IMDb > Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Meet Me in St. Louis
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Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Meet Me in St. Louis -- In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.


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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Irving Brecher (screen play) and
Fred F. Finklehoffe (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Meet Me in St. Louis on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1945 (USA) See more »
A cast of favorites in the Charming . . . Romantic . . . Tuneful Love Story of the Early 1900s ! See more »
In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Minnelli Directs Garland In MGM Classic See more (133 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Judy Garland ... Esther Smith

Margaret O'Brien ... 'Tootie' Smith

Mary Astor ... Mrs. Anna Smith
Lucille Bremer ... Rose Smith

Leon Ames ... Mr. Alonzo Smith
Tom Drake ... John Truett
Marjorie Main ... Katie (Maid)

Harry Davenport ... Grandpa

June Lockhart ... Lucille Ballard
Henry H. Daniels Jr. ... Lon Smith Jr.
Joan Carroll ... Agnes Smith

Hugh Marlowe ... Colonel Darly
Robert Sully ... Warren Sheffield

Chill Wills ... Mr. Neely
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sidney Barnes ... Hugo Borvis (uncredited)
Joe Cobb ... Clinton Badger (uncredited)
Victor Cox ... A Driver (uncredited)

Donald Curtis ... Dr. Girard (uncredited)
Kenneth Donner ... Hugo Gorman (uncredited)
Mary Jo Ellis ... Ida Boothby (uncredited)
Helen Gilbert ... Girl on Trolley (uncredited)
Buddy Gorman ... Sidney Gorcey (uncredited)

Gary Gray ... Boy at Pavilion (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Mr. March (uncredited)

Darryl Hickman ... Johnny Tevis (uncredited)
Charlotte Hunter ... Girl in Blue on Trolley (uncredited)
Victor Kilian ... Baggage Man (uncredited)
Belle Mitchell ... Mrs. Braukoff (uncredited)
The Music Maids ... Singers (uncredited)
Mayo Newhall ... Mr. Braukoff (uncredited)
Sid Newman ... Boy on Trolley (uncredited)
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Motorman (uncredited)
John Phipps ... Mailman (uncredited)
Dorothy Raye ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Billy Royle ... Boy in Halloween Sequence (uncredited)
Group Seckler ... Performers (uncredited)

William Smith ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Myron Tobias ... George (uncredited)
Dorothy Tuttle ... Girl on Trolley (uncredited)
Leonard Walker ... Conductor (uncredited)
Kenneth Wilson ... Quentin (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincente Minnelli 
Writing credits
Irving Brecher (screen play) and
Fred F. Finklehoffe (screen play)

Sally Benson (based on the book by)

Doris Gilver  uncredited
Victor Heerman  uncredited
William Ludwig  uncredited
Sarah Y. Mason  uncredited

Produced by
Arthur Freed .... producer
Roger Edens .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Roger Edens (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger (uncredited)
Cinematography by
George J. Folsey (director of photography) (as George Folsey)
Film Editing by
Albert Akst (film editor)
Art Direction by
Lemuel Ayers 
Cedric Gibbons 
Jack Martin Smith 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Irene Sharaff (costumes designed by) (as Sharaff)
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup creator
Dorothy Ponedel .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Dave Friedman .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
J.E. Jennings .... assistant director (uncredited)
Wallace Worsley Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Paul Huldschinsky .... associate set decorator
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Joe Edmondson .... unit mixer (uncredited)
Standish J. Lambert .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
Frank McKenzie .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
Robert Shirley .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
Newell Sparks .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
William Steinkamp .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
Michael Steinore .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
John A. Williams .... re-recording & effects mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Mark Davis .... camera operator: matte paintings (uncredited)
A. Arnold Gillespie .... minatures and transparency projection shots (uncredited)
Donald Jahraus .... miniatures assistant (uncredited)
Warren Newcombe .... matte paintings (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert J. Bronner .... second camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene .... costume supervisor
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Roger Edens .... musical adaptation
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator
George Stoll .... musical director (as Georgie Stoll)
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Robert Franklyn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Lennie Hayton .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Wally Heglin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Calvin Jackson .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
M.J. McLaughlin .... music mixer (uncredited)
Joseph Nussbaum .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Stahlberg .... music mixer (uncredited)
George Stoll .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Robert Tucker .... vocal arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Henri Jaffa .... associate technicolor color director
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor color director
Charles Walters .... dance director
Sally Benson .... adviser: settings (uncredited)
Paul Jones .... choreographer (uncredited)
Rose Paidar .... voice double: Mary Astor (uncredited)
Gwen Vernon .... assistant choreographer (uncredited)
Ellen Wilson .... voice double: Mary Astor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:G (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | France:U | Germany:o.Al. (DVD rating) | Iceland:L | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #10050) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Van Johnson was originally cast as John Truett, but Tom Drake took over.See more »
Revealing mistakes: There are no footprints in the snow in the winter scene, and there is not enough snow to have allowed the children to have made snowmen without leaving any trace of the snow being rolled into place.See more »
[last lines]
Esther Smith:I can't believe it. Right here where we live - right here in St. Louis.
See more »
Meet Me in St. Louis, LouisSee more »


