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

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I'm sorry if I repeat anyone's comments as I'm certain I will. What is there left to say about Judy? She is, was, and ever shall be a perfect star of enormous talent.  For she most certainly is a star. She commands the eye when on camera like only few can.

Like many, I first saw Judy in The Wizard of Oz. She was most convincing to the young girl I was in  her role as Dorothy. Her sincerity at in this role comes across to a child quite masterfully. Her voice is the gift it is to mankind, and the songs as she tries to save her dog and get home firmly captured this young girl's imagination, admiration, and belief. This is such a fantastic movie in its fantasy qualities, and yet, she acts quite naturally in every scene as if each gesture and glance is as it ought to be if one were to have her house dropped in Munchkinland. It was and is an unforgettable performance for the ages.

The clips selected for today's "Daily Dose" capture her humor, acting, and generosity so wonderfully.  One wishes this woman had been alive and able to make films outside the studio system. Yes, she is made by MGM, but she is also wrecked by MGM. It is bittersweet to watch her transformed into the versatile jack of all trades that I can happily argue no one could match (Kelley doesn't sign as well). I would say in one clip, she is working with one of the greatest tap dancers at the beginning of his career (Gene Kelley) while she is the more experienced movie star, and in the other, she is working with the other great movie tap dancer in Astaire midway or toward the ebbing of his game. In the second case, Astaire is the more experienced celebrity, and so to watch her with both, we see that she is able to give and take with artists in many ways.  I do think she makes her partners look better, and I think that is her commitment to art and the end product. She had such a magnetic personality, my eyes can't fully look away from her, but she certainly her best to make others equal in all ways.

The later performance I would like to look at is "Born in a Trunk Medley: Part 1" because its words are Judy's story. She sounds utterly authentic as always.  Again, one hear's the depth of her voice and the recesses of her heart, but she really is telling the equivalent of her story. I chose this because "Melancholy Baby" or "Friendly Star" "If You Feel Like Singing, Sing," or "Sing, Hallelujah" all show her voice's fullest gift just as superlatively, but born in a Trunk Medley brings her full circle both personally and professionally...which led to her final phase of her career which I also love.

I love this woman. It's a mixed up, crazy world that doesn't let Judy's problems amount to a hill of beans. The joy she gave and give the world should have been returned in bushels full.  She should have been given a whiz-bang, sappy, grand ending. As my granny would say, "Phooey" to the world for dealing her such a crappy hand. Thanks, Judy, for the art you left for all to enjoy.

 

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1. My mother adored Deanna Durbin and both of us were first sopranos so my first Garland film was a rerun of the scene with Durbin in Every Sunday. At the time, since I used my mom's recording of Durbin's Alleluia to learn to sing, I thought she and her operatic voice were the greatest. Last week when revisiting the clip, my perspective was different, as one might expect with 50 intervening years. Durbin represented classical music, which is Old World music, whereas American music is based on jazz and our folk music. After WWI, there was a need to create new, specifically American music and style.  Garland's performance was loose as she sang swing music, which is very American. She is spontaneous and genuine rather than stodgy and formal as Durbin. Therefore, from my first impression of discounting Garland, my esteem for her has raised beyond my first impression years ago.

2.   These clips heighten my respect for her as a performer. Here she is, more than holding her own with two masters.  In her performance with Astaire, she is confident in presentation, sure-footed in dance, extremely expressive in her face. The white bib highlights her luminous eyes and expressions. Even Astaire can't keep his eyes off of her. Together, the choreography is impeccable, especially the moving walkway. You know that she is hitting her marks and is never off balance or in danger of missing a step. It is a generous gift that Astaire offers to her, to treat her as an equal and even takes a back stage to her. Likewise, with Kelly, she is natural as if she has studied human movement in great detail and made that part of her very being. Whereas Kelly has his famously-rehearsed expressions plastered on his face, a trademark of his, Garland is responsive to him, not to the audience. Finally, neither of these men are good singers. Their voices are weak, unshowy. Garland could belt them both out of the room. However, she does not.  She is respectful not to over-power Astaire's voice, turning it into a charming vaudeville act. With Kelly, she tones down so that their duet intertwines equal voices rather than one playing in competition to the other. All three are consummate professionals.

