Guest Author - Katy Cacolice
Throughout her film career, Judy Garland always gave consummate performances, despite her off-screen tribulations. Most know her as a songstress like no other but many do not take into account her talents purely as an actress - raw and honest in drama, vibrant and light hearted comedienne. In honor of Miss Show Business reaching her 90th birthday, we tribute our favorite Judy Garland performances which showcases her triple threat skills.
1. "Meet Me In St. Louis" (1944). This film directed by Vincente Minelli, takes place in the early 1900s, and follows the Smith family through a year of living
St. Louis and the looming plans to move to New York City. Garland, a member of the Smith family, brings out the innocent head-over-heels feeling we girls get when we fall head over heels for the boy next door. After you watch this movie, the bloom will never wear off.
3. "For Me & My Gal" (1942). In an epic war musical and drama, Judy stars alongside Gene Kelly and George Murphy. She plays a member of a vaudeville troupe, Jo Hayden, who has big aspirations to hit it big at the Ziegfeld Follies, but gets caught up in what can be mildly described as a complicated relationship with Kelly. When the war truly hits home for Jo Hayden, all of their plans change for the war effort. Try not to get chills for last performance of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."
4. "Presenting Lily Mars" (1943). The great comedienne Lucille Ball once remarked that Miss Garland was the funniest woman in show business, and
with Presenting Lily Mars is a great example. In a young, fresh portrait of a girl who is anxious to make it big in on the stage, Garland is light hearted, care-free, and infectious. Just try desperately not to laugh at her rendition of Lady Macbeth. Pairing up with Van Heflin, she is the absolute star in the whole production.
3. "A Star Is Born" (1954). In a film that set forth all the modern dramas about Hollywood movie stars, Garland plays a powerfully talented song girl who is discovered by an alcoholic movie star played by James Mason, and they subsequently fall in love as her career rises and his falls apart. In this riveting film based on the back ends of Hollywood's glamorous reputation, Garland gives a raw and heart wrenching performance as Esther Blodgett. Nominated for an Academy Award, Judy Garland lost to Grace Kelly, to what many called one of the greatest robs in Oscar history.
4. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939). From one film that was Oscar worthy to another where Garland actually snagged the Best Juvenile award, we all know this tale! We cuddle up to the television during Thanksgiving when it's on tv, or for true Judy fans any time we pop the dvd in. It's a journey of a young girl who lands in Oz via twister and goes down the yellow brick road with her friends, to discover that there's no place like home. The technicolor production, magical musical numbers, and the sweet innocence of Garland is unforgettable. In an emotionally powerful performance, there's no wonder why Garland won the Best Juvenvile Oscar. This classic film of cinema history is one that Hollywood has tried to remake and revolutionize for years, but one can only point out that the other versions of Dorothy Gale simply can't compare to Garland's.