Meet Me in St. Louis
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Meet Me in St. Louis can be found here.

Meet Me in St. Louis was based on a series of eight short semi-autobiographical vignettes titled 5135 Kensington, written by American writer Sally Benson [1897-1972] and first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1941-42. She later added four more stories, each chapter representing a month of the year, and published them as a novel titled Meet Me in St. Louis (1942). The stories were adapted for the movie by American screenwriters Irving Brecher and Fred F Finklehoffe.

The story takes place during the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair held in St Louis, Missouri in 1904. The Fair was planned as a centennial celebration of the centennial of the United States' acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

The story centers around the Smith family father Alonzo (Leon Ames), mother Anna (Mary Astor), sisters Esther (Judy Garland), Rose (Lucille Bremer), Agnes (Joan Carroll), and Tootie (Margaret O'Brien), brother Lon Jr (Henry H. Daniels Jr.), and Grandpa (Harry Davenport). The family is looking forward to attending the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair until father announces that he's moving the family from St. Louis to New York City.

Tootie tells Mr Neely (Chill Wills), the iceman, that she's five years old. Agnes seems to be slightly older, around 10 or 11. Rose mentions that she's of legal age to marry without parental permission, which puts her at 18. Lon is in college, so he's probably a year older (19) than Rose, while Esther is 'almost of legal age', which would make her a year younger (17) than Rose.

How does the movie end?

On Christmas eve, when father sees how upset the family is at the idea of moving to New York City, he changes his mind and announces that they will stay right there in St. Louis. Suddenly, Warren Sheffield (Robert Sully) rushes in the front door, professes his love for Rose, says that they're going to get married, then rushes back out again. Winter passes and spring arrives. Everyone is dolled up in their finest clothes and waiting on the front porch for two carriages to arrive. Rose, Esther, Warren, and John Truett (Tom Drake) get in one; Father, Mother, Grandpa, Agnes, and Tootie get in the other. When asked where they want to go, Tootie replies, 'To the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.' In the final scene, the Smith family is trying to figure out where to eat, when the lights of the exposition are turned on. The family marvels at how a wonderful thing like the World Fair could take place right in their own hometown.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 2 years ago
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