3.    Meet me in St. Louis has always been one of my favorites, especially "Have yourself a Merry, Little Christmas." O'Brien could easily have stolen the scene as she usually did with her "which eye do you want the tear from" ability. However, this performance is a love letter from Minnelli to the rest of the world. In this scene, he presents Garland as he sees her and wants us to so we can love her as well. He lovingly dresses her in complementary colors and the makeup caresses her luminous skin. Further, the scarf envelopes her face like a frame within a frame. His framing is tender, the lighting soft, creating emotional space for Garland to interpret the song expressively. Watching it, the audience is invisible as Garland seems to concentrate on her sister. However, with her interpretation, the song speaks to our hearts, merging into our psyches and souls. Nostalgic, sure. But it is very high class schmaltz, the type that we craved then and now. It allows us to fall in love with Judy, an affair that lasts beyond her temperamental problems later in life.  

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1.  I guess my first Judy film was Wizard of Oz, since it was shown on TV yearly, but I also saw Meet Me in St. Louis (Louis, not Louie, as Tootie reminds us), since that is my hometown.  I held Easter Parades down the street yearly.  I always loved Judy!

2.  I know these two clips too well to view her differently.  For Me and My Gal is pretty much her first grown up movie, but she is younger than in Easter Parade.  Her sense of humor is let out more in Easter Parade.

3.  There were some storytelling examples earlier than A Star is Born, such as The Pirate, but A Star is Born is truly the pinacle.  I enjoy I Could Go On Singing as well.  As was mentioned, Judy was the best.  Another way to go after storytelling is her concerts, especially Judy at the Palace and Judy at Carnegie Hall.  You have to remember what an amazing live performer she was.

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My first impression of Judy Garland was as the doe-eyed Dorothy in The Wizard of OZ.  I would watch the film every year it was broadcast on TV.  Days after I saw it, I would relive the songs and scenes in my head.  I watched it on TCM when the channel debuted and broadcast its jewels.  I even saw the film on the big screen during an anniversary celebration.  My family knows I am a Wizard of OZ fan, especially when I went to McDonald's to order Happy Meals for my kids so that I could get all of the mini Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz dolls.  My husband bought me a collection of porcelain Madame Alexander dolls on the occasions of birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas.  My granddaughter now looks at them in a curio cabinet, and I am waiting a few years to share a viewing of the film with her.

After her role as Dorothy, I saw Judy in Meet Me in St. Louis.  My sisters and I always played that we had long hair like we were Esther and Rose by wearing towels on our heads so that we would have long hair.  I remember watching this movie at my grandparents' house, and I have wonderful memories of my family watching another loving, close family.  Growing up in the midwest, I remember making snowmen with my sisters, and the scene where Tootie is laughing at how one of the snowgirls looks like Lucille Ballard, Lon's girlfriend, sounds so much like of our childhood teasing.  This film is one of my favorite Christmas films although the story spans the entire year of a family's life.  When my family took a vacation to St. Louis, I wanted to see some of the buildings from the 1903 St. Louis Exposition, but there is only a grassy park there now.  The closest I can get to this time period's architecture is the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco where my son and I went just last week.  Judy Garland films are intricately interwoven into my life's memories.

I have seen many other Garland films like The Harvey Girls, In the Good Ole Summertime, and Summer Stock, and I love them all for different reasons.  As for telling a story with song lyrics, I love "Mack, the Black" in The Pirate with Gene Kelly.  When Serafin hypnotizes Manuela, and she dances and sings, her auburn hair falls loosely during her song, and the viewer can see her passion for the legend of Mack and her heart longing for a true love even if it is not suitable for her social status.  In addition, Esther Blodgett/Vicky Lester singing "The Man That Got Away," "Born in a Trunk," and "Lose That Long Face," highlight Judy's wide range in storytelling through song.

Still, I love the film The Clock (1945) with Robert Walker which is one film that Judy does not sing a song.  She is so tender, endearing, and heartwarming.  Judy does reveal her talent in developing a character that is believable and relatable without song or dance.  She would give more dramatic portrayals in Judgment at Nuremberg and A Child is Waiting. I have loved watching Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz to Andy Hardy pictures to MGM musicals to A Star is Born.  I often wanted to have a talent like hers, but I know that she generously used her life's energy without regard to her own self.  A quote from Lao Tzu describes Judy Garland:  “The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.”

