Classic film: Meet Me in St Louis () | Times2 | The Times
Meet Me in St. Louis "The Blossoming of Judy Garland". Meet Me in St. Louis ( ) Directed by Vincente Minnelli; Written by Irving Brecher. Meet Me in St. Louis is a American Technicolor musical film made by Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer. Divided into a series of seasonal vignettes, starting with. The film, set in St. Louis, Mo., follows the Smith family in the days leading up to the World's Fair. The two eldest daughters grapple with life, love, and their.
It was even referred to by some as "Freed's Folly". But Freed stood by his choices and went about the tasks of pre-production on the film, including the casting of the major roles.
Louis she was not happy. She feared, and with good reason, that the film would set her career back. She had finally been allowed to grow up on the screen. In For Me And My Gal she was given a real romantic lead in newcomer Gene Kelly, and she was the undisputed star of the film, with her name alone above the title for the first time. After that she appeared in Presenting Lily Mars which was the first time the studio made a real effort to make her look glamorous, even if it was mainly for the finale at the end of the picture.
She was seen for the first time with her hair up and looking quite beautiful. In this film, Mickey chased Judy rather than the other way around, and she was portrayed not as a teenager deep in puppy love, but as a lovely young woman. Now, after reading the St.
Louis script, it appeared as though the studio wanted her to revert back to playing a high school girl with a crush on the boy next door. Judy was dating Joe Mankiewicz at the time, and he was also instrumental in allowing her to see herself as not just a little girl with a big voice, but a desirable woman. At 22 years of age, Mankiewicz reasoned, Judy Garland had the talent and ability to graduate to more adult roles.
And Judy not only agreed with it, but with Mankiewicz in her corner, for the first time she summoned up the strength to actually resist the studio for her own benefit.
Judy went to L. Mayer and complained, and for once he sided with her. He went to producer Arthur Freed to discuss the matter, but was effectively swayed in the other direction by Freed, director Vincent Minnelli, and most importantly the reigning studio storyteller Lillie Messinger. Once Lillie got a hold of a story, no one was immune.
She was able to effectively point out the charms and magic of the story. Mayer loved a good sentimental "all-American" story and this had everything he loved. Next Judy went to see Minnelli on her own, thinking that she might be able to persuade him, since she was one of MGM's biggest stars, and he was a novice director. Minnelli had directed only two films before, neither was a big financial success. The best of the two, Cabin In The Sky, although a beautiful film that critics liked, was an all-black film and in that meant a limited audience.
Judy was sure that not only would St. Louis be a mistake but that she could persuade Minnelli that it really wasn't very good!
Meet Me in St. Louis () - IMDb
In his memoirs, Minnelli reports what happened when Judy came to see him about the film: She later told me that she'd come to see me thinking I would see it her way. I see a lot of great things in it. In fact, it's magical. Judy may have been going on an early draft of the screenplay which was, according to most accounts, not very good.
But it was shaped up by the time rehearsals began. And since Mayer switched and sided with Freed, and Freed stood behind Minnelli, Judy had no choice but to acquiesce.
Rehearsals began on November 11, and Judy did not exactly throw herself into the role. She was used to the more contemporary, "wise cracking" dialog. When filming began almost a month later on December 7, things weren't much better. In fact, it's reported that when Minnelli was away from the set, Judy would sometimes entertain the cast and crew with a devilishly satire of Minnelli centered around his "perfectionism.
But Minnelli again acted by Judy has other things in mind and suggests the actor try saying his lines with a different inflection. Taken aback, the actor tries it that way. The Minnelli suggests a different way, then another and yet another until finally the bit actor is reduced to tears of frustration and confusion.
This story illustrates how funny Judy could be when she wanted to be her wit is legendary in Hollywood and she was known as the perfect mimic. This could also be seen as her way of dealing with a situation of which she had no control and was not happy about. Judy had a practically photographic memory when it came to lyrics and script, and she resented Minnelli's constant rehearsals and multiple takes.
Judy usually got her lines and hit her marks perfect the first time. But with Minnelli, not only was he insisting that she rehearse and endure long, multiple takes he didn't like the idea of using the stand-in for much of thisbut he was breaking down her confidence.
He was exacting but in a quiet way. Her frustration grew as she began to question her merits as an actress, feeling like she wasn't doing anything right. She went to Freed to complain, who told her to bide her time and give him a chance. She also reportedly complained to Mary Astor, who flatly said to Judy: Suddenly, under his direction, Judy not only looked more beautiful and vibrant than ever before, but Minnelli was getting a beautifully realized understated performance from her.
And whatever qualms she had about being a "teenager" or lost in the ensemble were put to rest as well. Soon Judy was entrusting Minnelli with her trust. But that trust came with a price.
Judy would be absent from the set of St. Louis for close to 3 weeks. Initially this was due to a lack of interest in the project.
