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>
Byron Harvey Jr., who plays the uncredited role of a train conductor who keeps good time, was the grandson of Fred Harvey and President of the Fred Harvey Company at the time of the filming. See more »
The real "Harvey Girls" were prohibited from wearing makeup of any sort; however, several of the characters are quite obviously wearing lipstick. See more »
Looks great, but way too much singing and not enough plot or dialog.
"We ought to be able to lick a hand full of girls with our hands tied behind our backs!". This amazing quote, surely the thing of double-entendres, actually sums up the plot quite well. A train filled with waitresses come to a western town to work for one of many restaurants run by the Harvey chain--and some powerful folks in the town will do practically anything to get them to leave as this restaurant is competition to the bar/whorehouse. However, despite this dangerous story, it's not all seriousness as this is a Judy Garland musical--filled with many bright and peppy production numbers. In fact, this is THE problem with the movie. Even for an MGM musical, there are too many song and dance numbers and this made it seem as if dialog and plot were, at best, secondary. It's a shame, as the film looks dynamite---with its intense 1940s color, wonderful costumes and HUGE song and dance numbers that you just have to see to believe.
For lovers of musicals, I'd rate this one an 8. For folks like me that love classic films but don't love every musical, a 6. And, for folks who aren't familiar with or don't like older films (they must be crazy), I'd say it's better just to avoid this one. I really wanted to love the film--as I do love Judy Garland in "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "In the Good Old Summertime". Plus, Garland is wonderful in the film--and she gives it her all. However, this one, clearly, is not in the same league as these great films.
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