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71.  I honestly can't remember if my first Judy Garland film was "Easter Parade" or "The Wizard of Oz".  My mom had a great love for musicals so us kids watched alot if them.  My impression of her was how she could put so much emotion into her songs.  "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is sung with such longing it still tugs at my heart.

2.  For myself, I never noticed how she tried to incorporate her sense of humor into her films.  In "Easter Parade", Ms. Garland spends a large portion of the film portraying a clumsy character, allowing feathers to get in her face while dancing for example.

3.  My mom had her "That's Entertainment" record.  Her voice had matured and I could hear a lot more strength and confidence in her voice.  "Puttin' on the Ritz" being a good example.

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I think the first film I saw starring Judy Garland was "The Wizard of Oz," and of course, I saw an amazing film with imaginative characters, songs and plots. But it was her voice that struck me, how powerful and distinct it was. She uses it in every song she sings and it is amazing. I cared about her acting in the movie but it was her singing that I fell in love with. 

Some of the later films that I think of in her singing career include the remake of "A Star is Born" and "Summer Stock," which I think doesn't get discussed as much as it should. She is a force in "A Star is Born," especially in her first song in the bar; I can't describe hearing it for the first time. And she is able to share her voice even though the movie requires her to be more of an actress since the movie's theme is serious. "Summer Stock" partners her with Gene Kelly again, and I think she is still strong as a singer, dancer and actress. 

I have to admit that my favorite Judy Garland movie is not a musical - she doesn't sing one song. It's "The Clock" with Robert Walker. It's made during World War II, and has a lot of patriotism, and even made by Vincente Minnelli. But I love it because it is just a beautiful movie, with the right amount of everything. 

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I believe my first Judy Garland movie was The Wizard of Oz and because of her brilliant performance, i always watch it when it comes on. I thought Judy was the perfect choice for the part, even though hearsay says they wanted Shirley Temple for the part. I don't think anyone can picture Shirley in this part.

I enjoyed watching her grow from child superstar to Superstar. She began with one of the most talented artist in the business, Mickey Rooney who was also a superstar in his own right. She was great in most of her parts and I felt she always gave 110%.

I recently watched her in in a Star is Born and she made me cry when she sang The Man that Got Away. I think she had her best performance in this movie and deserved her Oscar nomination. Today, there is no one who could wear her shoes.

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Until this past weekend I had only seen one Judy Garland movie and we all know which one it was.  Keep in mind, I’ve seen very few musicals in my lifetime.  Since Thursday of last week, I have managed to see the following Judy Garland films: Meet Me In St Louis, The Clock (I had to see her in a non-musical and I’m a little neurotic about chronological order plus I’m seeing my first Vicente Minnelli films this past week as well over at Filmstruck), Strike Up The Band, For Me and My Gal, The Pirate and Easter Parade.  Yesterday I hit up my local library so I have sitting on my desk a copy of The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (every list I read mentions Babes On Broadway and Babes In Arms), A Star Is Born and Rainbow (a book collecting various newspaper/ magazine articles throughout the years which moves chronologically through her career; I need background information because, believe it or not, I know next to nothing about her—anyone wanting to recommend a solid bio I’ll be more than happy to investigate it).  Obviously, I’ve been impressed by her!

When I signed up for a musical class more than one person who knew me expressed surprise.  I see a lot of movies (a bare minimum of one a day) and I’ve investigated a lot of genres (my preference is foreign language which isn’t a genre, but you get the picture) but rarely do I take time to see musicals.  I blame Paint Your Wagon which I paid to see in a theatre.  Anyhow when I decided to take this course I knew it would force me to do at least two things I have long avoided: get me to see a second Judy Garland movie and force me to confront Yankee Doodle Dandy (I know that Garland isn’t in that) two things I’ve long stayed away from.

It’s a shame I waited so long in my lifetime to watch Meet Me In St Louis because it is a fabulous movie.  It felt quite authentic in terms of believing this was a family—the scene where Mary Astor quells the argument she and Leon Ames are having by playing ‘their’ song which brings the family out of hiding, Agnes’ donning of Dad’s shoes in the opening minutes, Tootie’s obsession with dead and ghoulish things (and parents who didn’t think that was weird or wrong) culminating in her claim that she would need a week digging up her dead dolls in her doll graveyard; of course the dinner scene where everyone but Dad knows that the phone call will be coming for Rose (and Tootie’s response) even Dad’s threatening to leave Katie the maid behind when they go to NYC.  It feels real and it also feels like classic Hollywood in the most perfect way.

