The Harvey Girls - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Harvey Girls Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
A fun, but predictable musical comedy.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2007
Even lower case Judy is better then most and this has a young Angela Lansbury as well
Super Reviewer
August 24, 2006
My love of life, JUDY!
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2008
Glossy Hollywood musical where cowboys and waitresses wear Technicolor outfits that look like they rarely encounter dust. The great performances and musical numbers carry you away to this imaginary place for a couple hours of enjoyable entertainment though. Ray Bolger and Judy Garland re-team, though they don't share many scenes. Bolger provides comic relief, but especially captures the screen with his trademark style of dance. Garland commits to film more tunes that she enlivens with her unique voice and ability to add sensitivity.
May 25, 2012
One of Garland's biggest hits was obviously inspired by the stage hit OKLAHOMA; the tuneful Warren-Mercer score includes the big, Oscar-winning production number "On the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe," along with star turns by Angela Lansbury, Virginia O'Brien and Cyd Charisse; Ray Bolger is left with a thankless role and one short dance number.
January 21, 2015
I didn't get into this movie. It wasn't bad, but I just was surprised when it was over and it felt like something had been missing. Or maybe I just missed something.
½ February 8, 2012
Not everybody knows who Johnny Mercer was but everybody knows a Johnny Mercer song: "MOON RIVER", "JEEPERS CREEPERS", or "YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY." Mercer wrote lyrics for and recorded hundreds of songs in the Great American Songbook including "ON THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND THE SANTA FE" for the movie musical The Harvey Girls (music: Harry Warren). That song is used in a grand Hollywood production number at the beginning. What happens after that are some less fantastic numbers and a thin story. Judy Garland plays a 19th Century mail order bride from Ohio whose train stops in an old Western American town. Garland takes a job as a Harvey Girl. That's an ebullient, hard working server in a friendly whistle stop restaurant called Harvey's. It's a respectable opportunity for a young, unmarried woman, especially compared to the girls who "entertain" men more provocatively across the street at the local casino and dance hall. A cultural conflict is set up here between the two kinds of girls in town, a conflict repeated in the battle of affections over the same man by both Garland and the leader of the showgirls. There is a longer discussion to be had about how these microcosmic conflicts attempt to play out familiar value themes in musicals: work versus leisure and chastity versus sexual promiscuity. But the case is well summarized at the end when all of the town drunks and gamblers come over to Harvey's to learn how to waltz. As the town parson says, "For the first time the men in this town chose having a good time over having a wild time." This movie is a good but not wild time and there are some great, less recognizable Mercer/Warren tunes as well as an amazing tap dance specialty number by Ray Bolger
½ April 10, 2010
I really liked this movies. The costumes were great! The singing was pretty good. Could barley recognize Angela Lansbury she was 19 in this movie. The kids liked this one a lot, and that surprised me.
September 17, 2009
I love musicals, and I really enjoy Judy Garland's singing. Her acting is usually more than adequate and it was here. A thin plot, thin storyline on which to hang several fun song and dance numbers. The real surprise for me was Angela Lansbury who played femme fatale with a quiet panache. And why don't we have leading men that have huge toothy grins like John Hodiak anymore? A question that has too long gone unanswered.
½ July 21, 2009
I never really heard the term "Harvey Girl" before - so I had no idea what this musical was going to be about beforehand. I figured it was about some girls from a family named "Harvey". WRONG. I never would have thought it to be a musical with a western setting. Okay - sounds like fun...except for me - the film never really reaches it's potential. Not really a good sign when there really is only one song in the entire flick that you have heard before. It's also not a good sign when the film opens with Judy singing a song while riding a train - but the background is such a horribly matched rear screen projection that it's distracting as hell...UGH.
THE ATCHISON-TOPEKA AND SANTA FE is the well known song. Everything else seems to have rightfully been forgotten due to the passage of time...

Too bad, because there really is a good cast here. Judy Garland is always ON no matter what song she sings. Here she is reunited with her WIZARD OF OZ costar, Ray Bolger - who I think is the best comic dancer of his time. His goofy dance in this one is reminiscent of his great number from THE GREAT ZIEGFELD. There is a young Cyd Charisse who does a nice balletic piece which makes her petticoats spin. Angela Lansbury is gorgeous here too and she does a nice (but all too brief) sexy french can-can number (although her singing voice is dubbed). Yet everything seems a bit flat. Missing that certain OOMPH. Lackluster - that's the word.

Judy Garland is a mail-order bride headed west to meet her husband-to-be. When she finally meets her husband-to-be... well she backs out. I suppose you would too if you found out it was gonna be Chill Wills! Anyway, there is a side plot regarding Judy falling in love with another most unlikely character. Not sure if it really works since it plays against her character.

