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Entries in Judy Garland (84)

Thursday
Dec072017

47 days til Oscar nominations and I'm feeling a bit morbid...

by Nathaniel R

Edith Piaf and Judy GarlandPerhaps it was those uninspired Critics Choice nominations? Perhaps it's no critical year-end love for La Pfeiffer in her comeback year? Perhaps it was my anti-depressant prescription running out with no health insurance to renew it with? Or, probably, it's the generally miserable state of the world in which things are so dire that we're watching a kleptocracy filled with proud sexual predators, treasonous pathological liars, greedy overlord billionaires, fact-averse idiots, and blatantly sociopathic racists amass power at a record pace, dooming future generations to have it much much worse than we even do now? Meanwhile the good people of the world stare in disbelief whilst fighting amongst themselves for any number of reasons but the largest, we suspect, is a feeling of impotence against the actual enemies.

But since I was feeling terrible all day whilst trying to come up with our habitual trivia fun with numbers as we countdown, I kept remembering that Judy Garland died when she was just 47. (I'm working my way to a non-morbid point after the hand-wringing...)

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Wednesday
Nov012017

Soundtracking: "Meet Me In St. Louis"

The 1944 Smackdown is coming, so Chris looks at that year's musical masterpiece...

They don’t get much more timeless than Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me In St. Louis. It’s a musical about the family unit, and fittingly almost all of the numbers take place in the home. Whether in party revelry or the everyday household ubiquity of the title song, music is as much a definitive tradition of the Smith family as anything else. Grandpa may screw up the words, and it may be past the youngest’s bedtime, but music is one of the things that bind them. It also helps when one of the daughters is Judy Garland, I suppose.

Though St. Louis has relatively few musical numbers (unless you count umpteen reprises of that title song), its percentage of classics is nearly as high as its joy levels. “The Trolley Song” is the kind of showstopper that wins by the charm of its performer and its carefree whimsy. The “chug chug chug” silliness is exactly the kind of giddy uplift you have when falling in love, especially when you are in a musical. No matter that it’s actually kind of a strange metaphor for Garland’s Esther to use about her crush. Of all the love songs in Judy Garland’s singular repertoire, it is the sweetest...

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Thursday
May182017

Beauty Break: Happy 90th Birthday to the Grauman's Chinese!

One of my favorite places in Hollywood turned 90 years old today. The Grauman's Chinese Theater, which often houses premieres and events, opened on this day in 1927, so its centennial is just ten years away. It's currently known as the TCL Theater and was called the Mann Theater before that but it's still popularly known as Grauman's. You can rename something as perks for modern corporations but sometimes the original name hangs around (as well as it should). Don't even get me started on beautiful Broadway theaters chucking their iconic stage giant names for "American Airlines Theater" or whatnot. DO NOT GET ME STARTED. 

The Grauman's most familiar pop culture aspect is its large collection of cement tiles out front bearing the handprints of movie stars from all eras. So it's time for a Beauty Break. Which of these ceremonies after the jump do you most wish you had been at? 

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Thursday
Mar092017

Three Fittings: Haute Couture Hallucinations in "The Pirate"

New Series! Three Fittings celebrates costume design in the movies.

The whitest Caribbean ladies of all time! And why is Judy wearing a kilt balled up on her head?

We kicked off with La La Land and Allied but after a break for Oscar madness we're back with an old classic. Or perhaps this movie is better described as a notorious curio though that doesn't have the same blurb power. Regardless, Vincent Minelli's The Pirate (1948) has to be seen to be believed.

You must watch it while sober for the movie is its own pharmaceutical enhancements. I'm still having sudden flashbacks. Which is all well and good since hallucinations and fever dreams are plotted right in. 

Stay with me through this elaborate but crucial plot point. When travelling actor Serafin (Gene Kelly) hypnotizes the newly-engaged Manuela (Judy Garland) he realizes that she romantically fantasizes about the infamous pirate Macoco and promptly pretends to be him...

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Wednesday
Dec282016

Judy by the Numbers: Sunday Night at the Palladium

Anne Marie has spent each Wednesday morning this year, investigating Judy Garland's career through musical numbers. And now, the finale...

Somehow, we've reached the end of this series, this year, and the life and career of this incredible performer. Though Judy never starred in another television show or movie after 1964, she stayed busy with tours and TV guest star gigs, including a recurring spot as Johnny Carson's guest on The Tonight Show. Her touring schedule brought her frequently to England, where she was taped one last time in front of an audience in a sold-out January performance at the London Palladium.

The Show: "Sunday Night at the Palladium"
The Songwriters: Various
The Cast: Judy Garland 

The Story: It was a bittersweet discovery to find that the full kinescope of Judy Garland's last television performance, Sunday Night at the Palladium, has been almost totally lost to time. Though sound recordings of the special exist, the only actual image currently available is sixteen silent seconds of Garland taking her final bows. It's an oddly perfect way to end the series, though... 

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Wednesday
Dec212016

Judy by the Numbers: "Hello, Dolly!"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

With only two weeks left in the year, how do we cover the five remaining years of Judy Garland's life? I've tried as much as possible to deliver beautiful numbers and biographical details as near as I could verify in between bits of high-spirited hagiography. Unfortunately, the complicated myth built by talent, timing, and Hollywood studios only amplified after her death, making fact and fiction nearly impossible to untangle...

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