70 Years Ago: The World Premiere Of ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’
But aside from that, Judy was beginning to show signs of the strain that the previous years of overwork, malnutrition, and medications had caused. She was going through the ups and downs that addicts begin to experience when the drugs begin to take over. Judy was never a morning person, having been raised in a Vaudeville atmosphere of late nights and late mornings. But at MGM, she was expected to be at the studio usually at 5 or 6am.
And she had other commitments as well: Radio appearances; Personal appearances for the war effort; and making records for Decca Records. All of this, added to her fragile psyche and her low self esteem, created a time bomb ticking away just waiting for the time to explode. Mankiewicz saw this and suggested she go to therapy to help solve her deep emotional issues and restore her self worth. She agreed and went. But when the studio found out, they put a stop to it - not believing that one of their stars was "crazy" the world of psychoanalysis in the 's was still considered suspect and charlatan by nature.
In a few short years the studio would find themselves paying for Judy to continue treatment. Beginning in and ending inJudy Garland changed from a nervous insecure young lady to a glowing, confidant woman in command of her talent and happily exploring and learning all avenues of that talent, then back again to an insecure young lady. Louis, Kay Thompson and the rest of the legendary "Freed Unit. Arthur Freed had been assembling a platoon of personnel, mostly from Broadway, to populate his little kingdom.
These people were bright, young and talented individuals who would change the look and style of the movie musical forever. For Judy Garland, being in this atmosphere was exciting and exhilarating. She was allowed to flourish and experiment with all aspects of her performing. Minnelli was perfect at this time to help guide her into his world of savvy, articulate and witty people. And she would do some of her best work during this time and was, for the most part, quite happy. Tootie rides the ice wagon and is disturbingly morbid.
You can watch the scene here. As Tootie delivers ice, Rose and Esther sing in the parlor in their underthings and coordinating dressing gowns. You know, just like all sisters do in the afternoon. What is is they are singing? Meet me at the Fair! Louis, and they are pretty pumped. He tells them to cut it out, and expresses his desire for a nice, cool bath. Smith refuses to change the dinner time. So everyone is there when Warren calls Rose: You can watch this amusing scene here.
John Truett is invited! And Esther is thrilled. Then Esther gets wild and tells Rose that she plans to let John kiss her tonight. Her wise older sister is alarmed! Her brother Lon, who knows all about her crush, watches, amused.
They did an incredible job and make the Technicolor pop with shots of hot pink, mustard, and plenty of brights. I rather wish there was spontaneous yet beautifully choreographed dancing and singing at every house party: Minnelli thought Bremer was about to become a huge star.
Unfortunately, Bremer never made it big the way Minnelli thought she would, and she left the movie industry. When the dancers notice Agnes and Tootie watching from the stairs, Tootie begs to sing a song with Esther. You can watch it here.
Then she convinces him to help her turn out the lights…sneaky, Esther, sneaky. I rather like this photo of Vincente Minnelli rehearsing the scene with Judy Garland: Finklehoffe, screenplay; Sally Bensen, novel Cinematography: Folsey Synopsis A year in the life of the Smith family of St Louis starts in the heat of summer, The only phone is in the dining room, and Rose will have to speak to Warren in front of her family.
Esther tries to change dinner to an earlier time and her mother Anna Astor tells Alonzo Amesher husband, that to accommodate the maid they will have dinner early. However, he is tired and wants a bath and refuses to change dinner time.
During dinner, the entire family listens quietly as Rose talks to Warren. Later that evening, Rose invites John Truett to a farewell party for their brother, Lon Jr, who is leaving for Princeton. After the party, Esther asks John to help her put out the lights. They flirt, but the shy John only shakes her hand as he leaves.
Esther invites John to come with their friends to the fair grounds being prepared for the St Louis Centennial Exposition. Several days later, at the trolley station, Esther waits excitedly for John, but the trolley starts, and she thinks he missed it. The children dare Tootie to knock on the door of Mr.Meet Me in St. Louis (1959)
Braukoff who everyone agrees is the scariest man on the street. Tootie shakily goes up to the door and knocks. She runs off as Mr Braukoff wipes himself in amusement.
She claims that John Truett hit her. She has a bunch of hair in her hand. Later Tootie and Agnes confess the truth, John saved them from being arrested after they nearly caused an accident on the trolley tracks.
Esther rushes back to apologize, and John accepts her apology, pointing out where she bit him. Later that evening, Lon Sr, returns with the announcement that his firm is transferring him to New York, and they will move in January.
- Meet Me in St. Louis
- Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
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Lon is enthusiastic about his promotion and the move, but his family is upset and unhappy at the thought of leaving St Louis. Anna, loyally, agrees that if he wants to move, they will move. As Lon and Anna celebrate their love and togetherness, the children accept the future move to New York that their father wishes.