Top critical review
...but only if you've seriously nothing better to do!
on 17 February 2014
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 dominates the thoughts of all female members of the household from mother, Mary Astor, all four daughters, of which Judy, plays Esther, the second eldest, right down to Margaret O'Brien, at her saccharine best playing little `Tootie', and the Katie the maid, played by Marjorie Main.
In this respect it's a kind of `Pride and Prejudice' set to music complete with hapless patriarch, Leon Ames, playing Alonzo Ames (Alonzo ??) who hasn't a clue what's going on and objects, strenuously, when it's suggested his dinner time is altered to accommodate said phone call.
There is a bit of drama, however, when Tootie, alarmed at the prospect of having to move to New York, when Alonzo announces a potential promotion at work, runs amok and decapitates all of the carefully constructed snow people in the front garden: this, even after Judy's attempts to mollify her by crooning `Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'!
It occupies a couple of hours if you honestly have nothing better to do, and does provide a context for Judy to belt out the wonderful `Trolley Song' and the aforementioned Christmas Standard. But, seriously, it's not a patch on, say, Easter Parade, made 4 years later. But then that features another cinematic genius, Fred Astaire!