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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 June 2013
I just watched this famous film for the first time in my life and I LOVED IT! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS!

In this 1944 film we meet the financially comfortable Smith family, which lives in the good city of St. Louis, Missouri. The year is 1904, and all city talks only about World's Fair which will open towards the end of the year. The head of family, Alonzo Smith (Leon Ames), is a very busy lawyer. His wife, Anna Smith (Mary Astor) watches over the five children: one son, Lon Jr (who soon goes to college) and daughters Rose, Esther, Agnes and "Tootie".

The daughters are the focus of the film. Rose (Lucille Bremer) is the oldest of all children and all family worries that in her middle 20s she is not yet married. Esther (Judy Garland) is barely 18 and she is desperately in love with their neighbour, a rather handsome but shy young man. Tomboyish and cat loving Agnes (Joan Carroll) is in her early teens. And last but not least there is "Tootie" (Margaret O'Brien), a delicious chatterbox aged seven, afraid of nothing, always looking for more mischief and trouble - and having a VERY special relationship with her dolls...)))

Finally, there is also the ancient and wise, but still cheerful and young at heart Grandpa Smith (Henry Davenport) and the aging maid Katie (Marjorie Main), who is actually more like an extra family member.

This film is a delicious story, merry, happy, heart warming and with excellent songs. All actors gave the maximum of what they could give and the director and scenarist did also an amazing job. At the end of the film, all is well in the best of the worlds - and it is good to see this kind of movie from time to time...

Judy Garland shines in this film brighter than she ever did, so full of wit and joy of life she is. Small wonder that the director of the film, Vincente Minelli, ultimately fell in love with her -they were married one year later and Liza Minelli was born as the result in 1946...

But all great as she is in this film, even Judy Garland was OUTSTAGED by 7 years old Margaret O'Brien, who plays "Tootie" - she actually got an Oscar for this role, an Academy Juvenile Award, the same prize Judy Garland got five years earlier for "Wizard of Oz". Rarely was an award so much deserved... Sadly it was also the only Oscar this wonderful film obtained, even if it was desservedly nominated four times.

Bottom line, I absolutely loved this film and I will keep it preciously for future viewing. Enjoy!
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2004
This special edition of ‘Meet Me in St Louis’ will not disappoint those who have been eagerly awaiting its first release on DVD. The quality of the restoration is truly magnificent … and the extra disc of bonus material is a delight.
The first disc has a personal introduction by Liza Minelli; highly appropriate, as her mother was the film’s star and her father was the director. As soon as the film starts, you know you’re in for a treat. In 1944 Technicolor was in its infancy, so whenever a colour movie was filmed, every effort was made to make it as vibrant as possible. The rich jewel colours and sumptuous detail of both the interiors and costumes almost give the illusion of watching an oil painting come to life!
The film is set in the 12 months immediately prior to the opening of Louisiana Purchase Exposition (A.K.A. the World’s Fair) in 1904, and charts the life of the Smith family (Father, mother, 4 sisters, 1 brother, grandpa and Katie the maid). The script was initially based on a series of short stories by Sally Benson, telling the true story of her childhood at 5135 Kensington Avenue. The stories were so popular that Sally later added further chapters turning them into a novel, first published the same year as the film’s original theatrical release.
Sally Benson remained on hand throughout the preparation of the film’s interior sets, ensuring that every detail of her childhood home was faithfully recreated. As a result, the finished product is one of those rare instances when an adapted film truly reflects the author’s written work.
The plot is a simple one … and the better for it. Like the book, it is little more than a series of domestic family incidents with a romantic sub-plot (divided into 4 seasons rather than the 12 months of the original novel). It is a charming insight into the totally different world of exactly 100 years ago … a time when: telephones were a modern contrivance and a long distance call was a momentous event; nice girls didn’t let a man kiss them until after they were engaged; homes were lit by gas; and ‘Hell’ was swearing … polite people merely said ‘H’ instead!
For possibly the first time, the musical numbers fitted seamlessly into the plot … rather than everything stopping for a contrived song and dance. It seems perfectly natural for Esther to sing to her distraught younger sister in an attempt to comfort her, or for them to perform an impromptu cakewalk for their guests at a supper party. Or, after a family rift, Mrs Smith plays the piano for her husband, and as he sings a sentimental old ballad, the family reunite, sensing that whatever their problems they still have each other. Add to these show-stoppers like ‘The Trolley Song’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and the inevitable result is a family musical without equal.
Although this is arguably Judy Garland’s finest performance, ‘Meet Me in St Louis’ is a true ensemble piece … and every role is cast and played to perfection (if you can trace a rare copy of Benson’s original book, you’ll see what I mean). Six year-old Margaret O’Brien won an Oscar for her portrayal of Tootie, the Smith’s youngest yet most eccentric daughter; her heart-rending scene with the snow-people is perhaps the best child performance of all time. Hearing her own reminiscences of filming (on the director’s commentary) is one of the things that really makes this special edition so special!
The bonus material on the second disc is well worth having: a ‘behind the scenes making-of’ documentary; a pilot episode of a television spin-off; a 1946 radio broadcast of an abridged version of the film … and much, much more.
I cannot recommend this DVD enough! However, if you’re already a fan of this wonderful musical, I also recommend the BFI Film Classics book by Gerald Kaufman, also available from Amazon. It’s full of great photos, many more behind-the-scenes stories and explores in detail Vincent Minelli’s contribution as director.
Add this fantastic DVD to your collection now – you won’t be sorry!
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on 9 May 2003
Meet Me In St Louis is one of the best musicals ever. It has everything- songs, dancing, a cute child star, romance and of course Judy Garland! Judy is enchanting as Esther Smith who falls in love with boy next door. The film focuses on the Smith family through Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring. A fantastic film for all the family to enjoy. One of the best Judy Garland films with one of the best directors, Judys' then husband, Vincente Minnelli, who fell in love with Judy during the movie.
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on 15 March 2004
I first saw this film as a child and the magic it brings to our sometimes grey world is still as fresh today as it ever was. The story is based around one family living in St Louis just before the World Fair is held there. Judy Garland is at her peak ~ helped no doubt by her real life love affair with the film's director ~ and the glorious technicolour songs and wonderful support performances carry the viewer from one glorious season of the year to another, culminating with Winter and the marvellous tear-jerking scene where Judy sings 'Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas' to, in my opinion, the best child actress of them all, Margaret O'Brien.
The snow, the magic of Christmas ... no wonder my own young daughter is as addicted as I was. This DVD will be her best birthday present!
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on 15 July 2007
Yes, Virginia. There was a time when Hollywood used saturated color and made movies with upbeat themes and charismatic actors. But even by the standards of those bygone days, MEET ME IN ST LOUIS was a remarkable achievement.