I’ve always believed that Garland was more singer than an actress and could I have been more wrong?  She is equally adept at both making her a consummate musical actress (which you all knew long before I discovered it this past weekend).  That scene where Esther asks John Truett to help her turn out the lights, she is trying so hard to get him to think that he really should try to give her a kiss and it just doesn’t pan out.  I could feel both her anticipation and her annoyance.  Her relationship with Tootie feels so right.  The scene where she sings “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is an absolute highlight and one that will play through my head this coming Christmas whenever I hear that song.

The Clock was absolutely charming and proved she doesn’t need songs to hide behind.  I was completely convinced by her performance that she was in love with Joe Allen the soldier, even after only one day together.  The wordless scene on the second day where she is determining what he takes in his coffee is close to perfect as is her response to the ugliness of a certain event (no spoilers here).  I did think some of her performance in The Pirate was over the top, but then who’s wasn’t in that movie?  And more importantly, it always worked!  I didn’t realize that she worked in comedy as easily as she does.  In Easter Parade her facial expressions in “A Couple of Swells” weren’t ridiculous or excessive, her eyes alone as she walks onto the stage behind Astaire in that song let me know I needed to watch her and not him so when I finally did watch Astaire I realized I was far more rewarded watching Garland.  

Honestly, the class has more than tripled my expectations in just what I’ve witnessed in watching Judy Garland movies.  I certainly didn’t anticipate converting to a Judy Garland fan but that’s how fantastic she is, right? Now, if only I can get through Yankee Doodle Dandy, win or lose, this class will long remain a favorite summer memory! (Let me add one more thing, last night I finally broke down and watched On The Town, another film I’ve long avoided and I could add another page on why I thoroughly loved this movie.  And darn you HUAC for ruining Betty Garrett’s big screen film career!)

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1. I remember seeing Athe Wizard of Oz on television before we had a color TV. I found her fastening and could really feel the meaning of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I’ve probable watched it almost every year since because it shows how one can overcome almost everything if you have friends. And even though the majority of women in films in the 30s weren’t the strong type she was. She was a girl that could think her way through many situations in Oz. Yet remained a child. I will admit that I wasn’t fond of her later musicals but I did like her dramatic roles, such as the one in the Judgement at Nuremberg. 

2.  I also been watching her films over the past 60 years. The only real difference I saw in these film clips was she took charge from Gene Kelly over the piano. As far as I’m concerned she controlled and stole the scene. 

3.  I agree with others that her performance in A Star Is Born. It was her strongest performance as an adult that earned her an Oscar nomination. And in my opinion it is the best version outside of the first one. She out does all the other version with her performance. 

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  1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her?
    My first Judy film was Wizard of Oz.  My first impression of her was how sweet and innocent she seemed in that film.  She had such a sadness in her eyes in certain scenes in that film (when they take Toto for example that just breaks your heart, or when she sees through the witch's crystal ball Aunt Em) that as a young child would make me sad too.  Of course I also remember every song she sings in the film because of her amazing talent too!  
  2. How do you view her differently after viewing these clips than you might have viewed her previously?
    Until I saw Easter Parade and Meet Me in St. Louis I never knew just how funny she was!  She's hilarious playing the bum beside Fred Astaire in Easter Parade, and again her acting is amazing in Meet Me In 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?
    I think mostly of her in Meet Me In St. Louis with her two emotional songs the joy and happiness of the Trolley Song and the sadness and pain in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Her acting and emotions with both songs are perfection!  She tells quite the story in those two songs one that we as the audience relate to and connect to thanks to Mrs. Garland's talents! 

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10 hours ago, KWiniarski said:

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

Of course, it has to be The Wizard of Oz for me too. It's hard to remember exact impressions because I was a little girl, but her voice was amazing. She always had this voice so much bigger and richer than you would think it'd be. Her wanting to be a part of the farm and how she tried to stress the importance of her problems to her aunt and uncle is very relatable for a kid. The flying monkeys were also terrifying for a kid haha. 

