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Meet Me In St. Louis

Friday the 17th of December

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I can't believe it. Right here where we live - right here in St. Louis.
--Esther Smith (Judy Garland)


USA: 1944 -- Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Written by Irving Brecher & Fred F. Finklehoffe (screenplay) and Sally Benson (book)
Starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, June Lockhart & Marjorie Main

Tootie, if you don't hit Mr. Braukoff in the face with flour and say "I hate you", the Banshee will haunt you forever!
--Darryl Hickman as Johnny Tevis


One of the finest American musicals, this 1944 film by Vincente Minnelli is an intentionally self-contained story set in 1903, in which a happy St. Louis family is shaken to their roots by the prospect of moving to New York, where the father has a better job pending. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who has just moved in, John. He however, barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transfered to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis and the St. Louis Fair. Judy Garland heads the cast in what amounts to a splendid, end-of-an-era story that nicely rhymes with the onset of the 20th century. The film is extraordinarily alive, the characters strong, and the musical numbers are so splendidly part of the storytelling that you don't feel the film has stopped for an interlude. --Tom Keogh For Amazon

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and a ticket to the next World's Fair.


Awards

Nominated for Oscars for Best Cinematography, Color; Best Music, Original Song (The Trolley Song); Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture; and Best Writing, Screenplay

Won a 1989 ASCAP Award for Most Performed Feature Film Standards for the song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

More awards


Memorable Quotes

Agnes Smith: Rose, what did you get me for Christmas?
Rose Smith: You'll find out tomorrow.
Agnes Smith: I hope it's a hunting knife!

'Tootie' Smith: And I'm taking all my dolls, even the dead ones.

Rose Smith, Esther Smith: [singing] Meet me in St. Louie, Louie, meet me at...
Mr. Alonzo Smith: For heaven's sake, stop that screeching!
Rose Smith: We're sorry, Papa.
Mr. Alonzo Smith: The fair won't open for seven months, and that's all anybody ever sings about or talks about. I wish they would all meet at the fair and leave me alone.

More quotes


Trivia

Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland met on this movie, and married soon afterwards. Minnelli was the director for the film. Garland claimed she married him because she felt extremely beautiful during the film.

The movie was based on the real-life experiences of novelist Sally Benson. The character of Tootie was based on her own childhood; she was called Tootie as a little girl.

Director Vincente Minnelli worked hard to make the movie as accurate to the times as possible. Not only did its novelist, Sally Benson, give explicit directions as to the decor of her home down to the last detail, but the movie's costume designer took inspiration for many of the movies costumes right out of the Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and Marshall Fields catalogs from the time period.

Judy Garland recorded "The Trolley Song" in a single take

In "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", Judy Garland refused to sing the grim original line, "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last" to little Margaret O'Brien. The line was dropped from the final version of the song.

More trivia


Goofs

Continuity: In an early scene you can see feathers and down floating all over the set, left over from the upcoming winter scenes.

Revealing mistakes: There are no footprints in the snow in the winter scene, and there is not enough snow to have allowed the children to have made snowmen without leaving any trace of the snow being rolled into place.

Factual errors: During the Trolley Song the location of the fair was mentioned as at Huntington Park. The actual location of the World's Fair was Forest Park.

Errors in geography: Various scenes include views of mountains. However, St. Louis is in the middle of the prairie and does not have any mountain ranges nearby or visible.

Anachronisms: Although set at the turn of the century, and with very authentic sets and costumes, all of the women inexplicably have mid-'40s hairstyles

More goofs