It was based on a series of stories by Sally Benson (called "Tootie" when she was growing up) which were based on the author's life in St. Louis around the turn of that century. To their credit, the producers and studio kept the gentle plot of family life rather than add more dramatic oomph. But they did add songs - and - ooomph - what songs! Even resurrecting "Skip to My Lou" in swing time.

Judy Garland is the most famous name of the cast. But, look closely at the rest and you'll be looking at some of the best studio actors of the time. 7-year-old Margaret O'Brien, who plays Tootie, ranks on my personal list of favorite actresses of all time. This is probably her best role. Mary Astor as the mother was a leading actress for years. Leon Ames was a reliable father-type for years. Harry Davenport was the grandfather I wished I had. And Marjorie Main... well!...

Let's add this up: A simple drama set a century ago - tuneful songs - a terrific cast - packaged together with rich visuals, sets and costumes by Vincente Minelli and team.

Speaking of packages, this DVD includes an insightful "making of" featurette and a soundie (an old music video) of the movie's songwriters performing "Skip to My Lou" in the same style that would be used in the movie.

What's that? Alright, Virginia. From now on, I'll call you "Tootie".
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on 29 March 2007
One of the legendary musicals from the Arthur Freed Unit and another of the dazzling technicolour film's that Judy made is 'Meet Me In St. Louis'.

The plot is sometimes a little weak, but nothing below great, and the songs are fantastic with some of Garland's classics like "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".

The acting is great, with Margeret O'brien upstaging everyone as mischevious Tootie and Tom Drake as the boy next door that Judy adores.

Garland never looked more radient and recklessly happy as she did in this 1944 classic, a definitive musical picture that even the deaf should enjoy!

A must buy!
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on 28 January 2002
I absolutely loved this movie. I loved the music, the period and the songs. It is a movie designed to make you feel good if you have been feeling down in the dumps. I could watch it over and over again. It's funny, it's got a nice story, it's romantic and there is no gratuitious sex or violence. It's an innocent movie set in the days when people were not as sophisticated as they are now. It was a much nicer world then. Margaret O Brien is gorgeous as Tutti and I always love Judy Garland singing. "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" is a lovely song and she sings it like no one else can. The song "Meet me in St Louis" is one of those songs that goes round and round in your head afterward. Mary Astor was good as the mother and all in all I just love this picture. I must have seen it about 20 times.
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on 21 January 2006
One of the greatest films ever made. I have watched it dozens of times and still enjoy it. Judy Garland lives forever via this movie.
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on 23 April 2012
This is a lovely family musical. All about Esther Smith & her famil y & the lead up to the Worlds Greatest Fair that is opening in St Lous
Esther has a grown up brother & two sisters & two younger sisters. There is romance, pathos, comedy with two younger sisters. Father annouces that the bank he works for wants him and his famly to move to New York none of the family want to go and the youngest daughter wants to take her snow people with her & she can't so she starts to destroy them instead this is where Esther sings to her Have your- self a Merry Chriustmas always cry at that point!

Every thing works out in the end boys get girls & vice versa & they stay in St. Louis.
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on 3 August 2004
I myself am already a fan of Judy Garland and love all of her work. Meet Me In St. Louis shows off Garlands talent at it's best.
Whether you are young or old this film is one for all of the family and her singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" will have you weeping into your tissue.
I truly recommend this film. It's excellent!
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