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Judy Garland is amazing.


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I was recently having a discussion with my high school Drama Club about old movie stars. Since we are in the process of putting on a musical right now, we began talking about the best Hollywood musicals of all time. I stated that pretty much anything with Judy Garland in it is amazing. However almost half the club disagreed and they believe that Judy Garland wasn't great at all. I was astonished that they would make such a harsh comment about a legend, who to me, is clearly incredibly talented. When they asked what made her so amazing, I couldn't come up with the right words. To me, she is just indescribable, but I want to see what other people think about the beloved star of stage and screen.


So here is my final question for all you Judy fans out there:


What do you think makes Judy Garland so amazing and what has made her popularity last decades after her death?

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When I was a kid, I would run quickly from the room if I heard or saw Judy Garland on TV. Not sure why. I used to hate musicals with a passion. Maybe the yearly "Wizard of Oz" ritual was just too much for me. I was well into middle-age before I could appreciate her talent. You said it, she's indescribable. Listening to that voice and looking into those sad eyes just seem comforting now. And I think she was a pretty good actress when the part really called for it. I absolutely melt into my chair and cry my eyes out every time I hear her sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". Maybe your Drama Club cohorts will appreciate her more when they age a bit. And Mr. Burley, where are you?

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Maybe it's the old "knowing only one phase of a performer's career" thing. I'm not that crazy about Garland's later work myself.


But her singing from about 1936-48 is amazing. All I can tell the people in your Drama Club is that every time I hear her hit those high notes in the big finishes of her 1930s jazz recordings, I get chills up my spine, it's so fabulous (and to think she wasn't even 20 years old yet!).

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I'm here and there are many reasons to appreciate the artistry of Miss Garland. First of all, she was amazingly talented as a little kid. As a pre-teen, she had the voice of an adult. She was a a natrual and insightul actress early on. She could make treacly, cliched scenes work. Witness her ealier films, like the Andy Hardy sagas. You find yourself just waiting for her scenes.


As she matured, so did her artistry. She had great comic timing, ingenious musical interpretation (she made lyrics come to life), and was a great dramatic actress as well. Few could do it all; she was one of them.


Her voice was ravaged in her later years, but I disagree with Ayres' timeframe, as "The Man That Got Away" in 1954's A Star is Born is one of the greatest vocal feats of all time.

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> Her voice was ravaged in her later years, but I

> disagree with Ayres' timeframe, as "The Man That Got

> Away" in 1954's A Star is Born is one of the

> greatest vocal feats of all time.


Good point. I do love that number. But especially in the 1960s TV shows, she just sorta makes me uneasy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think it was her vulnerability and her sincerity, especially in her early years.

She made you want to laugh and cry at the same time with her expressive eyes and all that raw emotion she poured out when she acted and especially sang. I love her in Zeigfield Girl with lana Turner when she sings I'm always Chasing Rainbows

In the 50s and 60s hard living tore her apart physically, but she could still pull off a great acting role, such as Judgement at Nuremburg or I could go on Singing. I do really love her in the animated feature Gay Puree that I think came out in 1962 where she played the pretty feline Musette who lives on a farm and wants expand her horizons hopping a ride on a frieght train to see Paris. The songs were wonderful. Paris is a Lonely Town is especially haunting and beautiful.

She was a one of a kind that was put on this earth for only a brief time to sparkle for the wonder and delight of us all. Thanks to modern technology future generations will be able to view her extraordinary talents for years to come

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  • 3 months later...

I think Your Drama Club folks must have their "Heads In The Sand", or are too full of Hillary Duff, or Lindsey Lohan, or some modern-day young actress, but, I LOVED the yearly showings of "The Wizard Of Oz", all during My Childhood, and still love watching it, (when it's on, or on Video) with My Kids. I also have the

documentaries like: Wizard Of Oz: 50 Years of Magic" I love all the Andy Hardy

Movies she was in, as well as "In The Good Old Summertime", "The Harvey Girls",

"Meet Me In St.Louis", "Summer Stock", and pretty much anything she did. I also

have a Judy Garland/Liza Minelli CD, that I bought, to play some of the songs from, when I used to do a Part-Time, Once-A-Week Radio show, on KCXL-1140AM

Liberty,Missouri, called "The BEST Radio Variety Show......PERIOD!" , That one

of My Weekly shows included "Classic Movies, TV & Radio", and I had Scott

Schechter, the nation's leading authority on Judy & Liza, on by-phone. (See His

Website at www.scottschechter.com ) , And, My site at: www.theloshman.com .

I also have a Blog on www.blogspot.com about "The Classics" that you can see,

by going to the Blogspot home-page, and type in Losh Man in the Box next to

"Search Blogs", and searching. The station called and wanted me to come back

to do the "Classics" theme as a weekly show, but, It's on a small station, (although they are now on about 6 stations), but I would have to get my own Sponsors, and I don't have time to do that, AND the show. If I would have known about these message boards, when I was doing it before, I might have had an even BETTER show, as, it could be heard on the Internet, and I think I could have

picked up some good listeners, that would call-in, from this site.


But, yes, your Drama people need to Seriously sit down and watch her movies, I

think they would feel differently, if they would.



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What made her so special, was her ability to sell a song. She commanded lyrics. Her acting was every bit as good, if not better, than her singing. She had an enormous ability to be sincere, without phoniness. She could deliver the most inane dialog, and make you believe it. She was that way until the end. I had the pleasure of seeing her in concert, twice. Once, less than a year before her death, and she still was able to hold the audience in the palm of her hand.

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While she's not one of my favorite MGM stars I certainly recognize the great talent she had. Maybe people's impression of her has to do with the stage of her career they're more familiar with? Anyone wanting to see some of her most delightful work should check out (aside from the obvious Wizard of Oz) any of her musicals with Mickey Rooney (starting with the charming Thoroughbreds Don't Cry and classic musicals like The Harvey Girls and Meet Me in St. Louis.


She was also particularly vulnerable and touching in romantic movies like The Clock.

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