Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. United Kingdom/USA, 1963. Barbican Films. Story by Robert Dozier, Screenplay by Mayo Simon. Cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson. Produced by Stuart Millar, Lawrence Turman. Music by Mort Lindsey. Production Design by Wilfred Shingleton. Costume Design by Beatrice Dawson. Film Editing by John Shirley.
Judy Garland made her very last completed film in this marginally impressive musical, shot entirely in the UK. She plays a bitter, aging singer who desires to regain acquaintance with her young son years after she left him in the care of his father (Dirk Bogarde). She spends time with the young boy during an engagement she has singing in London, while his father does business in Rome, and during that time manages to get back the family she never really had. Garland’s more dramatic moments are pulled off with the usual finesse that she gave to all her acting performances, but the screenplay is so run-of-the mill and even the songs never manage to be all the impressive (with lyrics like “I could go on singing ’til the cows come home!” how could they be?), but fans will definitely want to watch it. Sadly, her last film (made six years before her death at 47) impressed no one and played to empty cinemas.