Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »
Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »
Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »
Andy's girlfriend Polly is planning to spend Christmas at her grandmother's, which puts a kink in his plans to take her to the country club Christmas party. He agrees (for a fee) to pretend... See full summary »
On a train trip West to become a mail order bride Susan Bradley meets a cheery crew of young women traveling out to open a " Harvey House " restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide ... See full summary »
Soldier Joe Allen is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice. She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves ... See full summary »
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »
Acrobat Eddie Marsh is in the army now. His first act is to become friendly with Kathryn Jones, the colonel's pretty daughter. Their romance hits a few snags, including disapproval from her... See full summary »
Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New York, he gets to know her better and his opinion of her changes for the better. Then, when the leading lady of the play walks out, Lily gets her big break on Broadway. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
In the elaborate musical finale, Judy Garland is dancing with an uncredited Charles Walters, who would eventually become one of MGM's top directors and direct Judy herself in both "Easter Parade" and "Summer Stock." See more »
There's a lily mars in every town and they're all alike: so full of hope and so hopeless.
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Under the single "The End" title, Davey Mars is seen to steal one more doorknob for his collection. See more »
Presenting Lily Mars may have provided Judy Garland with one of the easier roles she had while at MGM because Lily Mars is definitely a character she could identify with. A young girl with talent enough for ten, she knows she has what it takes to make it in the theater no matter how much producer Van Heflin from her home town discourages her.
I really liked Judy in this one as the girl determined to make it in the theater. Because it is Judy Garland with the talent of Judy Garland you in the audience know she has the right stuff even if it takes Van Heflin nearly the whole movie to be convinced.
Both Judy and Heflin hail from the same small town, Heflin's dad was the town doctor who delivered her and Heflin while he may have moved away and become a big producer on Broadway, their respective moms, Fay Bainter and Spring Byington have kept in touch. That's her entrée, but Heflin's constantly barraged with stagestruck kids, but never anyone quite like Lily Mars.
No real big song hits came out of Presenting Lily Mars for Garland, though she sings all her numbers. The best in the film is a revival of that gaslight era chestnut, Every Little Movement Has A Meaning All Its Own. Judy sings it with Connie Gilchrist playing the cleaning lady in a Broadway theater where Heflin's show is being produced. Gilchrist was a star back in the days of the FloraDora Girls and she and Judy deliver the song in grand style with Connie. It's the best scene in the film as Gilchrist encourages Judy to keep at it. Composer Karl Hoschna had died a long time ago, but lyricist Otto Harbach was still alive and I'm betting he liked what he heard.
European musical star Marta Eggerth is in Presenting Lily Mars as the show's star who's at first bemused, then angry and finally, understanding of Garland and Heflin. She did a couple of films with MGM and then went back to Europe for more work on the continent. I'm betting MGM didn't quite know what to do with her and her thick Hungarian accent, though Louis B. Mayer never met a soprano he didn't like.
Van Heflin does well as the patient producer who puts up with a lot from Garland and Eggerth. Heflin was just coming off his Oscar for Johnny Eager the previous year and he and Garland wouldn't appear to be an ideal screen team, but they're not bad together.
Presenting Lily Mars is a fine showcase for the talents of Judy Garland. And she didn't have to share the screen in another backstage film with Mickey Rooney.
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