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>
The first person you see is Judy Garland singing an infinitely forgettable song.
For the most part it goes up from there.
This is a film that Vincente Minelly did not direct and even though it shows Judy at her demure best he had a knack for bringing out the best in her performances.
Surprisingly enough, this is not an entirely inaccurate history of the women that opened up the West -- just as much as the men did.
For those that do not know -- Fred Harvey was a railroad tycoon and visionary that realized that the United States could only expand Westward -- and he was there to help fulfill that dream.
His chain of "Railroad Hotels" (some of which still exist) and the women that staffed them, helped to civilize parts of the United States that were raw and uncultured.
This is one of those incredible films that has every face you have ever seen in a movie -- even if you do not always know their names: Ray Bolger, Preston Foster, Virginia O'Brien, John Hodiak, Angela Lansbury, Marjorie Main, Chill Wills and even Cyd Charisse.
This is cameo paradise and there is a character and face there for everyone.
The songs, the costumes, the sets and everything BUT the dialogue and story are top notch. But who needs a good script when you have a cast of STARS! (Especially Judy Garland.)
Take the good parts from this movie and try to pretend the rest never happened.
12 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?