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

I know a lot about her and have researched her extensively for a finished, but yet unpublished, book. I've seen these movies and many others, so it doesn't change my view, but for people that have only seen Oz, I can see how it would! She is hilarious and grew so much as an actress as she got older. She had a huge range of talents, not just her singing, which is phenomenal. She could learn dance steps like no one's business and her comedic timing was impeccable. 

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?

So many.. the first thing I thought of was the song, "Mack the Black" from The Pirate. Such a great clip! She's funny, spunky and tells a story. That whole movie, she does so well, especially considering how rough her life was at the time. Summer Stock is also great. "Get Happy" and "Friendly Star" are not only great songs, but they further the story and "Friendly Star" tells you that she's interested in Gene Kelly's character and not so sure about her current fiance. The dance she and Kelly do at the barn dance is also great for showing how talented of a dancer she was. She can match him so well! It's so fun to watch! 

I also love "Friendly Star."

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9 hours ago, Heather Redfern said:

Judy Garland is absolutely my favorite actress of all time (pair her with Gene Kelly and I am in heaven). I became enchanted from the first time I saw her, watching the Wizard of Oz as a very young child- her voice, her beauty, she was sweet. The clips from For Me and My Gal and Easter Parade demonstrate that she was more than the innocent teenager with the big voice- she was a triple threat. She could sing, act and hold her own dancing with Kelly and Astaire. And she was funny- she conveyed her comedic talents not only with the delivery of the song lyrics, but also with her facial expressions and body language. These clips also demonstrate that she was very much the leading lady- she didn’t let someone like a Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly overshadow her- she was their equal. 

 

One of my very favorite movies is Summer Stock. Judy really sells it as the older, responsible sister, left to take care of the family farm, become engaged to the guy everyone expects her to marry while her younger sister runs off to break into show business. But when her sister’s troupe comes back to put on their show at the barn, as much as Judy protests, she lets them stay and even takes the starring role when her sister abandonea the group. When Judy performs Get Happy, you know she wants another life- off of the farm, with Gene Kelly. She was meant to be a performer, too. 

Judy made the transition, because she had the voice of a grown woman. Also if you notice that in those days teenagers and preteens dressed like little adults. The girls may have on rolled down socks and oxfords but the rest of their clothes and hairstyles were that of grown women. Boys wore fedoras and three piece suits. AND the main reason is that she was versatile! While we are talking about Judy, we can’t forget Mickey. He even did imitations. I think if he had grown taller, he might have a more varied career as he aged.

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Like a majority of repliers, my first exposure was "The Wizard of Oz" because of the annual Easter airings on TV, and my mother's annual insistence that the two of us sit in front of our TV and watch the annual Easter airing. In truth, my mother and I would almost certainly continue this ritual if it were still only aired on Easter Sunday. 

I was struck by this statement by Dr. Ament, "Never satisfied to be just a pretty face with a magnificent voice, Garland demonstrates how she can be on stage with anyone and make it almost impossible to watch anyone else, even though she is generous with her co-stars."

All these years of Judy Garland film watching, and I never once considered her generosity yet it was there in every film and every dance and every duet. I don't think I'll ever view my favorite films again without watching for this graciousness. 

"The Harvey Girls" isn't one of her later later films, but it has been my favorite since circa 1984 when I was home sick from school and it aired on Channel 9 in LA (KHJ at the time, KCAL now). I rarely meet anyone who holds this film in as high esteem as I, but, I swear, what Judy Garland does with a pistol in a saloon to get her restaurant's protein back remains aspirational for me. 

I didn't really answer the singing/lyric question here, but I never turn down an opportunity to talk publicly about "The Harvey Girls". 

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1. The first Judy garland film I watched was, "The Wizard of Oz." I thought she fit the role perfectly of Dorothy, she had a very youthful performance.

2. In these clips Judy Garland seemed more mature and has grown as an actress since "The Wizard of Oz."

3. "Summer Stocks" comes to mind from her later career.  

