|Judy Garland as Esther Smith|
|Margaret O'Brien as Tootie Smith|
|Lucille Bremer as Rose Smith|
|You and I|
Mary Astor as Anna Smith / Leon Ames as Alonzo Smith
|Boy Meets Girl|
Tom Drake as John Truett / Henry J Daniels Jr. as Alonzo "Lon" Smith Jr
All of this is tunefully buoyed by a lovely musical score comprised of period standards and originals songs, four of which are composed by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine.
|I've seen it a million times, but Judy singing the Oscar-nominated|
The Trolley Song is always such a thrill to watch
|Marjorie Main as Katie|
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS FILM
|The entire "Long-Distance Phone Call" sequence is hilarious.|
A favorite scene in a film comprised almost entirely of favorites
|This beautifully composed shot is a testament to Minnelli's painterly eye. The detailed production design and eye-popping Technicolor cinematography only add to Meet Me in St. Louis' enduring appeal|
1) When Rose’s much-anticipated long-distant call turns out to be a bust, I’m always so charmed by how Ester rescues her sister from embarrassment by putting a new spin on the events.
|Grandpa schools Tootie & Agnes on the finer points of flinging flour|
into the faces of victims on Halloween
|I'm not sure I'd trust anyone immune to the absolute |
adorableness of Esther's crush on neighbor John Truett
|The Smith Family|
|Striking a perfect balance between spunk and youthful innocence ("I've worked all my life to be a senior!"), Judy Garland's Esther Smith is a testament to her uniquely accessible and likable star quality|
THE STUFF OF FANTASY
I'm always taken a little aback when I realize just how few musical numbers there are in Meet Me in St Louis. It always feels like wall-to-wall music! One listen to the score of the 1989 Broadway adaptation of the film, expanded by at least eight more songs by the same composers (and in which we learn Tootie's name is Sarah), and you're likely to come away with a better appreciation for the virtues of brevity.
|Under the Bamboo Tree|
|Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas|
THE STUFF OF DREAMS
Like the character of Lon Smith, I grew up as the only boy in a household of four sisters (hence my desire to escape to the movies every chance I got), only in the pecking order of age, I was where Agnes would be. My earliest memories of my family, before my parents divorced in 1967, have a veneer of nostalgia surrounding them takes on more and more of the shimmering Technicolor glow of Meet Me in St. Louis the older I get.
|"I can't believe it. Right here where we live. Right here in St. Louis."|
The one clear advantage to it taking me so long get around to seeing Meet Me in St. Louis is that it ultimately afforded me the unforgettable opportunity of seeing it for the first time in the presence of an audience at one of Los Angles' great restored movie houses. The Palace Theater in downtown Los Angeles was built in 1911.
Not only was it a thrill to see this classic on the big screen and experience the collective audience response (applause and huge laughs throughout, and not a dry eye in the house by fadeout) but getting to be inside this magnificent theater was a wholly unforgettable experience.
In 1989, Meet Me in St. Louis was (as is the trend these days) adapted for the Broadway stage. It was nominated for four Tony Awards and looks absolutely insufferable.
A photograph of the actual 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition