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

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When I was growing up, Wizard of Oz came on every year at Easter.  I was always so excited when it came on!  I was older before I appreciated the black and white parts of the film - as a child I thought they were a bit boring (which is the purpose of course).  When I was about 12 years-old, I watched a televised concert performance of hers, and I credit that with my love of her and my subsequent fascination with classic movies.  I bought several of her cassettes and records and over the years have seen most of her movies.

The film clips only enhanced my view of her.  In addition to owning many of her recordings and movies, I have read biographies.  I remember one biographer saying that he saw her in concert twice, and she ended the show with the "Born in a Trunk" routine.  He said she cried on cue both times.  When he later mentioned this to her, she was upset because she didn't want people to know it was staged.  He explained to her that he only proved to him what an exceptional actress she was - and this anecdote captured how I had always viewed her

My favorite Judy Garland song is "The Man That Got Away" from "A Star Is Born."  What a fabulous performance, and that song to me captures so much of her.  She was robbed of the Oscar.

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

My first Judy Garland film was of course The Wizard of Oz. She was captivating and I’m certain that anyone watching this movie goes under a spell. 

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

Even though I haven’t seen much of her movies, it’s clear that she was indeed a star and a anything she did was a treat. Almost impossible to deny her of her ability to enthrall us all. 

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? 

What I recall from her later career is bits and pieces of musical numbers I watched on TV such as a singing performance of Happy Days... which was nothing short of greatness. Again, she had this ability to pull the audience to whatever she was doing. 

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

Well, since I was born until the 50's that would mean The Wizard of Oz. I have no recollections of my first impression but I certainly remember that she was always there. She was always Dorothy (my mom's name, too). Any memories of anything nuanced would have come much later and was gradual. 

But, I do remember the first time I really really appreciated her. It was at the very first TCM Classic Film Festival when the Opening Night feature was "A Star Is Born". It was a magic night for all. Stars, her family, and fans mingling together in the audience. Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin on stage introducing the film. And the songs with that glorious voice filling the theater. As close to a Judy Garland concert as one could possibly be anymore.

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

I've seen both of these films before. In fact, I've seen most of her movies at this point in my life, so watching here didn't really change my perspective at all. But, she was always a fascinating person, with such a sad aspect to her life. When I see films like this and the Andy Hardy films, she seems to burst with joy and life. Contrast that with the sad look in her eyes when signing "Over the Rainbow" or "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in their respective films and I feel her pain. She reminds me, for some reason, of my sister who shared that same sad inner life. It makes me sad, too.

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 don't know if I can answer this question. For me, of all her performances later, the one that stands out is really "Judgement at Nuremberg" which is, of course, not a musical. In that film, though, her performance is heart breaking. But, if I had to pick one song that always sticks with me because of her performance, it would have to "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". Everything stops when she sings that song to little Tootie. Her lips quiver, her eyes become misty, and she enamors the young Tootie. One of the greatest moments in film, period.

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1) I would have to say the only two movies or movie I have seen ( since the first one I seen was the Wizard of Oz when I was young and have seen it here and there since then) it would have to be the Pirate. The way the movie told this story and the singing was amazing and I have always remembered it since.

2) Seeing the clips doesn't really doesn't change the way I see her since the Pirate or The Wizard of Oz, just goes to show how great of an actor and singer she is.

3) That one I wouldn't really know, only seen two films by her and the Pirate was the last one I seen and it really again didn't change anything I had known about her. But I know She would have gone far by just her singer and how wonderful of a actress is was.

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I am not sure where to post replies here or on the discussion tab in the course.

By the way Happy Birthday Judy - June 10th.

1.  My first introduction to Judy Garland was from the records or vinyl that my mother had and continuously played including Gay Puree.   I first saw Judy Garland on her TV show.  The first film was the Wizard of Oz.  Okay before the days of VCRs, DVD's or PVR's or Internet.  Before seeing her my mother had records of her and played them all the time, even Gay Puree.  I found her mesmerizing in the Wizard and what a voice.  Cried with Over the Rainbow.  She was so believable.

2.  I have seen the movies for the Easter Parade and For me and my Gal and almost every movie she made.  Love the clips you chose.  My admiration for her talent is limitless. Energetic.  She could do comedy and drama and sing anything and everything. 

3.  Later years A Star is Born  (the sequence which ends in Swanee, Turn your frown upside down), I Could go on Singing (the theme song plus in the theatre with the orchestra revving up just before she sings Hello Bluebird, the scene when she is saying to Dirk Bogarde that she can't be spread too thin and she sings for herself)  A Child is Waiting (not a musical), Judgment at Nuremberg.

In my books from Swing with Deanna Durbin, You Made me Love You, to Andy Hardy, Summerstock she gave herself completely.  I have watched everything and was so glad when That's Entertainment brought her back.  I am sorry she did not win the Oscar for A Star is Born, that may have changed things for her.  I remember delivering morning newspapers in 1969 in Montreal and her death was on the front page, so devastated.  Also the internet those years when she was singing at dives, so sad. 

Sorry to go on and I have to stop.  Loved her in everything she did.  One of a kind and cannot be replaced.

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

The first Judy Garland I recall seeing is The Wizard of Oz. I was very young, probably 5 or 6, and I was just totally and completely enthralled by her. I became obsessed with the film and watched it over and over and over. Even then I think I recognized how special she was, and how she showed you her heart in every note. The love that I found for her with that film has never wavered. 

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

If anything, I love her even more because while I’ve seen Easter Parade, I had never seen For Me and My Gal, and I can see even in that short time how her talent grew.

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?

Its not her later career, but her delivery of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in Meet Me in St. Louis (I also say Louee) is just absolutely heartbreaking. It never fails to make me cry, even when I just hear it on the radio. Her voice and rendition bring up memories of those who have been lost like no other. Also, her performance in A Star Is Born is masterful. I’m really looking forward to watching that one again. Even her TV performances were wonderful, such as her duet with Barbra Streisand. It’s hard to describe what made her quintessentially Judy, but there will never be another like her.

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The first film I recall seeing Judy in was of course The Wizard of Oz.  i was always captivated by her performance.  After watching the 2 clips from todays daily dose, what struck me was she was very definitely equal to Astaire and Kelley.  This has made me want to watch more of her movies.

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The first Judy film I remember watching is, like most people I'd say, The Wizard of Oz. I've always loved that movie and she gave off such a sweet, comforting vibe. I think that carries throughout her films, you just know she was a wonderful, lovely person in real life. I loved the two clips we got to watch, I sometimes forget what a natural humor she had, she was splendid!! In response to question 3- I've only seen parts of A Star is Born but I think it is definitely her strongest movie, when she sings your heart breaks and she brings so much to every song and line.

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The first Judy Garland film that I remember watching was The Wizard of Oz. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is still one of my favourite songs that always inspires me. My impression of Judy Garland was that she's a very talented artist and singer who has a wonderful and calming voice. 

After viewing these clips I see what a talented dancer Judy Garland was. I didn't know that she wasn't trained in dancing.

I also think that A Star is Born is where you can see how Judy Garland can capture an audience's imagination as a storyteller. She's so natural and real in her performances that you can feel what she's feeling by the way that she expresses herself.  

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1.  My first movie of Judy Garland was The Wizard of Oz as Dorothy.  I saw it as a kid. I thought she was great as Dorothy.  I think her singing voice is wonderful.  She did a great job of portraying the youthful innocence of the character.  I was a huge fan of her and Mickey Rooney when they did films together as well. 

2.  I have followed Judy's career and have seen in her in quite a variety of films, so I was already familiar with these scenes and with her versatility so I was not surprised by it.  As you say in your video Judy Garland can sing any song and it would sound great.  She's one of my faves.  

3. I love her in Meet Me in St. Louis.  I feel like she just kept getting better with age and maturity. One of my all time favorite clips of her singing is Summer Stock Come On Get Happy from her film Summer Stock from 1950 that she did with Gene Kelly.  

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Like so many others Wizard of Oz was the first one I remember seeing. In my younger years I could not stand musicals. Every time you turned around someone started singing. Then a friend of mine got me watching musicals and I really got a deep appreciation for them. The talent that went into them. I started watching so many of them and found wonderful voices I hadn't heard before. The friend was into Judy Garland so we watched almost every one she made as I was being introduced to Judy Garland. I  watched Meet Me In St Louis a couple nights ago and noticed so many things I had never noticed before. The rich color of the clothes. The beautiful period wall paper and draperies. For the first time I noticed it was a dirt road they lived on. So many new things came  to mind as I was watching it. I am enjoying this music course so much and learning so much from it. Thank You TCM and Ball State for presenting it for us. 

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The first Judy Garland movie I saw was, of course, THE WIZARD OF OZ.  And I saw it every year for most of my childhood.  The movie was in turn funny and frightening, and Garland's performance was just magic.  I admit that at some point I started to look for crazy things, like the wire holding up the lion's tail and Dorothy's changing hair length.  These days, I watch it with fondness.  I still look for the silly stuff, but I adore Garland's performance.  I can't imagine anybody else in that role.

 

As for her later work, of course her tour de force is A STAR IS BORN.  This movie shows her fantastic range as a singer and an actor.  I'm reminded of a story I've heard/seen on TCM about her work ethic.  Garland would prerecord her songs, but when it was time to film a scene, she would instruct the crew to crank the playback recording as high as it would go.  Then she would actually sing along with the soundtrack.