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Like everyone I'm sure has already mentioned, the first film that ever exposed me to the wonderfully talented Judy Garland was The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes I think it was simply an unwritten law that you had to see The Wizard of Oz as a child. Anyway, I remember as a young child even being captivated by Judy's beauty, youth, and innocence in this film. I don't believe that I truly began to appreciate her dazzling talent though until I saw Meet Me in St. Louis somewhere in my teenage years I believe. There I just fell in love w/her charming personality, though we also saw a feisty side to her when she confronted the boy next door John after she thought he hurt Tootie. Which is really the whole point as I think you saw different sides to Judy in this film. She was feisty, charming, vulnerable, sad, and in that scene performing w/Tootie at the party you saw her capacity for love and passion (which were also on display in other parts of the film.)

I've seen Easter Parade now at least a half-dozen times as I try to watch it every Easter when TCM plays it, but as I watched this clip I did notice as Dr. Ament mentioned that my eye was continually drawn back to Judy though I did try to watch Fred Astaire at different moments throughout the number. And I believe as well that it just has to do w/Judy's tremendous talent and just sheer screen presence that you can't take your eyes off of her. Her timing is impeccable, the humor gets you laughing out loud, and the simple pleasure of watching her sing and dance is just breathtaking. Watching them together is simply a delight. You understand why Fred Astaire was so eager to work w/her and realize how sad it was that this was their only film together. Now as For Me and My Gal, I've only seen this film once before so I was watching the number as closely as possible. Judy really is the consummate performer as you watch her sing and act at the same time all while keeping her eyes on the music, "playing" the piano, and keeping that contact w/Gene Kelly's character as Dr. Ament mentioned. You really see the beginning of that relationship play out in this number too. The spark is there and continues to build throughout the number, heightened by the dancing. I feel that Judy takes the believability here to the next level. 

When talking about songs that really made you feel that Judy was telling a story w/them though it's not exactly later years I've always felt that the Trolley Song from Meet Me in St. Louis has a powerful and beautiful feeling to it. Every time I hear it I feel this amazing rush like I'm right there with Judy feeling everything that she's feeling in that moment. I've also felt that Get Happy from Summer Stock gives you this incredible feeling of happiness and relaxation. And I recently saw A Star is Born which was pretty amazing, especially The Man that Got Away. It just haunts you and stays with you long after the number is over. 

Forgot to add Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas as well though it too is not exactly later years. There's something about the way Judy sings it that nobody else can match. I think it's the sadness, the vulnerability, and there is a little bit of a haunting quality to it as well. I actually refuse to listen basically to any other version of this song, because in my opinion nobody can do it like Judy did. NOBODY. 

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1. The Wizard of Oz. The powerful voice, the gentleness in Judy's gaze
 and the presence of the stage always impressed me.
 
2. Perhaps this most playful and mocking aspect of her characters has 
always gone unnoticed for I considered her more austere and serious.
 
3. I love her acting in The Pirate and all the movies she does with Gene Kelly, 
because the chemistry of both was palpable and any story was believable 
when she sang and he tapped.

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10 hours ago, Masscommmike said:

Like most people, the Wizard of Oz was the first time I saw Judy Garland perform on film.  My first impression was that she was extremely talented singer and performer.

These clips confirmed her talent as a singer and performer.   It also highlighted her range as an actress.

This is not a film but in the Sixties, Judy Garland had a TV show that once again showcased her talents as a singer and performer.  Here is a clip.  You may want to fast forward through the opening graphic.

 

I wanted to go to one of her TV show performances as well.  Something was "on" for her right at that time artistically.  Maybe it is the first time we see Judy:Redux happening and that is why it is just leaves us bowled over. 

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I first saw Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz however, I also used to watch her on The Judy Garland Show; therefore, as a child,I got to see two sides of Judy - the young one, and the middle-aged one simultaneously.

 My favorite movie musicals with Judy are: Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, Summer Stock, A Star is Born. In A Star is Born, one of her films of the 50's, Judy Garland not only sings wonderfully, acts with emotion, but she really pours her heart out in song and dance. It is a bravura performance (but aren't they all?) that runs the gamut from her own happy rise to the tragedy of her spouse's downfall. There is a wide range of emotions that really are captured in this film. I think that Judy Garland does this in every film she ever made, whether musical or not, but even more so in this one - A Star is Born - the capstone, I think, of her career.

