Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

USA, 1944.  Screenplay by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , Cedric Gibbons, .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

The apex of good family viewing is this heartwarming and colourful musical, a career peak for director Vincente Minnelli. His soon-to-be-wife Judy Garland is Esther Smith, a teenaged girl in turn-of-the-century St. Louis who is in love with John Truitt (), the boy next door: literally! , , Mary Astor, and Harry Davenport play other members of the Smith clan, whose many trifles and tribulations seem light but are never unimportant as Minnelli directs with a careful touch, never allowing the film to become too syrupy or lost in its own happy goo. Musical numbers are all brilliant, the most memorable being “The Trolley Song” and the “Skip To My Lou” party sequence. Garland didn’t want to play a teenager, as she felt it held her back from the adult roles she was just starting to get at MGM (like Girl Crazy), but this one ended up being one of her most remembered and beloved performances, not to mention the biggest hit musical MGM had ever had until that point.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Screenplay; Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Scoring of a Musical Picture; Best Song (“The Trolley Song”)

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