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The Harvey Girls [VHS]

Judy Garland , Angela Lansbury , George Sidney    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury, John Hodiak, Ray Bolger, Virginia O'Brien
  • Directors: George Sidney
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 19 Feb 2001
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CQ57
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,395 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Sometimes lively, sometimes pokey, MGM's Technicolor musical The Harvey Girls inspires mixed feelings in aficionados of the form--except on one point. No viewer will question why "On the Atchison, Topeka, & the Santa Fe" won the best song Oscar for 1946: this is a brilliant, inventive song given an epic staging. Director George Sidney pulls out all the stops for this wowser--even Marjorie Main sings, an eardrum-testing sound. The real-life Harvey Girls were waitresses imported to the far-flung Fred Harvey Hotels, civilising oases along the railroad lines out west. The fictional Harvey Girls is set in Sandrock, where the travelling waitresses are joined by a sort of mail-order bride (Judy Garland) whose prospective husband is a bust--he's a rough-hewn rancher played by Chill Wills. Garland is in fine spunky form; unfortunately, her romance is with John Hodiak (as the owner of a dance hall), that uninspiring World War II-era lead. The film's other great Johnny Mercer-Harry Warren song is the unexpectedly melancholy "It's a Great Big World", performed in a lovely trio by Garland, Virginia O'Brien, and the young Cyd Charisse. The tall, deadpan O'Brien also does a comic take on "The Wild, Wild West" while shoeing a horse. With kewpie-faced Angela Lansbury as a bespangled dance-hall gal and Ray Bolger high-stepping through a dance solo, there are enough good people on board to keep the wheels a-turning "all the way to Californ-eye-yay". --Robert Horton, Amazon.com

Product Description

A musical extravaganza from MGM's Arthur Freed, the producer of 'Singin' in the Rain' and 'Meet Me in St Louis'. Mail-order bride Susan Bradley (Judy Garland) heads out West and ends up working as a waitress for the Fred Harvey chain of restaurants and hotels. The Harvey house faces some stiff competition from the old-fashioned, shoot-em-up saloon over the road, but the saloon's gambling owner Ned Trent (John Hodiak) takes a shine to Susan. This draws the displeasure of Trent's good-time-girl sweetheart Em (Angela Lansbury) and pretty soon it's pleasant restaurant girls versus brazen saloon hussies in all-out war. The film's big opening number, 'On the Atchinson, Topeka and the Santa Fe', won the 1946 Oscar for Best Song.

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Harvey Girls is hard to beat for sheer corny, likable nostalgia. Is it one of the great MGM musicals? Not in my opinion. The narrative is too long, John Hodiak isn't an intriguing romantic lead and some of the comic relief is too broad. Still, the movie carries with it such a high degree of good-natured professionalism that it's easy to like. The story itself is uncomplicated. A group of Harvey girls arrive at Sandrock, Arizona, to open a Harvey House, one of many restaurants Fred Harvey was establishing along the western rail lines. A Harvey House offered good, wholesome food and good, wholesome company. Susan Bradley (Judy Garland) joins them when she and her groom-to-be (Chill Wills) decide in a friendly way that their mail-order marriage arrangement wasn't such a good idea. Determined to stop the Harvey House girls are Ned Trent (John Hodiak) and Sam Purvis (Preston Foster), owners of the Alhambra, a wide-open saloon, dance hall and gambling establishment across the street from the new Harvey House. Em (Angela Lansbury), the dance hall star, doesn't like the competition, either, especially when Susan and Ned begin to notice each other.

Great movie musical or not, there are many things to enjoy. Judy Garland dominates the movie. She was 23 when she made it. Despite her immense talent and almost unnatural professional skills (I mean this as a compliment), there is an innocence about her in this movie which seems fresh and unforced. She handles the comedy and pratfalls in a very winning way. Angela Lansbury steals the scenes she has with everyone except Garland, and comes close even there.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judy Garland at her best 28 Sep 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is my favourite MGM musical of all time. This movie has some great scores like "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." It won the Oscar for best song. This movie had great characters and cast. Judy Garland's gullible Character. Preston Foster's evil character. Ray Bogler's nervous character, and Virginia O'Brien's comic character. This movie has great costumes, scenery and it's a lot of fun. How much more do you want in a motion picture. Buy it on video.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saddle Up For The Wild, Wild West! 10 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of those feel good movies with an excellent soundtrack. The highlight has got to be the 8-minute long 'On The stchison, Topeka & The Santa Fe. This is Judy Garland's movie, but she has a fine supporting cast inluding Cyd Charisse, Ray Bolger and a young Angela Lansbury. I think that this is a great movie and would recommend it thoroughly for a good afternoon family film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful movie! 9 May 2003
Format:VHS Tape
The Harvey Girls is a lovely film! The music is absolutly beautiful, especially when Judy Garland is singing it! It stars Ray Bolger ( Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz), a 19 year-old Angela Lansbury, a very beautiful Judy Garland, Chill Wills plus loads more fantastic stars. There are grand balls, singing and romance. So, step on board the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fey train. Choo- choo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore! 20 April 2012
I fell in love with this movie when I was a kid, and I still love it. It has everything: a still-starry-eyed Judy Garland, singing super songs by Johnny Mercer including the "Acheson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe", and Kenny Baker, singing the lovely "Just You Wait and See"; cleverly choreographed dance numbers featuring Ray Bolger, tap-dancing as if he hasn't a bone in his body; Angela Lansbury as the tough dancehall dame with a heart of gold. It's so much fun, and the Technicolor is still fresh. Among the extras is a stereo version of the featured production number. Marjorie Main, Cyd Cherisse, John Hodiak, Preston Foster, and Verginia O'brien round out what was an all-star cast.

Take a trip down memory lane on the Acheson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe, and see what a Hollywood musical was like in the good old days. Enjoy!
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