Film & Water #45 – Meet Me in St. Louis

THE FILM & WATER PODCAST

Episode 45: MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

Rob welcomes podcaster Kevin Lauderdale to discuss the 1944 classic MGM musical MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS starring Judy Garland! Plus your Listener Feedback!

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15 responses to “Film & Water #45 – Meet Me in St. Louis

  1. This is such a wonderful film for all the reasons you both say. There is an old Hollywood feel of spectacle here, something which I love.

    As you say, Judy Garland has never looked better. And this is always a little off-putting to me personally. There is just something icky internally when I look at Garland and say ‘she’s hot’. I don’t think we mere mortals are supposed to think that about Dorothy. That feeling is easily quadrupled when I watch ‘The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer’ and think Shirley Temple is smoking. No one should think that about Shirley Temple!

    Anyways, I haven’t seen this movie in many years so I feel it is now due for a rewatch! Thanks again!

    1. I had similar thoughts when I saw Natalie Portman on magazine covers, in recent years. I would think she looked pretty hot, then get the image of her in The Professional in my head and feel like Jean Reno, when she tries to seduce him, in the European cut. Ewwwwwwwwww! Ironically, V for Vendetta really presents that, in an even more unsettling way, when you see Evie made up to look like a young girl, for the clergyman.

  2. This is another one of those films that I have always been aware of, but never really watched. I call those “Mom movies”, which means my Mom watched them while I was running through the house with a towel tied around my neck, oblivious to anything else.

    Through TCM I learned “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” originated here, and I’ve definitely put it on my radar to view at some point, but now that I know there is a spooky Halloween segment, I’m completely sold! I did catch the tail-end of A Star is Born a few weeks back Rob, and I can definitely see what you mean about Garland. The years were unfortunately unkind. Very sad.

    I’m all up for a Blacula spotlight! I actually love that movie, and feel it’s much better than it has any right to be, which is why I felt bad for Elisha Cook Jr being in it. William Marshall is magnetically fantastic in it, and is yet another classic Trek alum like Cook!

    Chris

  3. Here’s an odd little story from the TCM Film Fest from 2 years ago:

    While a crowd was gathering in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel waiting to see Robert Osborne interview Maureen O’Hara, Margaret O’Brien walked through on her way to the ladies’ room. I pointed her out to a group of middle-aged ladies who happened to be standing next to me. Well, I have never seen anyone react as strongly when they saw her. These women started shaking with excitement and talking about how much they loved Margaret,her movies, and such. When she left the restroom I was sure they were going to give her a standing ovation. Only in Hollywood.

    Here’s a clip of Margaret O’Brien at a TCM screening:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5YWqH1Vilk

    Here’s Judy doing the Trolley Song with Mel Torme in the 1960s:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkuaFXNT1S0

    I was glad to hear someone else recalls SNL’s Sweeney Sisters too.

  4. rob: Re feedback The supervillain in the General Hospital James Bond storyline, Mikos Consadine, was played by John Colicos. That’s right, Baltar. That was the only time, other than when I was home sick from school, that I watched a soap opera.

    I’ve never actually watched Meet Me in St Louis though I do know they love that film in the city. I live in central Illinois and St Louis is about 3 hours away, so I’ve been there multiple times. There is an old theater, the Tivoli, near Washington University, which does film festivals and arthouse films (I saw the Kenneth Brannagh Hamlet and Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie there). The theater is decorated with posters of movies related to St Louis or people from St Louis. Apart from The Spirit of St Louis, this film’s poster is the most prominent.

    It’s funny, there is an old joke that you can spot a gay man by saying “Clang, clang..” loudly and seeing how the person responds; but, I suspect that most heterosexual males over the age of 30 would probably answer the same and the number probably increases for every 10 years in age. The songs have quite a life beyond the film. I’ve never been that big on musicals; but, I think I will have to watch this. It is true we rarely get to see a loving married couple in film, only the initial romance or the rough parts.

    1. ps Did I really write Reese Witherspoon? Well, they kind of blend together. At least I said David Hyde Pierce and not Wilfred Hyde White.

    2. John Colicos was also the very first Klingon seen on Star Trek; Commandor Kor. He was supposed to return multiple times on TOS, but scheduling never worked out. He did return as Kor on DS9.

      Chris

      1. Yeah, one of the few DS9 episodes I watched. Also back were Michael Ansara and William Campbell. Colicos got to play one of the good guys, in Raid on Rommel, a 60s war movie, as one of Richard Burton’s commando team.

        Elizabeth Taylor, who was a fan of General Hospital, turned up later as Consadine’s widow, for a few episodes.

  5. I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but I asked my wife what were the songs from it (this is the association I need to identify most old musicals outside of Rodgers & Hammerstein). She immediately named Clang Clang.. enabling me to say, yes I have seen this.

  6. I love this film so much, it’s only ever on the telly over here at Christmas – I guess one bit of the film featuring Christmas means it’s a Christmas movie… happily, DVDs mean I can watch it whenever. Garland makes the Trolley Song look so easy, but I saw it done at a stage show the other night and it was so underpowered… there’s talent, and then there’s Judy Garland and the rest of the cast. Especially Margaret O’Brien, quite disturbing to me as Tootie.

    Have Kevin back soon, what a great guest; it was especially good to hear the truth behind the dead dog business.

    Clang, clang…

  7. FYI: That “dead dog” story is actually true, but the child star in question was Jackie Cooper (Perry White). In fact, Cooper’s 1981 autobiography is titled “Please Don’t Shoot My Dog.” The incident occurred on the set of Skippy (1931), which was based on the old comic strip by Percy Crosby. Believe it or not but the director who threatened Cooper’s pet was Norman Taurog – his uncle! The incident is mentioned in Cooper’s obit:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/05/local/la-me-jackie-cooper-20110505-3

    1. Yeah, from what I read, some directors could be pretty nasty with child actors, to get the effect they wanted. Someone, possibly Bill Mumy, said Hitchcock whispered in his ear that if he didn’t stop fidgeting, he would nail his foot to the floor, and sounded so serious he was terrified.

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