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About Abby09

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  1. 1. I think that my first Judy Garland film was The Wizard of Oz, but the film real memory I have of my reaction to her in in association with Meet Me in St. Louis. I was probably five or six and as the oldest of the kids in my family I wished I had an older sibling. Judy, very quickly from seeing this movie, became the ideal older sister I wished I had. I've adored her ever since and really grown to appreciate her talent which I couldn't have even begun to understand as a child. I also remember the first time someone in my family mentioned the sadness that surrounded the end of her life and I really had a hard time understanding that as a child. It didn't seem possible to me that someone with such warmth and humor, someone I idolized could also have the darker side to her life. Though terrible as some of these things remain I think it gives each of performances even more meaning, and I like her a little more for each comeback in the latter part of her career. 2. I've seen both of these films more times than I can count so I don't know that I see her differently but both of these clips showcase her sense of humor and surprising authenticity considering the sort of campy nature of both (which I love anyway). I do like to look back on her earlier films to see the beginnings of the full on Garland personality with glimpses into what is to come as far as her acting and charm. 3. Many others have mentioned The Man That Got Away and for good reason, I don't think I can even describe how powerful that song is with everything about the staging of the scene, the musicians and her voice and delivery of the song. I also think its important to note some of the performances from her CBS series which really capture a broad range of emotion and she delivers a story without a movie to support the performance.
  2. 1. Most if not all of the shots focus on Garrett - her movements and facial expressions - while Sinatra takes on a less dominant role. He is either towards the sides of the frame or shot from the back or the side. All of this combines to give Garrett the role of a "hunter" and she chases Sinatra around the stadium. The camera angles also direct focus to how Garrett always seems to be a step ahead of Sinatra (picking him up or catching him as he slides down the railing). 2. The beginning of this sequence Garrett is waiting for Sinatra which sets up her dominance in the sequence. As she initially chases him the music becomes more present until there's a pause and Garrett begins the song. The sequence then expands upon their relationship and pushes it and the plot forward.
  3. 1. I think most emphasized factor of the set design are flags. In the Oval Office there are two and attention is drawn to them since they seem to be the only thing casting a shadow on the wall behind them. The next shot opens on a flag and then moves to focus on the parade and small flag waving everywhere. The portraits of the presidents lining the staircase continue with Cagney as they ascend the stairs until they culminate to George Washington at the top of the stairs. This especially evokes patriotism since he's regarded as the greatest (or one of the greatest) president and furthermore he was a general which supports the war effort indirectly. The chairs and furniture are wood in the background with supports the rustic American ideal since they're traditional and avoid trends as they remain timeless. 2. There's an important exchange thats played off as comedic when FDR says 'the Herald Tribune says you make a better president than I do.' and Cohan replies, "don't forget, that's a republican newspaper.' It draws a positive relationship between theater/the arts and politics, which it turn rallies the American public and gives them a more positive view of politics/the war. The dialogue also conveys a sense of unity with the initial conversation with the American American servant about the 'Grand Old Flag' since the pride and patriotism crosses racial lines. This theme is furthered with later mention of Irish American patriotism. 3. Opening with the Oval Office sets up the parade through Cohen's memories. As a results the parade becomes nostalgic instead of just patriotic. This sort of sentiment romanticizes war through the lens of younger time in his life that he views fondly. Either opening would be highly patriotic, yet the view of the parade as a memory makes the patriotism seem less forced since it's the story of a person and not a country.
  4. I always find myself drawn to the Rooney/ Garland musicals, especially Girl Crazy (1943). They are both incredibly talented and Gershwin songs are iconic. I always thought it was interesting that it features June Allyson before she's very famous and an uncredited Peter Lawford with one line. I really like all of Judy Garland's musicals but my favorite are The Pirate (1948), A Star is Born (1954), Easter Parade (1948), The Harvey Girls (1946) and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). I recently saw Presenting Lily Mars (1943), it surprises me that it isn't more well known. It's really charming and Judy plays a more comedic role than most of her other musicals. Though I'm really biased towards 1940s musicals I also like Swing Time (1936) with Astaire/ Rogers. I also like Singing in the Rain (1952), and I think its interesting that a majority of the songs are taken from previous musicals. Its funny how there is only a partial commitment to the supposed time period of the transition to sound in movies, its like a 1950s version of the late 1920s. Its the same idea in Hello, Dolly! (1969) where its a 1960s version of the 1890s. But I actually kind of like it since it gives a glimpse into the time the movie was made as well as the story's time period. As sort of a random tangent I think its really interesting when a movie or musical combines real pop culture of the time with fictitious elements, its fairly prevalent in the Rooney/ Garland musicals whenever a band leader is featured as themself (Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman, etc).
  5. 1. This presents an idealized version of show business, definitely more than the reality. The clip deals with characters that are all well off enough that money is either ignored (as not an issue) or thrown around carelessly- as with Ziegfeld's tip to the doorman. The theater is also extravagant which is strange considering the plot suggests the Anna Held hasn't had her big break yet. Held also represents an "ideal" for a female in show business. Her costume is fairly conservative and white (or at least appears white) which suggests a purity and innocence which is furthered by her dialogue backstage. Although there are some sexual undertones within her song on the surface it seems playful and childish. The same sort of childish nature is shown in the exaggerated expression of Billings (when Held directs the light to Ziegfeld)- which by the way seems like a light way to show their fears of the other gaining acclaim and the spotlight. 2. The very premise of the scene is a theme played out repeatedly through musicals- a young naive, but talented female becomes the pawn of powerful men, usually in an opportunistic pursuit of power (but as with the brighter version of life the focus seems to be her career and not theirs). The way that power of characters is approached is also interesting. It seems that Held holds (couldn't help it) the power since its her decision whether to talk to Ziegfeld or Billings, yet she's portrayed as ditzy and in swayed very easily from her commitment to talk to Billings by flowers. 3. In the very beginning of the clip the doorman focuses on Held's eyes in his complement which is very censored and polite, likely not the reality of how such a conversation would go. Additionally the costume of Held is modest, much more than it would have been pre-censorship. There's also an emphasis on etiquette since neither man goes backstage after the performance they send flowers or rely on previous correspondence to set up a meeting. Also in Held's dressing room she only takes off her hat and no other performers are shown backstage at various stages of dressing.
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