On a train trip West to become a mail order bride Susan Bradley meets a cheery crew of young women traveling out to open a " Harvey House " restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide ... See full summary »
On a train trip West to become a mail order bride Susan Bradley meets a cheery crew of young women traveling out to open a " Harvey House " restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide good cooking and wholesome company for railway travellers. When Susan and her bashful suitor find romance daunting, Susan joins the Harvey Girls instead. The saloon across the street with its alluring worldly-wise women offers them tough competition, fair and foul, and Susan catches the eye of the Ned Trent, the distant but intense proprietor of the bar. Written by
Michael Meigs <Michael.Meigs@dos.us-state.gov>
Virginia O'Brien is noticeably absent from the second half of the film, right after her "Wild, Wild West" number, because she was pregnant during filming. See more »
During the fire at the Harvey House while fighting the bad guys, Ned Trent has a tablecloth wrapped around his neck. Seconds later it's draped over his left shoulder. See more »
Chris, what's wrong?
Marty Peters was just here.
Marty Peters? The man who shot the last blacksmith?
He... he... he did what?
[Chris has just been made the new blacksmith]
Well, it's all based on circumstantial evidence. No one actually saw the bullet leave the gun.
[Chris faints dead away]
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The "Oklahoma" influence is felt on this western musical...
With Broadway still under the spell of musicals like "Oklahoma", MGM's Arthur Freed was inspired to make a western musical. Originally designed for Lana Turner, the script was altered and songs added to make it a perfect vehicle for Judy Garland. The songs by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren included two standouts: "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" and "It's A Great Big World".
Judy gives an inspired performance and belts out her songs with gusto, particularly effective in the big set piece, "Atchison", which is photographed and choreographed with great precision to produce a dazzling show-stopping number. The film opened to great reviews and was a big box-office hit in the summer of '46.
Don't believe the "sour grapes" reviews claiming the film is dated and mediocre. It's anything but that. If you enjoy MGM musicals at the height of their popularity with film-goers, you'll enjoy this one! Marjorie Main is a treat, Selena Royle is dignified, Kenny Baker does wonders with a ballad and Cyd Charisse has a couple of nice numbers. It's nice to see Ray Bolger sharing scenes with Judy again, their first reunion since "Oz". The big surprise is Angela Lansbury as the garishly costumed dancehall hostess--a far cry from her "Murder She Wrote" image.
Understandably, "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" won the Academy Award for Best Song, as well as a nomination for Best Scoring of a dramatic or comedy film.
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