There is one scene that had me flinching. Not because of the singing. It was during Virginia O'Brien's number THE WILD, WILD, WEST. She is showing Ray Bolger how to shoe a horse. She hammer's a glowing hot horseshoe on an anvil making sparks fly. She leaves the horseshoe on the anvil for a bit...but returns and actually picks up the red hot horseshoe with her bare hands (as I twist in my chair). She continues singing her song nonchalantly...caressing the glowing horseshoe with her fingers. Yeah it's fake - but it sure did have me fooled for a moment. Jeez Louise.

So what is a HARVEY GIRL? Well, during the railroads expansion westward in the late 1800's - there came a need for places for passengers to eat. An entrepreneur named Fred Harvey made a deal with the railroads and set up the first known chain restaurants in the USA named HARVEY HOUSE. Harvey had strict standards for quality and excellent service. The uniformed waitresses who worked there became known as Harvey Girls. Thank you GOOGLE. So now you know too.

5.5 / 10
½ June 28, 2009
Wow was this a mediocre movie. The only really memorable song number was "Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe." I didn't expect a thought-provoking plot or social commentary, but I did expect more of a compelling emotional narrative. I really didn't care about any of my main characters. Not a one. Worth a gander if you're a Garland fan, but not entirely memorable.
March 29, 2008
i liked the actresses in this film, and this little piece on harvey girls actually helped me in my u.s. history class! didn't think too terribly much about this film, but it must have been good for me to still remember details of it.
December 17, 2007
It's all about "The Atchinson, Topeka and the Santa Fe" that makes this movie such a treat! If you can sing the whole thing, I'm in love with you forever and ready to pick out curtains!
July 23, 2007
[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]Undeclared: The Complete Series[/color][/i][/b] 7/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]I really liked this show when it was on the air, but as I watched the whole series back to back, parts of the storyline don?t make sense. In one episode, Lizzie and Eric are broken up then in the next one they?re back together with no explanation. And in another episode, Steven is still trying to get Lizzie but fails, but in the next one they wake up next to each other in the same bed. But it was a funny show. Too bad these guys? shows don?t make it past one season. They?re the guys who did [i]Freak and Geeks[/i] too. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]The Harvey Girls[/color][/i][/b] 8/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]I didn?t expect to like this so much. It was funny, romantic and had some well written songs and performances in it. My favorite part is when Judy Garland holds up a saloon at gunpoint to get back the stolen steaks. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]For Me and My Gal[/color][/i][/b] 6/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]I was hoping for one of Berkeley?s extravagant bird?s eye view in this, but nothing. There was a little too much war propaganda for me, but I did enjoy the story and seeing two of my favorites together on screen. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]An Evening With Kevin Smith[/color] [/i][/b] 7/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]Funny, but too long for my attention span. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]Ziegfeld Girl[/color][/i][/b] 6/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]It was alright. Sometimes it seemed a bit too slow. Personally, I think having three protagonists was a problem for the structure of the story, but it worked okay. [/color][/size][/font]

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½ February 22, 2007
See this for Angela Lansbury as the HOT saloon girl! The Harvey House Girls versus the Saloon Girls across the street. Will the Harvey girls with Judy Garland be able to civilize the town?
October 28, 2006
Judy is flawlessly gorgeous, and I love Cyd Charisse as her friend and fellow Harvey Girl! Stunning technicolor musical - could do without Marjorie Main and Virginia O'Brien, though!
½ April 20, 2005
FOR A MUSICAL, IT'S QUITE GOOD. IF YOU LIKE MUSICALS, YOU WILL PROBABLY THINK IT'S GREAT. JUDY GARLAND IS SUCH A TREMENDOUS TALENT. GREAT SONGS, WONDERFUL CAST. PLEASANT COSTUMES AND SETS, A BIT OVERDONE BUT STILL EFFECTIVE. ANGELA LANSBURY GIVES GREAT SUPPORT.
½ January 14, 2004
[font=Courier New]This is another charming movie musical starring the very vocal Judy Garland and her main man, Ray Bolger, made in the 40's. As usual, the plot is shallow and the characters are well...off...but then again the songs are charming and will stick in your mind forever...don't make me start singing "The Atcheson Topeka and the Santa Fe"! This movie is based on thr taming of the west...by use of coffee as seen through the eyes of the adventuresome and lovely Harvey Girls, who brought resteraunts to wild west towns on train stops. Of course, the premise is the rivalry between the neighboring saloon filled with no-good girls in small dresses who feel threatened by the Harvey Girls arrival. The movie itself is funny, charming, and all around an uplifintg musical. Who can forget Judy Garland "holding up" a saloon?? I recommend it![/font]
½ February 8, 2016
A fun and feel good musical that sometimes lacked in plot, but made up in energy.
May 25, 2012
One of Garland's biggest hits was obviously inspired by the stage hit OKLAHOMA; the tuneful Warren-Mercer score includes the big, Oscar-winning production number "On the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe," along with star turns by Angela Lansbury, Virginia O'Brien and Cyd Charisse; Ray Bolger is left with a thankless role and one short dance number.
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