiful I thought she was and falling in love with her immediately. The scene that really spoke to me, was Dorothy singing "Some Where Over The Rainbow," there was something so surreal about it. She seemed very innocent to me and she made me feel safe.

2. In the clips I viewed her as more mature and grown up. She seemed more out going and out spoken, not as timid or helpless as her character Dorothy. 

3. In the "Easter Parade" she really showed that she could hold her with such a major veteran star as Astaire. She could tell the story by movements and facial expressions while she was singing. For example during the song "A Fella With an Umbrella" Lawford was singing this romantic song to Garland and she joined in the song latter. Garland managed to sing this romantic song to Lawford but at the same time letting the audience know that she is interested in Astaire not lawford.  

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I’m not sure what the first Garland movie was that I saw, probably Wizard of Oz. But no matter what, Judy was always Judy. Watching Wizard of Oz, For Me and My Gal, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Easter Parade all in a row has given me a much clearer vision of her growth as an actress. She went from being a character in a story to being the story itself. She's a Hollywood staple. I think what I admire most about her is her range of emotion- from her comedy to her tears, she puts all of herself into every role. 

I’ll probably cause some heart attacks, but I’ve not seen A Star is Born - yet. I’ll handle that next week. 

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As a teenager, I fell in love with the movie "That's Entertainment" and it is through this movie that I was introduced to the classic movie musicals, albeit the MGM kind. I can't remember my first Judy Garland movie as I've seen several of them many times. My favorite movie is " Meet Me in St. Louis' but I owned the album 'Easter Parade' and sang those songs full voice in my bedroom all the time. My parents were very understanding.  My kids today will watch the movies but, unlike my parents, have no patience when I sing 'Shakin' the Blues Away', 'A Couple of Swells' or 'I Love the Piano'.    Perhaps when they get older...

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What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her?

The very first Judy Garland film I watched was the "Wizard of Oz".  As a child, I was fascinated by her, and looking at it now, it is a film that is still magical for both adults and children.  Who cannot forget how she looked wearing that gingham dress, ponytails, and "red shiny shoes" clicking her heels to a fairytale place. Her voice was amazing, and had that star quality.

How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?

We discover her talents in dancing, and comedy roles.  Maturing into more dramatic acting roles. She was the definition of a "Star".

What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience’s imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric?  

 

 

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1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her?

The first Garland film I recall was one of the backyard musicals.  Wizard of Oz was on TV once a year in the early '60's, and we had a black and white TV.  For me, I saw Judy and it was love at first sight.  I wanted to grow up and be just like her.  She is was born on June tenth, and I was born, well 59 years ago today.

 2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?

Not a bit of change in viewing the clips, she is and will remain one of my all time favorite performers.

3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric?

The films that shows her maturation as a singer and performer are In the Good Old Summertime, Summer Stock, Words and Music, I Could go on Singing and of course, A Star is Born.  Judy just had that special quality that other only imitate. 

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1. My first Judy Garland movie was the Wizard of Oz and I loved her, I was only 3 or 4 years old. I remember becoming obsessed with the movie because of her. I thought every singer or brunette actress on tv was her and my dad had to tell it's not Judy Garland. Since I was very young when I watched this movie, my first impression of her back then was that she was a very good singer and she was pretty. 

2. In the Easter Parade number, I only thought she was cute, but after viewing this again, I noticed that she has much more of a swagger in her dancing than Fred Astaire does. Her facial expressions are better and I could see why she would steal the scene. In For Me and My Gal, I have noticed previously the way she plays the piano, but I didn't know that it was a talent to act like you're playing piano and stay focused on the number and her acting partner. I love the expressions on their faces as they sing this song. 

3. The Man that Got Away, but I've never seen the movie The Star is Born. I've heard the song, and yes, it shows how she has matured and perfected the emotion and storytelling in that song. 

