Jenny Bowman is a successful singer who, while on an engagement at the London Palladium, visits David Donne to see her son Matt again, spending a few glorious days with him while his father... See full summary »
Jenny Bowman is a successful singer who, while on an engagement at the London Palladium, visits David Donne to see her son Matt again, spending a few glorious days with him while his father is away in Rome in an attempt to attain the family that she never had. When David returns, Matt is torn between his loyalty to his father and his affection for Jenny. Written by
John Teo <email@example.com>
Judy Garland is magnificent playing herself; sorry, playing Jenny Bowman, an American singer of a certain age, in London for a series of concerts at the Palladium. The movie is a mostly mediocre tale of mother love but as a showcase for Garland, both as actress and as a performer, (her scenes at the Palladium were probably as close as the movies ever came to capturing her on-stage persona), is it exhilarating and indelibly moving. By the time she gets around to her drunken 'I can't be spread so thin' speech all traces of the character have been wiped clean and it's Garland, raw and emotional, up there on the screen. She was never to make another film, which is probably just as well. With this you can say she went out on a high.
Co-star Dirk Bogarde fights a losing battle, (and he gets some terrible lines to say). He's a prissy, fussy stuffed shirt and you can never believe that he and Garland could ever have been romantically involved. There is also a wonderful turn from that great and perpetually undervalued actress Aline MacMahon as Garland's dresser-cum-secretary-cum-companion. But it's Garland's show. The panavision frame can hardly contain her.
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