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Judy Jay

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  1. 1. I'm sure the first time I ever saw Judy Garland was in the Wizard of Oz. But in that movie, she was always Dorothy. The first films where I think of Judy Garland as herself are the Andy Hardy films. In those, she was always girlish (but not a little girl like in the Wizard of Oz), and sweet, and kind, and patient--all to a fault because Andy didn't treat her very well most of the time. I always rooted for her in those movies. And when she sang, she would command the screen and reach out and touch you with emotion. 2. I've seen Easter Parade dozens of times, and I still marvel at Judy's performance. How petit Judy could not only keep up but take the focus away from Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly is testimony to her talent. An even funnier scene from Easter Parade is when Fred asks Judy to catch the gentlemen's eyes while walking down the street. When the camera reveals she's making a fish face, it is such a sweet moment. In For Me and My Gal, a film I'm less familiar with, I was able to see Judy never stop acting while she sang and danced, something I hadn't thought about before. 3. I think the Man That Got Away from A Star Is Born is the quintessential song delivery by Judy. Every note and inflection is amazing. I heard a story that the director, George Cukor, filmed the scene with her singing that song without a single edit because he knew Judy could perform the song flawlessly and compellingly and own the screen. Few performers could be so emotional and magnetic in one take, but Judy could. What a joy to be able to share my thoughts and hear others praise Judy and her incredible talent.
  2. Although the characters weren't "together" as a couple in these scenes, they had a real connection. It seemed obvious that they were attracted to each other. Nelson Eddy was quite clear about that, while Jeanette MacDonald was more coy. From the start of a movie in thirties film, the audience knew there would be a happy ending. That fits very nicely with escaping from your troubles during the Depression. You can't fake chemistry, and these two had it.
  3. Like so many Depression era films, this movie shows people in the most beautiful clothing and environments. The movies were an escape from reality, so keeping things light meant not having to think about real life and the struggle to find a job or make ends meet. The most fashionable clothing and jewels and lifestyle were very much a part of Depression era musicals. No matter the plot, Ginger Rogers always wore the latest fashion and looked flawless. This portrayal of life was aspirational seems to be very much a part of musicals of the time. Had the film been made before code, there would have been more suggestive language--perhaps when the police officer described Anna Held, and likely she would have been undressing as she talked to her maid and admired the orchids.
  4. I can watch Easter Parade endlessly. Aside from Judy and Fred, to me the 2 greatest musical performers ever, I love the story. Fred thinking he wants one thing, only to realize what he really wants is something different. I think some of Judy's personality shines through in her acting, and especially "Walk Up the Avenue" number. The writing is great, the Irving Berlin songs are stellar, the costumes and sets and direction are all beautiful.
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