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1. Like many my first Judy Garland film was THE WIZARD OF OZ. Ours was the generation that grew up on that on television, not just randomly placed but seen as an event. It’s a difficult concept for younger people to understand, a time when you didn’t have streaming, disc or even video tape to record a show when it was on. Imagine that! I’m not sure I had a distinct impression of her at the time. I just knew I loved to hear that the movie was coming on. Later when I saw her on her TV specials she left a sad impression on me. I don’t know why, it could have been that I was seeing her at what could be the worst time of her life and could sense it. I don’t know.

 

2. I don’t view her differently after the clips. As I grew up I was able to see more of her performances from that time period as well as the movies she did with Andy Rooney. I was able to see her perform at her peak on film and appreciate more of what she’d done prior to those TV times I mentioned. While Hollywood provided her with a lifetime most will never see they also did quite a bit of damage to her as well which is sad to think about.

 

3. Looking at imdb I was stunned to see she only made 40 movies in her career. Glancing through those titles I couldn’t single out any particular number that she did which would do her justice to show her maturation as a singer and story teller. All of her performances were wonderful. Her ability to combine acting, singing, dancing and understanding of how to play to the camera at the same time show in her later films, talents that come with time and experience.

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1. I believe that the first film I saw Garland in was The Wizard of Oz, as it is a children's classic, and being small I probably didn't think to much about her at the time, except that she was a good singer. Based purely on that movie, now that I am older, I would say that even in that early role she not only had a beautiful voice, but she was able to convey what she was singing with emotion, and you can feel her longing coming out of the screen.

2. These two clips really show off her diversity - Garland could play the young, flirtatious, piano playing ingénue, or she could play the comedic scoundrel off the streets, the comic relief. Either way she was able to play off of her costar and let them bolster her own performance, especially with her dancing in Me and My Gal, and either play to the camera (and audience) in Easter Parade, or be completely oblivious and focus her attention on a candid scene with simply her and Gene Kelly, performing their number together for themselves.

3. As many people have said, I would credit A Star Is Born as one of her best later films, where her skills are deepened in a more dramatic and tragic role, as well as her song and dance numbers. However, I would also say that the amount of distracting sub plots in the songs that do not directly further the story (such as the entire 'born in a trunk' sequence) do lower the quality of the movie a little bit. There was nothing wrong with the quality of those numbers, but I think because the studios put them in mostly to show off Judy's voice, the main plot and substance of the movie, which she was so good at portraying, got lost. I think in that way the studios did not let Judy live to her fullest potential as an actress as well as a singer/performer, and the movie got a big bogged down in the conflicting styles. 

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A daily dose of Judy - 

1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her?

I'm almost willing to bet without looking that most people's first exposure to Judy Garland was as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz". For me it was one of the annual TV viewings way back when.  Having been exposed to the story via the book (read to my sister and I by our father, bless him), my impression was a bit older than I expected Dorothy to be, but with a good voice and acting as if the only thing she wanted was to get back home.

2. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?

I've seen both these clips before (Thanks to the "That's Entertainment" films), and I would have like to seen maybe a clip of her and Ray Bolger from "The Harvey Girls".  I also have to remark how similar she looks like her daughter Liza in the 1st clip with Astaire. It's the short hair.  I've seen enough of her through the years (for a straight man) to be able to see how she matured in her acting and voice.  Enough to see how time and life wore her down, but her voice was always there.  

3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience’s imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric?

I know this course is about musicals, but this is a loaded question.  Without a doubt, the answer has to be the 1950's version of "A Star is Born", the best of all the films created around the story.  To see how she matured as an actor, I would refer you to "Judgement at Nuremberg".

 

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What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her?

The Wizard of Oz.... as a 70’s kid, this was my all time favorite film. Grew up watching it, and couldn’t wait until the next year to watch it again. My year was not the traditional Jan 1st but Nov, the day of Thanksgiving, turkey all the fixings and an evening of brilliance. This was one time I was in complete control of the television box. I feel very fortunate to have grown up with this forever magnificent classic. I only knew her as Dorthy, had no clue she even had another name. She was my Disney Princess. She was magical walking out of black and white and into color. Her ruby slippers and her scarecrow, tinman, and lion, a child’s dream. She is the original have basket and pup will travel gal. 

