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Edwin L. Marin
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Little Women is a "coming of age" drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girls father is away serving as a minister to the troops... See full summary »
St. Louis 1903. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who has just moved in, John. He however barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transfered to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis and the St. Louis Fair. Written by
Judy Garland was at first reluctant to accept the role of Esther Smith for fear of being typecast as a "girl next door" type, as she had played such a role in many of her previous films. By this point in her career, she had not only been married briefly, she was also a lover of Hollywood nightlife and had briefly dated many of the famous Hollywood playboys of the time, including Artie Shaw, Tyrone Power and Joe Mankiewicz. In real life, she was a far cry from the girl-next-door types she had played onscreen and wanted to be given the glamor treatment received by the other actresses at MGM. With encouragement from director Vincente Minnelli, who did see Garland as she had wanted to be seen for years (beautiful and womanly), make-up artist Dorothy "Dottie" Ponedel worked on Garland and brought out her natural beauty. Garland's eyebrows were modified to a more defined arch, her cheeks highlighted with a subtle blush, her nose discs and dental caps removed. Garland had worn the nose discs and dental caps in all of her previous films to disguise her crooked teeth and the nose discs to turn up her nose and create a more pronounced profile. Ponedel threw away the discs and caps, telling Garland she was pretty enough not to need them. To create a glamorous effect, while at the same time drawing attention to Garland's full lips and large brown eyes, Ponedel applied a bright red lip color and false lashes, both of which became staples of Garland's signature look from that point onward. During filming, Minnelli used special lighting to display the results of Ponedel's handiwork effectively. Garland was very pleased with the results and even more impressed when she attended a screening of the film and saw herself onscreen, and later stated that working on this film was the first time she had ever felt beautiful. She would continue to work with Ponedel for the rest of her years at MGM. See more »
In the scene where Esther and John are turning out the lights in the house, the exterior lights representing moonlight come up faster than the interior lights are extinguished. See more »
I can't believe it. Right here where we live - right here in St. Louis.
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This is one of my favorite movies with Judy Garland in it (the others being 'A Star Is Born' and 'Easter Parade'). She is so superb in it! Vincente Minnelli's direction is pristine and lushly beautiful. The supporting cast of the film also adds flair to the film. Little Margaret O'Brien plays Tootie, Judy's little sister in the film, who is a real standout. Lucille Bremer (a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, who had a very short career at MGM), plays Judy's older sister who tries flirting with a colonel. The fabulous plot is very simple:
The year is 1903, the town, St. Louis.Tthe Smith family is anxiously awaiting to go to the World's Fair in their hometown. Esther (Judy Garland) has an endless crush on the boy next door Jon Truett (Tom Drake. Then, Mr. Smith (Leon Ames) breaks the news to the family that they are moving to New York City so he can get a job. Mrs. Smith (Mary Astor), Tootie (Margaret O'Brien), Agnes (Joan Caroll), and Esther (Judy), are extremely disappointed. But, on Christmas Eve, they decide not to move after all, and become one of the first visitors to the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904.
This movie is one of the greatest movie musicals of all time, and one of Judy Garland's BEST movies! (She sings the legendary "The Trolley Song", the heartwarming "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", the lovely "The Boy Next Door", and the cute duet with Margaret O'Brien, "Under The Bamboo Tree")
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS WHOEVER LIKES MUSICALS! 10/10
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