I would have loved to have seen more of Judy Garland in movies as she grew older.  One can only imagine what wonderful future performances she could have offered us. We live, however, with her in memory. Her bravura performances are captured forever on a flat pieces of celluloid film. (I wrote an academic article on my blog, about  The Philosophy of the Red Shoes, where I looked at how three-dimensional artistic performance could be captured on two-dimensional pieces of celluloid.) It is the same, however, with all films and performances. Judy Garland's voice will live on - haunting us, making us cry, giving us joy to "Get Happy" - as her songs are transferred from one technology to the next. No matter how many times I see her movies, I tape and watch them over and over. It is a sign of performance of which you never tire. 

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51 minutes ago, RobinG said:

I believe my first Judy Garland movie was The Wizard of Oz and because of her brilliant performance, i always watch it when it comes on. I thought Judy was the perfect choice for the part, even though hearsay says they wanted Shirley Temple for the part. I don't think anyone can picture Shirley in this part.

I enjoyed watching her grow from child superstar to Superstar. She began with one of the most talented artist in the business, Mickey Rooney who was also a superstar in his own right. She was great in most of her parts and I felt she always gave 110%.

I recently watched her in in a Star is Born and she made me cry when she sang The Man that Got Away. I think she had her best performance in this movie and deserved her Oscar nomination. Today, there is no one who could wear her shoes.

She makes me cry, and I have seen most of her stuff often.  She's just spectacular.

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47 minutes ago, aheadbyecho said:

Until this past weekend I had only seen one Judy Garland movie and we all know which one it was.  Keep in mind, I’ve seen very few musicals in my lifetime.  Since Thursday of last week, I have managed to see the following Judy Garland films: Meet Me In St Louis, The Clock (I had to see her in a non-musical and I’m a little neurotic about chronological order plus I’m seeing my first Vicente Minnelli films this past week as well over at Filmstruck), Strike Up The Band, For Me and My Gal, The Pirate and Easter Parade.  Yesterday I hit up my local library so I have sitting on my desk a copy of The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (every list I read mentions Babes On Broadway and Babes In Arms), A Star Is Born and Rainbow (a book collecting various newspaper/ magazine articles throughout the years which moves chronologically through her career; I need background information because, believe it or not, I know next to nothing about her—anyone wanting to recommend a solid bio I’ll be more than happy to investigate it).  Obviously, I’ve been impressed by her!

When I signed up for a musical class more than one person who knew me expressed surprise.  I see a lot of movies (a bare minimum of one a day) and I’ve investigated a lot of genres (my preference is foreign language which isn’t a genre, but you get the picture) but rarely do I take time to see musicals.  I blame Paint Your Wagon which I paid to see in a theatre.  Anyhow when I decided to take this course I knew it would force me to do at least two things I have long avoided: get me to see a second Judy Garland movie and force me to confront Yankee Doodle Dandy (I know that Garland isn’t in that) two things I’ve long stayed away from.

It’s a shame I waited so long in my lifetime to watch Meet Me In St Louis because it is a fabulous movie.  It felt quite authentic in terms of believing this was a family—the scene where Mary Astor quells the argument she and Leon Ames are having by playing ‘their’ song which brings the family out of hiding, Agnes’ donning of Dad’s shoes in the opening minutes, Tootie’s obsession with dead and ghoulish things (and parents who didn’t think that was weird or wrong) culminating in her claim that she would need a week digging up her dead dolls in her doll graveyard; of course the dinner scene where everyone but Dad knows that the phone call will be coming for Rose (and Tootie’s response) even Dad’s threatening to leave Katie the maid behind when they go to NYC.  It feels real and it also feels like classic Hollywood in the most perfect way.

I’ve always believed that Garland was more singer than an actress and could I have been more wrong?  She is equally adept at both making her a consummate musical actress (which you all knew long before I discovered it this past weekend).  That scene where Esther asks John Truett to help her turn out the lights, she is trying so hard to get him to think that he really should try to give her a kiss and it just doesn’t pan out.  I could feel both her anticipation and her annoyance.  Her relationship with Tootie feels so right.  The scene where she sings “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is an absolute highlight and one that will play through my head this coming Christmas whenever I hear that song.

