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Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001)

TV Movie  |  TV-PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  25 February 2001 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,636 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 2 critic

The Judy Garland story from the 1930s until her death.

Writers:

(memoir), (teleplay)
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Title: Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (TV Movie 2001)

Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (TV Movie 2001) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sid Luft
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Roger Edens
Sonja Smits ...
Kay Thompson
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Lottie
Daniel Kash ...
Arthur Freed
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Frank Gumm
Stewart Bick ...
Artie Shaw
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Al Waxman ...
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Ethel Gumm
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Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

The movie starts off at the beginning of Judy Garland's life singing when she was two years old. It jumps to when she was 12 and was signed by MGM and later when her father dies. The movie tells about her early struggles with MGM and with the addiction to barbiturates. It then jumps to the marriage to Vincette Minelli and the struggles with that, and leads into the rest of the movie and her marriages to Sid Luft, Mark Herron, and Mickey Deans and ends when she dies in 1969 Written by CR

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dorothy found the end of the rainbow. Judy spent her life looking for it.


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

25 February 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Me & My Shadows  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Judy loses the Oscar to Grace Kelly, a comment is made along the lines that "this is worst robbery since Brinks". This refers to the robbery of the Brinks Bank in Boston (January 1950) where a gang of eleven men stole around $2.8 million. See more »

Goofs

When Roger Edens and Vincente Minnelli are talking to Judy about being suspended, you can clearly her her daughter, Liza practicing her lines off camera saying "Mama watch me, watch this" See more »

Quotes

Narrator: When Mama signed with MGM, she became the chief breadwinner for her family. It was a role she would play for the rest of her life. Baby Frances Gumm was offically gone. Being Judy Garland became a job. One that would consume her life, and eventually control mine.
See more »

Connections

References Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart
(uncredited)
Written by James F. Hanley
Performed by Judy Garland
See more »

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User Reviews

A repeat visit with an old friend.
14 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I decided to watch "Life With JG" after seeing Tammy Blanchard as Gypsy Rose Lee on Broadway opposite Bernadette Peters in the classic musical "Gypsy". I had seen this film two times before, and after seeing Blanchard almost top the great Bernadette in "Gypsy", I had to see her go from the most famous stripper in the world to the most famous singer in the world two years before. I was familiar with Tammy from the TV soap "Guiding Light" where she played a young vixen, so to see her as the innocent young girl in "Life With JG" had me very impressed upon my first two viewings. Then, on Broadway, she really made an impact on me, so a month after seeing that, I decided to watch "Life With JG" once again.

As a child, I was brought up on the music and films of Judy Garland, not just "The Wizard of Oz". By the time I was out of High School, I had seen 3/4 of her films and listened to most of her albums. Her intensity as a singer and the obvious love of her audience was right there in the audio. I didn't even have to see her perform. Today, it is as fresh and memorable as ever. In the 1970's, "Annie's" Andrea McCardle played young Judy in a TV movie called "Rainbow" which covered her childhood years up until "The Wizard of Oz". While not bad, McCardle resembled an older Shirley Temple more than she did Judy Garland, and the film suffers greatly because of that. (One really good performance in that film was Piper Laurie as Mama Gumm, played here by Marsha Mason.) Because of this new film, "Rainbow" is probably almost forgotten, although it does exist in a rare video. Tammy Blanchard, on the other hand, is Judy the moment she appears in her blue navy outfit, rushing off to audition at MGM. Some people complain that Blanchard should have continued on with the role past the "Girl Crazy" shooting sequence, and considering that "Meet Me in St. Louis" was only a year later, it does make sense. However, the introduction of Garland to Vincent Minnelli does represent the beginning of her adult years, and that is what probably motivated the producers to change actresses at this point.

Blanchard's highlights are the revelation of her father's death, recreation of "The Wizard of Oz" sequences (with a hysterical impersonation by the actor playing Bert Lahr's lion), as well as the breakdown she suffered upon learning of first love Artie Shaw's marriage to Lana Turner. While some things could have been added, there were too many highlights of Garland's professional life to include here. Once Judy Davis takes over, we get to see where the more difficult and demanding star came into being. Even in spite of her notorious problems on sets and behind the curtain at her concerts, Garland remains lovable and human. While there is the obvious element of tragedy (her addiction and withdrawal from pills, suicide attempts, etc.), one thing which does remain evident is her love of her audience and the love she feels from them. Judy Davis does not do a female impersonator's Judy; She does a Judy Garland that does not even appear to be acting.

Marsha Mason really does justice to the role of Ethel Gumm, Judy's notorious stage mother who would give Mama Rose in "Gypsy" a run for her money. From the time we see Mason's Mama reacting to her husband's attraction for another man to her lack of grief at his death, then up to her banning from the MGM lot, Mason is terrific. She plays Mama as a broken down woman who has nothing else in her life but her daughter's success, and as we see her being pulled away from her life, we begin to feel her pain. Victor Garber, playing a supposedly whitewashed Sid Luft, does a remarkable job. Even if Lorna left out some private details about her father, it is apparent that even with their divorce, he was still drawn in by Judy's emotional power. That power was so intense that apparently total strangers were often drawn under Judy's magical spell.

Like the recent popular Broadway show "Elaine Stritch at Liberty", "Life With Judy Garland" is the story of a woman who has a magical spell on her audience that often brought loneliness into their personal relationships. (I compare Garland and Stritch, although Garland is more well known than Stritch, who mentioned her friendship with Garland in her show). These complex women also share an amazing sense of humor about their own failings as people that never make them seem angry or overly bitter. Their humor, which could be bitter, does allow them to laugh at themselves, and is a valuable lesson in a hard society which makes us cynical before our time. Stories like this are important because they remind us not to ever take ourselves too seriously or forget the funny side of life.


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