Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Get Happy" by Judy Garland

Judy Garland's last musical for MGM was 1950's Summer Stock, in which Garland plays a fresh-faced farm girl who rents her barn out to a troupe of actors, so they can 'put on a show'. While plot-wise the film is a hoary cliche, in its execution it's a giddy comedy and something of a minor classic as well. Co-starring Gene Kelly (at the absolute peak of freshness), the leading couple are back up by a crew of seasoned veterans, including Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven, Marjorie Main, and Phil Silvers; the film is also notable for Kelly's Newspaper Dance.

The scene in which Garland sings Get Happy was shot four months after the rest of the production had wrapped, and in the meantime she'd been in hospital and lost over twenty pounds, most of it as a result of a recurring liver ailment*. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most indelible moments of Garland's movie career.

*In addition to alcohol, Garland had long abused prescription medication, both of which cause bloating due to the inadequate drainage of bile over the long term.
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Daniel said...

There you go, teaching me things again. Not only did i get an extra point at the quiz night last night for knowing what 'The Restoration period' was, I now know who inspired Rufus Wainwright's fairly entertaining opener at last year's Glastonbury. You should have a look..
Also, I couldn't resist that bit about 'inadequate drainage of bile'

michael sean morris said...

Glad to know I'm fulfilling my mandate of entertaining and enlightening; enlightertainment is what I'm all about.