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25 February 2004 (USA)  »

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Very Entertaining Documentary
14 July 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Judy Garland: By Myself (2004)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

American Masters entry tells the story of Judy Garland and pretty much fills up the entire 114-minute running time. We get all sorts of clips from her films but we also get a lot of footage from her Gumm Sisters days as well as concert clips and footage from her television series. The documentary pretty much bounces around and I wish it would have focused a tad bit more on Garland's many personal issues but that's the only problem I have here. For the rest of the time this is a very solid documentary that shows how Garland was selected by MGM and how they pretty much threw her away like trash at the age of 28. We get to see her several comebacks including A STAR IS BORN, which some believe she should have won an Oscar for had it not been for theater owners demanding the studio cut the film to pieces. The documentary has some audio clips from Garland who was planning on writing a biography when she died. We get to hear her discuss all sorts of issues including her self doubt due to MGM thinking her nose didn't look right and how they were constantly telling her she was fat even though she was only 105-pounds. This is what I found so shocking. MGM was extremely mean and hateful to her yet she was there number one star. I really wonder if they dared treat Gable or Tracy this way. I guess this says more on how a studio was willing to treat a female star compared to her male stars. Various other audio clips are done with stars such as June Allyson, Jackie Cooper and George Cukor. The clips from her television series were a lot of fun especially the one teaming her with Mickey Rooney. All in all, this is a very entertaining and packed documentary that fans will certainly want to check out.


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