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45 out of 51 people found the following review useful.
Minnelli Directs Garland In MGM Classic, 18 December 1998
Author: Michael Coy ( from London, England

"The day was bright, The air was sweet, The smell of honeysuckle almost knocked you off your feet ..." This is unashamed nostalgia for an idealised America, dating back to an age of innocence before the two World Wars.

It is 1903, and the city of St. Louis is ablaze with excitement as it prepares to host the World's Fair. Here in the geographic heart of the USA, the very pleasant Smith family lives in a very pleasant suburb of the very pleasant St. Louis. We watch the Smiths through the seasons and into Spring 1904 as they fall in love, dress up for Hallowe'en, bottle their home-made ketchup and .... well, ride the trolley.

This is a world of tranquillity where nothing can threaten the homely complacency of Middle America. The evening meal is always a wholesome family gathering, the month of July is always sunny, big brothers are always handsome Princeton freshmen and the iceman's mare knows the neighbourhood so well that she stops at each home on her round without needing to be told. The only shadow which falls across the Smiths' domestic bliss comes when Alonzo, the paterfamilias, proposes to move the household to New York. However, Alonzo soon realises what a terrible mistake it would be to tear his wife and daughters away from their beloved MidWest: he relents, and family harmony is restored.

This heartwarming, exuberant musical is one of the very best ever made, and MGM knew exactly what it was doing in terms of box office success. The film was calculated to cash in on the zeitgeist of 1944, the year in which vast American armies were sent across to Europe and the war in the Pacific turned decisively in America's favour. Millions of young American men found themselves far from home in what was certain to be the last Christmas of the War, and millions of families back home missed them terribly: " Some day soon we all will be together, If the fates allow. Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow ..."

In this idealised America, everyone is prosperous, everyone conducts himself like a good citizen should, old folks are cheerful, healthy and alert, domestic servants feign grumpiness but actually adore their masters, and teenage girls are flirtatious but impeccably proper. There are strong American folk-resonances in the homespun wisdom of the family elders, the strong, straight young adults and the 'down home' hearthside gatherings and dances. It could be argued that the film invokes an America that has never in fact existed. This maybe so, but the Perfect America which we experience here exerts an emotional pull far stronger than any real place could command.

Vincente Minnelli directed the movie with panache. There are many subtle but sure touches - for example, two short scenes which establish the proposition that the family's happiness is inextricably linked to St. Louis. Alonzo announces the move to New York, and with clever choreography Minnelli turns him into a pariah in his own living-room. Esther and Tootie gaze at the snowmen which they will have to abandon in the yard, and we know without any dialogue to help us that the eastward migration isn't going to happen. With similar cinematic economy, Minnelli shows us the happy commotion around the Christmas tree without allowing it to distract our attention from Alonzo and Anna, whose wordless reconciliation sets the seal on the plot. This is directing of rare skill.

In films of the 1960's and 70's a stock device was used: a sepia-tinted photograph would 'come to life' with colour and motion, to show that the scene was laid in the past. Minnelli employs the trick elegantly in this film, and I am not aware of any example which pre-dates this one.

This is a 'formula' movie, but its ingredients are so fine and they are combined with such marvellous skill that the whole eclipses the parts. Among the elements which contribute to the project's success are the songs - and the film contains three classics: "The Trolley Song", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and (of course) "Meet Me In St. Louis".

Judy Garland was 22 years old when she made this film (though she easily passes for a 17-year-old) and it was this movie which cemented her relationship with Minnelli. They married one year later and Liza was born in March 1946.

Predictably enough, the film has a happy ending. The teenage girls Esther and Rose are paired off, and the Smiths get to visit the World's Fair as one big happy family. As they look for the restaurant (once again, a meal signifies domestic harmony) they are distracted by the lighting-up of the city, a filmic metaphor for the approaching end of World War Two. The sisters are filled with awe at America's technological ascendancy, and that such miracles can be achieved by such folksy, simple people - "Right here where we live: right here in St. Louis!"

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