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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 falling in love with each other, and they decide to get married before Joe has to return to camp. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
New York during WWII is at the center of this film. It was an era of innocence in the Big Apple. Despite the war being fought overseas, young servicemen came for some serious r&r before going to the front, and perhaps, to an imminent death. It is in this setting where we first meet the protagonists of this charming film that has to be one of the best films about the subject ever brought to the screen.
Judy Garland, a rising star at MGM was a singing sensation. That is why her appearance as Alice Newberry showed audiences her acting range. Ms. Garland was a charismatic woman who proved to be the right choice to play this adorable young secretary who meets an unknown G.I. and falls in love with him during a short stay in New York. Joe Allen, an inexperienced young man feels lost as he emerges to face the crowds. Inevitably, Joe and Alice were meant to meet. They fall into an easy relationship that will lead into Joe asking Alice to marry him.
Judy Garland is marvelous as Alice. She shows an uncanny sense for doing something that seemed to come naturally. She lights up the screen throughout the film. Robert Walker, with his good looks, is also an asset as the confused Army man who doesn't know the ins and outs of living in the big city. James Gleason, a character actor of many films, also appears as a friendly milkman who befriends the couple as they emerge from the park. In a way, the film shows how naive people were during those days. Now, they wouldn't be caught dead in the park at night.
Vincent Minnelli directed with a sure hand. It shows in the finished product. This is one of the epitomes of what a romantic movie was all about.
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