Garland didn't just sing, she interpreted a song masterfully.  Who isn't a puddle of tears after listening to her rendition of "The Man That Got Away"?  Her performance in ASIB is all the more poignant, if not heartbreaking, because it is essentially HER story we see played out through Norman Maine.  She should have won an Oscar.

 

Fun fact:  Gene Kelly starred with Judy in his first film, FOR ME AND MY GAL.  Judy starred with Gene in her last film at MGM, SUMMER STOCK.

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1.      I was fan after seeing Wizard of Oz the first time as a young girl. It used to come on TV each year around Easter. I would worry my parents to get us home from visiting family, so I could watch it in its entirety (there was no DVR or Video then). Then as I grew and discovered my love for Musicals, Judy was there to guide me and introduce to so many new movies, new actors, dancers and songs. Over the Rainbows has been a part of me since I first heard Judy sing it.  To me, no one can sing that song like Judy, it still makes me tear up. To me it is her emotions, her honesty and ability to pull you into her world. She makes you feel like you know her, and she is a friend that you want to be successful and “win” at the goal of the movie.

2.      After viewing these clips, it just makes me appreciate her more.  Hearing the class lecture, helped me to see things with a new eye. I can’t wait to watch the films again at this stage of my life.

3.      This question is harder for me. Judy captured me the first time I heard her she sing Over the Rainbow. The emotion, the voice and her ability to sing and act, to portray the song lyrics in a way that pull you in.  I think of Pirate as a later film, and the ability to be this fictional character in such a fanciful way. You can also see and hear the maturity in her voice and stylings. Each movie shows this growth in her abilities and confidence. This has been a fun week for me movie-wise!   

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1. The first film I saw of hers was The Wizard of Oz. It quickly became one of my favorite movies. I really felt her eagerness to get back home to her family but also enjoying the people she met along the way.

2. I am a big fan of Judy Garland's although I have not seen For Me and My Gal. Easter Parade is also one of my favorite movies. Keeping up with Gene Kelly is no easy feat. I think  Easter Parade shows a sillier side of her.

3. A Star is Born is truly heartbreaking. She loves her husband very much and can't figure out how to help him. She is willing to throw away her career that she loves just to keep him safe from himself. I think that movie really showcases her singing ability and dramatic acting ability equally.

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The Wizard of Oz was the first Judy Garland film I watched.  I was completely in awe of Garland’s warm voice, her radiant eyes, her beauty and naturalness. I have been a Judy Garland fan for 10 years and have watched all of her films. She is my idol – a magnetic performer and true entertainer.

Also, Judy Garland did indeed play the piano, hence why she made it look so real in For Me and My Gal. As a child she was taught how to play the piano by her mum, Ethel Gumm. Playing the piano was a pleasurable pastime for Garland, something which was very personal and private that she did not want to include in her act.

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As you can tell from my user name, the first film I had ever seen Judy Garland in was the Wizard of Oz, which showcases her singing and acting abilities.

After watching this clip (and many other movies since I was a little girl) I find Judy Garland to be just a wonderful all encompassing entertainer.  The mannerisms and facial expressions while she's singing and dancing are her perfect.  You know what?  Some actors are good at certain things - Judy Garland was great at everything.

Whenever I watch Judy Garland movie, especially for the first time, I am always moved by her singing.  I especially love "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".  It gives me goosebumps.  To see her mature from her earlier days to later on in life is something to treasure.  

 

 

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What I noticed in the clip from Easter Parade is how Judy embodies the character of the swell. She seems very comfortable in this role and therefore portrays it much more naturally than Astaire seems to. I've never noticed this because I've usually watched them as a pair; they are two power-houses in Hollywood at this time and at the top of their respective games, so in the case of this film, you take them as two parts of a whole. But singling Judy out helped me notice the difference between the two actors. Astaire looks a little uncomfortable and appears to be going through the motions; it's understandable since this was out of his range. But Garland fully becomes the swell through body language and facial expressions. Perhaps because she had a different understanding of entertainment influenced her acting in this scene.

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

  • My first Judy Garland film is of course The Wizard of Oz. It is really difficult for me to see her as another character because she played that one to perfection.  We watched this movie as a family every year when it came on tv even though we already been to the theater to see it.  

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

  • I see her as growing both in age and in talent.  I see Liza Minnelli in the first clip.  I never really thought they looked so much alike but when she lifted her hat in the first clip it was easy to see.  

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?

  • To me when I think of older Judy I think of two things.  One is Meet me in St Louis the other is her singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. She is fantastic when she is singing and dancing or just simply singing while sitting on a chair.  She is great.  

 

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