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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judy in top form
Thanks to a thorough restoration, this film has become one of the most vibrant DVDs available. Has 'Meet Me in St Louis' ever looked this good before? It's like new.
The songs include 'The Trolley Song', 'The Boy Next Door' and the heart-rending 'Have yourself a Merry Litle Christmas', all three sung by Judy Garland at her most relaxed. Her blossoming relationship...
Published on 24 May 2004 by zetajonesadmirer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Meet me in St. Louis - but only if you've really got nothing better to do!
Basically, inconsequential fluff with nothing more serious to disturb the lives of the wealthy Smith household in turn of the (19th) Century St. Louis other than a somewhat tedious wittering concern about whether or not eldest daughter, Rose's, tongue tied `beau' will ever call her at a pre-arranged time. Viewers are left in no doubt about the seriousness of this as it...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Meet Me In St Louis [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
Bought by son for girlfriend for Christmas its her favourite movie great deal
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good delivery, 30 Nov 2014
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Watched it yesterday and lovely. Good delivery too
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality of dvd, 17 Dec 2014
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Quick delivery. Good quality of dvd. Thank you
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Me in St. Louis [1944] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 16 July 2014
Meet Me in St. Louis [1944] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import] It is St. Louis in 1903. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. Seventeen-year old Esther has fallen in love with John, the boy next door who has just moved in. He, however, barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transferred to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis just before the start of the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair.

FILM FACTS: The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Color, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Best Music, Song [Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin for "The Trolley Song"] and Best Writing, Screenplay. Margaret O'Brien received an Academy Juvenile Award for her work that year, in which she appeared in several films along with `Meet Me in St. Louis.'

Cast: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Tom Drake, Marjorie Main, Leon Ames, Harry Davenport, June Lockhart, Henry H. Daniels Jr., Joan Carroll, Hugh Marlowe, Robert Sully and Chill Wills

Director: Vincente Minnelli

Producers: Arthur Freed and Roger Edens

Screenwriters: Doris Gilver, Fred F. Finklehoffe, Irving Brecher and Sarah Y. Mason

Composers: Georgie Stoll and Roger Edens

Cinematography: George J. Folsey

Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]

Aspect Ratio: 1.36:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Region: All Regions

Running Time: 113 minutes

Number of discs: 2

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew's Blu-ray Review - Judy Garland made more than 30 films during her legendary career, and although 'The Wizard of Oz' will forever top her cinematic résumé, the beloved Garland was never more beautifully photographed or contributed a more natural, winning performance than in 'Meet Me in St. Louis.' One of the all-time classic musicals, this sumptuous slice of Americana continues to warm the heart and thrill the senses almost 70 years after its initial release. Director Vincente Minnelli artistically weaves together a tender, simple story, melodic and often exhilarating songs, and the glorious Technicolor palette to create an unforgettable masterwork.

The achievement, however, becomes magnified when one takes into account Vincente Minnelli's relative inexperience at the time. 'Meet Me in St. Louis' was only the director's third feature film, causing even Judy Garland, who was far from enthusiastic about her proposed role, to initially question his abilities. At age 21, the actress stubbornly resisted being cast as 17-year-old Esther Smith, a plucky ingénue who wistfully pines for the boy next door. Judy Garland was sick of playing awkward teenagers, and felt 'St. Louis' might sabotage the strides she already had made toward mature roles. Yet studio pressure forced her to acquiesce, and after a few days of shooting, Vincente Minnelli won her respect and, shortly after, her love. The two would be married the following year, and 'Meet Me in St. Louis' would become MGM's biggest money-maker since 'Gone with the Wind.' For Judy Garland, 'Meet Me in St. Louis' was an instant personal triumph, and Esther Smith, along with Dorothy Gale in 'The Wizard of Oz' and Vicki Lester in 'A Star Is Born,' remains one of her most memorable and acclaimed screen roles.

With charm and insight, the film chronicles a year in the life of the Smith family and their common middle-class existence in turn-of-the-20th-century St. Louis. With anticipation at a fever pitch over the upcoming 1904 World's Fair, father Alonzo [Leon Ames] drops a bombshell by announcing he's accepted a promotion that will force the Smiths to move to New York City. The family, which in addition to Esther includes Mrs. Smith [Mary Astor], eldest daughter Rose [Lucille Bremer], son Lon [Henry H. Daniels, Jr.], and youngsters Agnes [Joan Carroll] and Tootie [Margaret O'Brien], balks at such upheaval, especially Esther, who's crushed at the prospect of ending her blossoming romance with John Truitt [Tom Drake]. But soon everyone accepts the inevitable and prepares to leave idyllic St. Louis.