How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? 

Its hard to compare as I didn’t see other films until much later in life. Almost like an old friend linking me to a time before I new how difficult this world can be. She is my safe place still today. I tear up....not until this class did I realize this. Comfort, safe, friend. 

What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience’s imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric?

Haven’t seen many of her films (4-5). I need to. Meet Me In St. Louis, Merry Little Christmas, hands down my favorite all time holiday song my whole life. And yes, my children grew up with her as well which meant so much to me at the time. She is part of our family and will always be in our home. Love love love her. 

On a side note, seen Liza in Vegas 1988 VIP, she captured the audience magnificently, has her mothers touch. We cried, we laughed, we sang, with storytelling. She brought every emotion we as real people with real emotions have. Unforgettable. She blew my socks off. 

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1.What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your impression of her? The first film memory I have of her was in Judgement in Nuremberg. I was never a big fan of musicals. I totally believed her characterization as a women that had been ostracized by the Nazi regime for being friends and a suspected lover of a Jew. She portrayed her character with a world weary performance.

2.How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously? I really only knew she was an older actress and that she she did musicals. I didn't realize that she did comedy.

3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric? I've really never seen her as anything but an older actress in Andy Rooney films that I heard about but never watched. She seems to be a competent actress in what I've seen so far.

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  1. She's Dorothy of course. I grew up in the 80s when the big three musicals--Oz, Mary Poppins, The Sound Of Music--had their annual showing on a big three network. As I would have been so young, I'm not sure what I thought, other than she was likely a proxy for most kids who want take the journey. It's not until later that I appreciate those sepia-tone scenes, where her acting--and particularly the melancholy delivery of Somewhere... makes not just that scene but the entire movie become a classic. It's Judy who allows that to happen, in her delivery, her reactions, etc.
  2. Having watched many an Andy Hardy picture, it's astounding what a good director can do to unlock the talent within. She seemed to be treated as a pretty voice in her youth, yet watching these clips you a fine actress who does so much more than is written on the script or in the song.
  3. Have yourself a merry little Christmas is probably the best example. That's not a happy song. It's a reassuring one. It's melancholy. It's ultimately hopeful. It's been performed by countless singers. Yet has there been a better interpretation of the lyrics, pacing and structure? Every word has meaning--both in he scene and in the reworked version we hear each December.

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Well, because The Wizard of Oz is one of my top 5 movies, that is the one that I first remember seeing Judy Garland and my impression was how fully she commanded each scene she was in - even at her young age.  She had a maturity about her even though she was portraying a young girl.  How talented she was!

In seeing the later films she was in, I think I underestimated her talent.  She was certainly not just a child star with brief stardom - she was an exceptionally talented woman.  I was shocked to realize that she never won an Academy Award.  I certainly think she was deserving.

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1.  Either "Wizard of Oz" or a film with Mickey Rooney could be my first encounter with Judy Garland in films.  I was Little, so my impression was toward whatever happened in the film, e.g. I did NOT think she was much older than her characters.  I did NOT particularly impressed by her singing and dancing since I could tell Shirley Temple was "Younger" and could sing and dance Very Well, Too!  Of course, as an adult, I am more impressed with her after watching more films of hers throughout the years.

2.  In the 2 clips we watch here, Judy Garland has no problem to perform her singing, dancing, and acting equally well ... comparing to her co-stars.  And she has 2 very different roles requiring 2 very different mannerisms and she delivers both!

3.  This question is difficult to answer at this time.  The films she starred in her later years, or say after "A Star Is Born", were NOT ALL Live Musical Films.  She had drama films which had no singing or lyrics involved to answer this question fully.