The Clock was absolutely charming and proved she doesn’t need songs to hide behind.  I was completely convinced by her performance that she was in love with Joe Allen the soldier, even after only one day together.  The wordless scene on the second day where she is determining what he takes in his coffee is close to perfect as is her response to the ugliness of a certain event (no spoilers here).  I did think some of her performance in The Pirate was over the top, but then who’s wasn’t in that movie?  And more importantly, it always worked!  I didn’t realize that she worked in comedy as easily as she does.  In Easter Parade her facial expressions in “A Couple of Swells” weren’t ridiculous or excessive, her eyes alone as she walks onto the stage behind Astaire in that song let me know I needed to watch her and not him so when I finally did watch Astaire I realized I was far more rewarded watching Garland.  

Honestly, the class has more than tripled my expectations in just what I’ve witnessed in watching Judy Garland movies.  I certainly didn’t anticipate converting to a Judy Garland fan but that’s how fantastic she is, right? Now, if only I can get through Yankee Doodle Dandy, win or lose, this class will long remain a favorite summer memory! (Let me add one more thing, last night I finally broke down and watched On The Town, another film I’ve long avoided and I could add another page on why I thoroughly loved this movie.  And darn you HUAC for ruining Betty Garrett’s big screen film career!)

 

On the Town is a gem! Glad you enjoyed it.  It is interesting to revisit movies one once thought not to her liking and find it is now a delight. 

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1) as many here, it was The Wizard of Oz I first recall watching Judy Garland.  I was younger than the character Dorothy and, as I’m also from Kansas, I connected to her as my older sister.  I thought she was very brave to go on the adventure.  Haha.  Now whenever watching Oz I have an appreciation of her performance abilities and still feel / recognize the emotions of the first viewing.

2) I’m more impressed and in awe.  Before I was not aware of how much of what we see is raw talent.  That she really did not have much training in music, dance or acting is amazing.  She does take you attention in most any scene she is in.  Also, more in tune to the little things she does, a look, a touch, a conspiring smile to the audience - all come together to make you interested in her.

3) My preference is the younger Judy, seeing more fun and joy in her.  I also appreciate the experiences later, especially with her singing, such power to her voice.  Mostly I recall her T.V. show in later years.

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The first Judy Garland film I ever watched was The Wizard of Oz. I was very young and I remember watching it on TV and it would come on every year around Halloween and Christmas time. And I would watch it every time. When I first saw Judy Garland on screen I thought she was very charming. She had a lovely voice. After watching those two clips I have a much more deeper appreciation of her talent and what she was able to do. She was extremely talented and versatile. I don't see her only as Dorothy anymore. I see her a talented performer that was able to entertain people with almost everything she did. A Star is Born would be the film that showed her ability to capture audiences imagination as a story teller. 

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1. My first Judy Garland movie was the Wizard of Oz.  I was entranced with her voice, her singing, her infectious laugh and her relatability to me as a child.  My next was Gay Purr-ee.  I loved that movie

I think mostly because it was a cartoon, but as always, I've loved her sweet voice.

2. Upon reviewing the clips and the information from Dr. Ament, I feel a better sense of her workmanship as a vocalist and actress.  Her attention to the details of the scene singing For Me and My Gal made me appreciate her work more.  Her work in

Easter Parade holding her own with Fred Astaire, it just inspires me to awe.

3. Her role in A Star is Born, I feel her love, anguish and pain etc. in her singing.  Much later in Judgement at Nuremburg  - you cannot but focus on her only really - she is an amazing vessel to convey heavy emotion.

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Judy Garland is one of my all-time favorite performers, and although I've been in a few situations when I had to explain to those of the younger generation who aren't familiar with her, why she's considered such a phenomenal talent, I feel the more I watch her movies and listen to her music the more I understand about her, the times she lived in and what it means to really live your art.

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

The first Judy Garland film I saw was Wizard of Oz. To this day I still cry whenever I see her sing Over the Rainbow because when she sang it she looked so beautiful and hopeful. This was definitely the moment I started my love affair with musicals and classic films.

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

After seeing her in Easter Parade and Me and My Gal I realized she was the perfect accompanist and versatile enough to transform herself when the occasion arose.

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?

Her storytelling abilities really come alive in Wizard of Oz when she sang Over the Rainbow (1939) and  Come On Get Happy in Summer Stock (1950). What makes the way she sings both songs so compelling and literary is the way she enlivens them with emotion and passionate deliverance. Against the plain backdrops of each setting, the effect is dramatic and unforgettable.

 

 

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