Although the plot is practically threadbare, writers Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe draw us into the story and keep us involved by making the Smiths reflect the dynamics and foibles of a typical American family. It's impossible not to identify with the squabbles and bickering, playful ribbing, and deep sense of loyalty and love that pervade the Smith household. Such timeless themes of home and family packed a powerful punch during World War II, and still resonate today. (In fact, when Judy Garland earnestly recites the film's last few lines, "I can't believe it. Right here where we live! Right here in St. Louis!" the sentiment so blatantly echoes 'The Wizard of Oz,' one almost expects Garland to add, "Oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like St. Louis!") Thankfully, the script's light comedic flair keeps sappiness at bay most of the time, and although tears certainly will be shed during the film's climax, the emotions expressed are honest, visceral, and universal.

Such simplicity and grace also distinguish the film's score, a combination of period standards and three contemporary songs that Garland would quickly stamp with her inimitable signature. Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" are seamlessly woven into the film's fabric, gently moving the story forward and adding emotional subtext. Complemented by Judy Garland's exquisitely rich vocals and Vincente Minnelli's impeccable visual sense, the musical sequences tell mini-stories of longing, exuberance, and uncertain hope that far outshine the bloated production numbers of other films.

Dramatically, Judy Garland projects both a winsome charm and spunky self-assurance that make her performance irresistible. Although few actresses could hold their own against the scene-stealing prowess of moppet Margaret O'Brien, Garland, with her sincerity and vulnerability, always maintains our focus. Margaret O'Brien deservedly captured a special juvenile Oscar for her portrayal of the mischievous and lovably ghoulish Tootie, and her work in the spooky Halloween scene (brilliantly conceived by Vincente Minnelli) is one of the film's highlights, but 'St. Louis' is Judy Garland's picture from start to finish. In addition, Leon Ames, Tom Drake, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, the priceless Marjorie Main as the blunt and outspoken maid, and a very young June Lockhart also contribute fine performances.

Acting, script, and music aside, just looking at the film is a joy. From the art direction and costumes to George Folsey's eye-popping cinematography, Minnelli perfectly integrates every element, and his meticulous attention to detail permeates every frame. Simply said, 'Meet Me in St. Louis' is one beautiful film, a tailor-made showcase for the supreme artistry of Judy Garland and the boundless creativity of MGM craftsmen. As far as musicals go, they don't get any better than this.

Blu-ray Video Quality - When Warner released the DVD of 'Meet Me in St. Louis' back in 2004, it sported a spanking new digital transfer from restored picture elements, and the results were spectacular. Yet believe it or not, this Blu-ray edition outclasses that fine effort with a perfectly balanced image that showcases the movie's exceptional Technicolor photography and period detail. It's often tempting to over-saturate three-strip Technicolor films, but Warner remains true to the source, fashioning a natural-looking palette that embraces the lush hues without pushing them into an artificial realm. From Judy Garland's auburn hair and red Christmas ball gown to Bremer's green velvet dress and the verdant front lawns that line Kensington Avenue, every colour exudes the proper temperature and makes this movie a true visual delight.

The grain structure complements the film as well, lending it a cosy texture that ties into the antiquated setting. (In only a couple of instances did the grain seem excessive, but that's to be expected for a movie of this vintage.) Clarity and contrast are both excellent (and a step up from the inferior DVD format), so the picture brims with vibrancy. Details on a Tiffany lamp, wallpaper and carpet patterns, and background elements are all strikingly sharp. Black levels in the Halloween sequence exude a lovely inkiness, yet shadow delineation never suffers and crush never occurs. Whites are solid, too, especially the elaborate dresses the Smith women wear to the World's Fair, but flesh tones adopt a slight rosy tint.

Vincente Minnelli was a master of the close-up, and some of his shots of Judy Garland are so exquisitely framed and executed, they take our breath away. The final shot of 'The Boy Next Door' and extended close-up during 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' exhibit a unique lushness and beauty that only a man in love with his leading lady could construct.

The print is primarily spotless, with almost all incidents of speckling erased. There's still a faint vertical stripe with a greenish-yellowish tint that shows up late in the picture for several isolated seconds, but it's not particularly noticeable unless you look for it. No edge enhancement or DNR have been applied, and no banding, halos, artefacts, or noise disrupt the image. Once again, Warner has done a superior job transferring one of its classic titles to Blu-ray, and all fans of musicals and Golden Age cinema should be thrilled with this eye-filling treatment.

Blu-ray Audio Quality - The addition of the stunning audio really perks up the 'St. Louis' soundtrack, offering more purity of tone, detail, and dynamic range than the previous Dolby Digital mix on the inferior DVD format. The 5.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track gently envelops; you won't hear anything distinct coming from the rear speakers, but the overall surround feel, which is most potent during the musical numbers, makes the movie more immediate and involving. The wide dynamic range handles Garland's soaring highs well (with distortion never an issue), while lows possess lovely resonance and weight. Subtleties are more pronounced, too, such as the rustling of dresses and the roaring flames of the Halloween bonfire, and accents, like the clanging trolley bell, are crisply rendered.

