Monday, December 20, 2010

1944 - MEET ME IN ST LOUIS, very nostalgic sentimental slop from MGM extremely well done

Vincent Minnelli, working for the producer Arthur Freed and collaborating with one of MGM's biggest stars, directed this fantasy about upper middle class white people living in St. Louis.  This is the kind of film that MGM loved to make, a musical extolling the values of the American way of life if you happened to be fairly well off and Caucasian.

This was a big film for Judy Garland who was the very embodiment of Midwestern middle class virtues.  Garland had three hit songs and the film is very focused on her.  Judy Garland's major competition in this film was the actress Margaret O'Brien.  O'Brien was an intense child actress, who Minnelli would direct in the crying scenes by telling her he was about to kill her pet, she is very over the top.

Meet Me In St Louis, was a big MGM production filmed in the then still unique process of technicolor.  Technicolor required lots of light to look good on the screen so the film is very bright and very pretty.  Vincent Minnelli was one of the few directors who could film musicals and bring a great deal of sensitivity to what could have been a very over the top sloppy and sentimental film. 

This film is expert Hollywood product, impeccably made entertaining and almost completely lacking in any kind of substance.

113 minutes.

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