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Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

The family sings "Meet Me In St. Louis" in 1903, but it wasn't published until 1904.
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Although set at the turn of the century, and with very authentic sets and costumes, all of the women inexplicably have mid-'40s hairstyles.
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Boom mic visible 

A boom mic shadow is visible on the carriage when the family is leaving to go to the fair.
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Continuity 

When Esther and Tootie perform "Under the Bamboo Tree", Tootie's bedroom slippers are pink at the beginning of the number...but change to blue in the "cake walk" finale.
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In an early scene you can see feathers and down floating all over the set, left over from the upcoming winter scenes.
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The piece of cake that Mr. Smith eats for Halloween dessert starts out flat and later grows into a wedge.
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As Esther comes down the stairs to the party in the parlor (with John Truett as one of the guests), she passes by the grandfather clock on the landing. In the shot just before coming to the landing, the pendulum is swinging. In the next shot, Esther is on the landing, and the pendulum is stopped.
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The amount of tears on Tootie's face changes as she listens to Esther singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".
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In the supper scene when they are trying to rush the meal so that Rose can take her long distance call in private, Katie the maid serves Mr. Smith his soup. The bowl looks completely empty through the whole scene until Katie comes to pick up the bowl. At that point, it is full of brightly-colored soup.
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After Tootie finishes singing "I was drunk last night, dear mother" you can see and hear Esther (Judy Garland) begin saying a line: "Tootie, you're a very bad--". The shot immediately changes to a closeup, and she repeats the line, this time more audibly and in its entirety: "Tootie, you're a very bad girl!"
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At the Christmas party Esther is wearing white gloves, but after the party when she is talking with John outside the Smith house she is no longer wearing the gloves and she is not holding them either.
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Just before "Boy Next Door," Esther keeps shifting positions when sitting on her front porch with Rose Smith.
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When the cake is first cut, it is two layers. When they return and start eating around the piano, one of the pieces is three layers.
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After Esther sits down during the corset scene, Rose's position changes from standing next to Esther's chair in one shot to kneeling on the chair in the next.
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The way Tootie holds her bag of flour changes.
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When Warren bursts in, the distance the door is open changes.
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After telling the family about moving to New York City, the father cuts himself a big piece of cake. Later the mother hands him his piece of cake and it less the half the size of the original.
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When Esther and her sister are putting on their corsets, there are garters hanging over their petticoats. Esther already has on hosiery. The petticoats would be in the way of putting on hosiery.
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After Lon's going away party when Esther gave John back his hat, he found raisins in his hat. He then walked outside, but after Esther called him back it appears that John is no longer holding the raisins.
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When leaving for the World Trade Fair in the morning, of course it's daylight, once the family arrives, it is dark outside.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Esther is comforting Tootie after Tootie's attack on the snow people, the shadow of the boom mike moves onto Tootie's back.
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Errors in geography 

Various scenes include views of mountains. However, St. Louis is in the middle of the prairie and does not have any mountain ranges nearby or visible.
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Factual errors 

During the Trolley Song the location of the fair was mentioned as at Huntington Park. The actual location of the World's Fair was Forest Park.
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Early in the movie the father mentions the Baltimore Orioles. By mid-1903 (the approximate time at the beginning of this movie) there was no major league team named the Baltimore Orioles. The 1901 American League Baltimore Orioles were the New York Highlanders in 1903 (later the New York Yankees in 1913). Ironically, the Baltimore Orioles of today were the former St Louis Browns in 1902. The team moved to Baltimore before the 1954 season.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

It is often incorrectly claimed that an off screen male voice calls out "Hiya, Judy" (referring to actress Judy Garland instead of her character, Esther). The voice actually says "Hiya, Johnny". This refers to Tom Drake' s character, John Truett, who has been trying to catch the trolley and apparently just made it. As soon as the line is delivered Esther looks expectantly screen right but we do not see John until the end of the trolley song sequence.
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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.
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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.
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In the scene where Esther and John are turning out the lights in the house, knobs on the chandelier show that it was electrical with bulbs removed, although they're supposed to be gaslights.
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Spoilers 

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

When Esther and John are looking out over the fair at the end, John remarks that he liked it better when it was a swamp and it was just the two of them. They didn't actually meet until the night before the trolley trip to see the fairgrounds, already in progress.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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