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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true "Signature Edition" of a wonderful artist., 28 Dec. 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Judy Garland Signature Collection - A Star Is Born / Love Finds Andy Hardy / Ziegfeld Girl / For Me And My Gal / Harvey Girls / In The Good Old Summertime [DVD] (DVD)
I decided to watch the films in chronological order to understand Garlands development towards her ultimate triumph A Star is Born.

LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (Black and White - 1938) Garland was fifteen when she made her first of three appearances as Betsy Booth alongside Mickey Rooney in his third of sixteen outings as Andy Hardy.

This film pulls together so much about their partnership in juvenile musicals that resulted in a livelong real life brother sister relationship between the stars (Rooney's words in "That's Entertainment"). It is also an example of the "ugly duckling" character Garland played in many of her early films and her wonderful singing ability at even this early age.

The warm and realistic Hardy family setting and Andy's awakening interest in girls make this a most enjoyable view.

ZIEGFELD GIRL (Black and White 1941) - A very good screenplay about three new Ziegfeld recruits, Susan Gallagher (Judy Garland), Sandra Kolter (Hedy Lamarr) and Sheila Regan (Lana Turner) as they experience the follies for the first time ("the Follies is like the rest of life but lived at a mile a minute" someone comments) and it's effect on their personal relationships makes this a special musical for me. Jimmy Stewart has a nice role as Sheila's jilted truck driver boy friend.

Spectacular dance scenes by Busby Berkley (Garland felt intimidated by this legendary disciplinarian) and songs, and in case the finale seems familiar, it is, it is culled from "The Great Ziegfeld") but with Garland superimposed on the top.

FOR ME AND MY GIRL (Black and White 1942) - A typical musical plot. Garland has boy, (her dancing partner George Murphy} then leaves him for Gene Kelley (in a superb film debut) and later realises it was Murphy after all.

The plot hardly matters, this film is a musical showcase crammed from beginning to end with lovely singing and dancing, and the plot which spans WW1 resonates with America entering WWII after Pearl Harbour.

Judy Garland at her youthful best.

THE HARVEY GIRLS (Technicolor 1946) - Garland at the peak of her career and probably the point at which her serious personal decline began.

We begin with the unforgettable "Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe" scene and from then on this is just a marvellously produced romp with a wonderful women's wardrobe in co-ordinated pastel colours superbly filmed in Technicolor, served up in a great DVD transfer.

Warm hearted the rivalry between Ned Trent (John Hodiak) the soft centred tough owner of the established Alhambra Saloon and the classy new "Harvey Dining Rooms" is full of humour.

Early appearances of Virginia O'Brien, Cyd Charisse and above all Angela Lansbury as "Em" the queen of the Alhambra.

The final cut omitted a show stopping protracted musical routine "The March of the Doagies" that can be seen on "That's Entertainment III".

Quintessential Garland.

IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (Technicolor 1949) - Set in a music shop this is more of a dramatic opportunity for Garland although she does demonstrate a few songs to customers. The plot of a couple disliking each other - Veronica Fisher (Garland) as a saleswoman and her supervisor Andrew Larkin (Van Johnson) whilst carrying on an anonymous loving correspondence. The plot may be fairly routine but the screenplay certainly is not and there is a lovely elderly chemistry between the proprietor the eccentric Otto Oberkugen (S Z Sakall) and his cashier and long time sweetheart Nellie Burke (Spring Byington).

Lovely final touch is the screen debut (at eighteen months) of Liza Minelli.

A STAR IS BORN (Technicolor 1954) - It is only five years since "In the good old Summertime" but alcohol, barbiturates and amphetamines have aged Garland so much she looks in her mid forties instead of just thirty two.

"A Star is Born" is one of those films that are both flawed and wonderful. It is a combination of an excellent drama about the decline of a famous star Norman Maine (James Mason) and almost a separate musical charting the career of his protégé and later his wife Vicki Lester (Judy Garland).

Cuts and changes of direction lead to some strange juxtapositions, particularly the fifteen minute "Born in a Trunk Medley" that appears for seemingly no reason, inserted at a late date it just commences out of the blue and with no immediate relevance.

Also a major restoration in 1983 of material cut from the original release was extended to include scenes where the dialogue only remains supported by production stills, this is baffling as there is no reference in the Extras disc and has to be researched.

Like all great stars Judy bowed out on a high.

FINALLY - A true "Signature Edition" demonstrating all sides of Judy Garland's artistry.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Judy. A wonderful set, 6 Nov. 2006
By 
Nicholas - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Judy Garland Signature Collection - A Star Is Born / Love Finds Andy Hardy / Ziegfeld Girl / For Me And My Gal / Harvey Girls / In The Good Old Summertime [DVD] (DVD)
What a fantastic colection of Judy films we have here. All six films are only availiable (except a star is born) to uk viewers in this box set. Anyone familiar with Judy will by now know that these films are an essential purchase. For me and my gal will remain my favourite of the six films because of the wonderful songs and story (especially the title track). There is only one film complete with a few extras (a star is born) which is a mild dissapointment, but on the whole we buy Judy's films to watch her perform and act rather than to watch extras, so I can't really complain.

Lovely work. Thank you Judy.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection but DVDs very minimal, 21 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Judy Garland Signature Collection - A Star Is Born / Love Finds Andy Hardy / Ziegfeld Girl / For Me And My Gal / Harvey Girls / In The Good Old Summertime [DVD] (DVD)
No complaints with the films themselves but the DVDs have no options on them other than PLAY and SUBTITLES - they are not divided into chapters so you cannot go directly to the musical numbers like most classic musical DVDs. This is a pity as both my 8 yr old girl and 3 yr old boy love watching the music and dancing but some parts of these films are not suitable for young children (eg. the fighting, guns, and fire scenes in The Harvey Girls and the WW1 scenes in For Me and My Gal.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 31 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Judy Garland Signature Collection - A Star Is Born / Love Finds Andy Hardy / Ziegfeld Girl / For Me And My Gal / Harvey Girls / In The Good Old Summertime [DVD] (DVD)
As new and quick delivery.
Really worth considering, got the box set for the same price as a single DVD, and only one had been watched. Thank you.
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