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  1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her?        I believe my first exposure to Judy Garland was in The Wizard of Oz but it's not the one that's stick with me. Meet Me in At Louis is the first one I recall watching that made me stop and take notice of her singing and acting abilities. It's the musical that made me fall in love with Garland and her musicals. It's still a favourite of mine and I watch it regularly. 
  2. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?            Although I've seen For Me and My Gal before, I never appreciated Garland's performance with Gene Kelly like I do after seeing the clips. I didn't know that she couldn't play the piano or even read music, so it made her performance even more impressive. She performs so naturally and effortlessly. It made me appreciate her skills as an actor even more.
  3. What films in her later career come to mind as examples of her increasing ability to capture an audience’s imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric? Garland's films from the 1940's are my favourite, but I find Garland's last film I Could Go on Singing from 1963 the most powerful. Her character, Jenny Bowman is so similar to her it kills me. You can feel Garland's unhappiness and struggles projected onto the screen and her musical performances are a real treat.

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1.  The first Judy Garland movie I recall watching was The Wizard of Oz.  I thought she had the most beautiful voice.  Nobody can sing like Judy.  

2.  I can see she was a great comedienne and it is easy to look at her more.  She's very funny.  And in the second one she's very natural and is able to multitask.  She shows more maturity and is very involved with Gene Kelly.

3.  I like her in Meet Me in St. Louis, every song is fantastic.  It's a film that forms part of my family tradition, specially around the holidays.  I'm very glad she changed the lyrics of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from depressing to giving hope.  I believe that's why is a classic.  I also love her performing "Get Happy" in Summer Stock.  Songs that once you think about them get stuck in your head.  She was such a great performer, like no one else.  

I can't understand why the studio doctors put her on drugs.  She had such a great gift.  We lost her way too soon.  

  

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1. The first film I saw her in was A Star is Born and it was breathtaking and long! I loved every minute of it and i think i must have seen the roadshow of it. I didnt see The Wizard of Oz until the following year in its re-release to theatres and I flipped over it. i dont recall if i related the two Judys at that age though.

2.  I dont view her differently. I always felt she was perfection as an actress, singer and dancer and so natural. These performances were a testament to that. After all, she was paired with two of them the greatest song and dance men ever and she was up for the challenge! 

3. I think because Garland’s fame was her singing most of all I’d have to say A Star is Born because her acting competes with her awesome vocals. I think you have to look at her later work in A Child is Waiting, I Could Go N Singing, and of course her gem of a performance in Judgement At Nuremberg to understand just how powerful a performer she was.

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I first saw Judy Garland act in The Wizard of Oz when I was a child.  She was amazing and since she was young, I put myself into her ruby slippers and went to Oz with her.  The awe in her performance when she was in the tornado and then how overwhelmed she is when she lands in Oz shows just how great an actress she is.  At some times she was almost breathless when she was speaking making you feel that she truly was experiencing the wonder of Oz.

Seeing her performances in the two clips shows how much she had grown, not just physically, but as an actor and performer.  The piano scene was amazing.  I'll never understand how she was able to do all of that at one time...continuing to meet Gene Kelly's gaze, fake play the piano making it look real, sing, act like she was reading the sheet music and smile.

A Star is Born gave Judy a stellar platform to show just how good she really was.  I can watch it again and again, and every time I feel the same feeling of WOW!...now that's entertainment!

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1.  Probably like many, The Wizard of Oz was the first film I watched.  I remember she was an extremely talented singer with a beautiful voice, and a very animated acting style which drawed you in.

2.   After viewing these clips I viewed her as a more mature and seasoned actor/singer/dancer, since these scenes give the viewer an opportunity to see how versatile she was in playing different roles.

3.  I haven't seen too many of her films yet, but I have heard a lot about A Star Is Born as an example of her ability to capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller when she sings a lyric.  

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the first  film was Wizard of Oz followed by Meet me in St. Louis, and later when  I was older  I loved the  non musical movie with Robert Walker Sr.  The Clock in 1945. Judy Garland always had a rich jazzy sing song voice even when she was speaking  it sounds like  she is singing, she made you believe  and want to root for her so that all her dreams and ambitions came to true.

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