Dialogue is always well prioritised and easy to comprehend, and the music score enjoys marvellous fidelity and tonal depth. A couple of errant pops could be detected and just the faintest hint of hiss, but neither in any way hamper one's enjoyment of this aural feast. Listening to Garland sing such standards as 'The Trolley Song,' 'The Boy Next Door,' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' is always a treat, but hearing her legendary voice in lossless audio adds a rare and wonderful extra dimension to the experience. The original mono track has been dropped from this release, but a music-only track, highlighting Garland's numbers and Conrad Salinger's lilting orchestrations remains, and can be accessed through the Audio Vault section in the special features area.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Introduction by Liza Minnelli [5:00] Who else would be more qualified to host an introduction to this classic film than Liza Minnelli? After all, if it wasn't for 'Meet Me in St. Louis,' Liza might never have been born, considering her parents [Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli] met and fell in love during production. Say what you will about Ms. Minnelli's tabloid history and rocky personal life, her preamble is one of the best I've seen - seemingly unscripted and presented with warmth, humour, and natural grace.

Audio Commentary: This innovative and highly informative commentary is well worth a listen, as renowned Garland historian and biographer John Fricke discusses the film with his trademark flair, and introduces archival recordings of actress Margaret O'Brien, screenwriter Irving Brecher, composer Hugh Martin, Barbara Freed-Saltzman (producer Arthur Freed's daughter), and actress June Lockhart, all of whom reminisce about their first-hand experience with the production. The unique format robs the discussion of spontaneity, but the fascinating information eclipses the formal tone. As always, Fricke's enthusiasm for all things Garland is infectious, and his meticulous research yields fresh nuggets that will enlighten even the most rabid Judy know-it-all's. Reminiscent of the scholarly commentaries by historian Rudy Behlmer, Fricke offers background on cast members and production personnel, historical perspective, and discusses many deleted scenes, which sadly no longer exist. This is a terrific track for anyone interested in Hollywood history, movie musicals, and film trivia.

Documentary: Meet Me in St. Louis: The Making of an American Classic [31:00] A holdover from the film's 50th anniversary VHS release in 1994, this interesting but superficial look back at the musical's production history is narrated by actor Roddy McDowell and includes reminiscences from Margaret O'Brien, Lucille Bremer, Vincente Minnelli, composer Hugh Martin, and Barbara Freed-Saltzman. The documentary addresses Garland's initial reluctance to portray the teenage Esther, her love affair with Minnelli during filming (which would result in marriage the following year), the evolution of the script, and construction of the musical score, which seamlessly blends original songs with period standards. Fans of Hollywood lore will especially enjoy hearing Margaret O'Brien reveal the real motivation behind her tears during the 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' sequence and it has nothing to do with canine abuse! Archival photographs of the real Smith family and the 1904 World's Fair, as well as footage of Margaret O'Brien accepting her special Oscar for Best Juvenile Performance, are also included.

Hollywood: The Dream Factory [50:00] This 1972 documentary focuses on Tinsel town in general and MGM in particular as it cogently examines the culture and mechanics of manufacturing celluloid fantasy. Dick Cavett narrates this insightful, entertaining film that looks at the moguls, stars, and day-to-day business of moviemaking, with sequences devoted to Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, censorship issues, and tobacco use. A precursor of sorts, to 'That's Entertainment!' (using the theme song and several clips that would also turn up in the 1974 documentary), 'Hollywood: The Dream Factory' includes a brief segment on the Garland-Mickey Rooney "let's put on a show" films, as well as a lengthy clip from 'St. Louis' during its hall-of-fame finale. Definitely a must worthwhile view.

TCM Special: Becoming Attractions: Judy Garland [46:00] Much more than a compendium of Garland movie trailers, this program puts those previews in perspective, providing a cursory overview of Garland's career, personal problems, and the psychology of Hollywood marketing. Hosted by Robert Osborne, this Turner Classic Movies production from 1996 (part of an original series) presents 13 Garland trailers (all in surprisingly spry condition) for such classics as 'The Wizard of Oz,' 'Babes in Arms,' 'Easter Parade,' and 'A Star Is Born.' Through the seemingly innocuous, even disposable medium of trailers, this involving and informative collection examines the breadth and scope of Garland's talent and career, as we see her progress from awkward teen to young starlet to superstar and mature woman.

