Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Too sickeningly sweet for me.
For some reason, I never saw Meet Me in St. Louis when I was younger. Maybe you had to grow up with it to truly appreciate it. It definitely has some charming moments, but it also has some head-scratching ones, as well. The Halloween scene, in particular, had me quite perplexed. Tootie is an adorable character, but she's also kind of a psychopath. Nevertheless, you gotta love Judy Garland, and it also gave us Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Love Judy great movie
Classic beautiful movie
Musicals are a genre of film that I don't tend to love with the exception of a few classics like Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and The Sound of Music (1965). I had mixed feelings about this film with it being possibly the most traditional example of a musical ever made. With the involvement of Judy Garland, a performer whose work I do not enjoy, and director Vincente Minnelli, responsible for the mediocre An American in Paris (1951), I was predisposed to hate the movie. Most of my irritation with the tropes present in musicals caused me to cringe as the film went through the motions but there was also the fact that the song and dance numbers were disappointing and "The Trolley Song" in particular was middling.
In 1903 Alonzo Smith, Leon Ames, announces to his family that they will be moving from their beloved home in St. Louis, Missouri where the World Fair will soon be taking place to New York City due to his promotion. His daughter Esther, Judy Garland, is particularly dismayed by this announcement as she is infatuated with neighbor John Truitt, Tom Drake, and does not want to leave the community she has grown up in. Smith pleases his family by staying in St. Louis and lets Esther continue to court her new beau.
Garland looms large over the film as it is clearly intended as a vehicle for her and not Mary Astor or Margaret O'Brien. I often feel as through Garland overwhelms the films she stars in and the fact that the films are more about seeing her dance or throw her wide eyed gaze at the camera than about making a film that is compelling as a whole and after an hour watching Garland becomes tiresome. I grew sick of her act very quickly and her lack of chemistry with her co-stars only made the experience more unbearable as she hee hawed her way through song after song or spoke in a sort of Deanna Durbin manner that put fear into me. If you are familiar with Durbin you will know that she was a dreadfully annoying child star most popular during the 1930s and she spoke so quickly that we were meant to find her oh so cute. This is the way that we are meant to feel about Garland here but beyond her mincing about in the presence of mail suitors she is a lumbering force that destroys this film.
Then we get to discussing the songs which are forgettable and lacking in the cheer you associate with musicals from this period like Anchors Aweigh (1945) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945). Garland sang songs in this film that would become standards of hers in later years as she toured to financially support her various habits and fell back on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and a handful of other hits. I was surprised to discover that "The Trolley Song" for as famous as it is was not the catchy tune I had imagined it to be but a dull slog. This was the most memorable song in the film and I was sort of in a daze throughout the rest of the musical numbers. In discussing the dancing found in the film I have little to say as the actresses do not do much of it and when they do it is awkward and jerky. I'm not somebody who loves West Side Story (1961) but at least Rita Moreno and George Chakiris could thrust their legs outward convincingly.
Other than her the film is tolerable but never quite good enough to be worth watching as it is all bright colors and typically flashy camerawork from Vincente Minnelli who telegraphs his flamboyance from behind the camera. At times I was reminded of a Douglas Sirk film with the blue light shining through a window onto a lonely woman and the cozy house decorations. There is none of the subversive commentary about the treatment of women here however and while Sirk's films have only gotten better with age this movie feels very much like a product of it's time with it's bland plotline and over reliance on a popular child star. Minnelli was not a director known for his subtlety or his ability to incisively handle social issues or character development and because this film lacks both entertainment value and substance it is difficult to recommend.
Loved the movie. Did not like the theater.
I grew up watching this and it's a favorite!
This movie was a reflection of the time it was about 1903, and how women were in the kitchen and not educated as men were. The daughter was a senior in High School and talking of getting married right away! This movie showed the joy of family life before each person was glued to his/her phone and not involved in conversations in the family!
The role of the grandfather was great and loving too whilst he still let the daughter know she'd made a big error in arranging the horrid boys to dance with a girl she hadn't met. I think it was full of the joy of life and family and the music had two songs that lived on for many years. (The Christmas song is sung today! "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" NO swear words, cars/buildings blowing up just people being people!
Just a full-out wonderful film!