MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
VINCENTE MINNELLI | USA | 1944 | 113 MIN | NR
Starring a young Judy Garland at her most effortlessly magnetic, MEET ME IN ST LOUIS follows a close-knit Missouri clan over the course of several eventful months leading up to the 1904 World’s Fair. Nominally overseen by overworked patriarch Alonzo Smith (Leon Ames) and his unflappable wife Anna (Mary Astor), the household is truly dominated by the four Smith daughters—including lovestruck Esther (Garland) and incorrigible 5-year-old Tootie (Margaret O’Brien). Over the course of several seasonal vignettes, the girls celebrate holidays, experience joy and heartbreak, and come together during a family crisis. Loaded with classic tunes like “The Trolley Song” and the timeless “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” MEET ME IN ST LOUIS is also, as the great critic James Agee aptly put it, “a musical that even the deaf should enjoy.” A true marvel of Hollywood studio filmmaking, the film is a Technicolor bonbon of sumptuous period sets and costumes. But what truly lingers in the memory about MEET ME IN ST LOUIS is its gently wistful tone, conjuring a halcyon era that must have seemed like a fond, distant memory even when the film was released in 1944.
Cast: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer
“The greatest of American movie musicals.” –Time