TV Pilot: Meet Me in St. Louis [26:00] Back in 1966, MGM tried to peddle 'Meet Me in St. Louis' to network executives as a TV series, and filmed a pilot episode written by Sally Benson and starring Shelley Fabares as Esther, Celeste Holm as Mrs. Smith, Wesley Addy (Holm's real-life husband) as Mr. Smith, and Reta Shaw as the irrepressible maid Katie. (The producers deleted the character of older sister Rose.) The 26-minute instalment (shot in brilliant colour) is beautifully preserved and flaunts the same lush period feel as the original film. The inserted laugh track is a bit off-putting at first, and the performances are much more stilted and shallow than their film counterparts (Fabares, of course, is no Garland), but the effort is mildly successful and remains faithful to the tone and themes of the musical version.

Vintage Short: Bubbles [8:00] Judy Garland started performing at the tender age of 2, so by age 7 she was a seasoned professional, and this 1930 Vitaphone short, which showcases a motley array of child prodigies known as The Meglin Kiddies, offers some of the earliest surviving evidence of her blossoming musical abilities. Although the performance quality ranks only a notch or two above any local grammar school talent show, it's a delight to catch a glimpse of Garland singing with her two older siblings [The Gumm Sisters] in this novelty. What she lacks in polish, young Baby Gumm makes up for in power, and in her sparkling eyes her love of performing is clearly evident.

Vintage Short: Skip to My Lou [3:00] Speaking of novelties, 'Skip to My Lou' is about as rare as they come. This 1941 "Sound" short features 'St. Louis' songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane (as part of a quartet called The Martins) singing the exact same arrangement of the traditional dance number that would appear in Minnelli's film three years later. Dressed in overalls, plaid shirts, and straw hats, the pair is flanked by two unidentified brunettes and they all perform a sprightly rendition of the standard.

Audio Vault: The films Music-Only Track resides here, along with an outtake of a song Rodgers and Hammerstein originally wrote for (and deleted from) 'Oklahoma!,' 'Boys and Girls Like You.' This lilting ballad was purchased by producer Arthur Freed for inclusion in 'Meet Me in St. Louis,' and was supposed to shortly follow 'The Trolley Song' in the film. A random collection of stills featuring Garland and Tom Drake from various stages of the movie accompany Garland's four-minute vocal. The other vault entry is the Lux Radio Theater adaptation of 'Meet Me in St. Louis,' broadcast on December 2, 1946, with Garland, O'Brien, and Drake reprising their film roles. (In this version, middle sister Agnes has been scrapped and Gale Gordon portrays Mr. Smith.) Although the players inject plenty of spirit into their line readings, the lack of visuals severely hampers the story, and we quickly appreciate the patented "Minnelli touch" even more. The emotion and sentiment still shine through, but many of the film's notable scenes (the Halloween sequence especially) translate poorly to the audio medium. Garland's renditions of 'The Boy Next Door,' 'The Trolley Song,' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' are typically strong, and some charming (albeit scripted) patter between the three stars nicely closes the 57-minute program.

Theatrical Trailer [2:00] The 1955 reissue preview for 'Meet Me in St. Louis' is also included on the disc.

CD Album Sampler: The second disc features four soundtrack songs: 'Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis,' sung by Garland and Lucille Bremer; 'The Boy Next Door,' sung by Garland; 'The Trolley Song,' sung by Garland and chorus; and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' sung by Judy Garland.

Finally, Musical lovers, rejoice! Warner honours one of Hollywood's finest with a top-notch Special Limited Edition DigiBook that features superb video, excellent audio, and a huge array of first-class supplements. 'Meet Me in St. Louis' is the quintessential family musical, and its relatable story and characters, enduring songs (performed with heart-breaking warmth and irrepressible verve by the unforgettable Judy Garland), and gorgeous Technicolor photography make it a time-honoured classic that continues to entertain and delight audiences of all ages. So hop aboard the trolley and revel in the magic of Judy Garland, Vincente Minnelli, and MGM. That is why I am so proud to have another really magic film of Judy Garland in my Blu-ray Collection and will give you endless hours of viewing this magical Hollywood Dream Factory that sadly we will never see its like again and you would be the poorer if you let this brilliant package pass you by and that is why it is a great honour and privilege to add this to my ever increasing Judy Garland Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film, 9 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Meet Me In St Louis [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
Quick delivery .
Fantastic film
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully entertaining, 20 Mar 2009
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C. A. Turner - See all my reviews
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A film for the whole family to enjoy. Pity they don't make them like this anymore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Sep 2014
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Amazing film!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always loved this film, 4 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Meet Me In St Louis [DVD] [1944] (DVD)
Always loved this film. this is my second copy. lost it in a hotel in llandudno. had to buy it again. hate not seeing it in my DvD draw. plus my 4 year old loves it. A classic, clean entertaing film for all ages.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely film, 17 April 2014
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We ordered this film for our Mum for Christmas she has watched it and loves it, arrived in plain secure packaging and within a few days of placing the order.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic film, 22 April 2014
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one of my favourites, glad I brought it. Easy going film that puts a smile on my face and gives me a feel good factor
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Meet Me In St Louis [DVD] [1944]
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