31 user 11 critic

Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

2:12 | Trailer
Small-town Indiana girl Lily Mars dreams to be a stage actress. She begs visiting Broadway producer John Thornway for a role but he dismisses her as an amateur. She follows him to New York and worms her way into his show, and his heart.


Norman Taurog


Booth Tarkington (novel), Richard Connell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Garland ... Lily Mars
Van Heflin ... John Thornway
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Thornway
Richard Carlson ... Owen Vail
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Mars
Mártha Eggerth ... Isobel Rekay (as Marta Eggerth)
Connie Gilchrist ... Frankie
Leonid Kinskey ... Leo
Patricia Barker Patricia Barker ... Poppy
Janet Chapman ... Violet
Annie Ross ... Rosie (as Annabelle Logan)
Douglas Croft ... Davey
Ray McDonald ... Charlie Potter
Tommy Dorsey ... Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra ... Tommy Dorsey Orchestra


Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New York, he gets to know her better and his opinion of her changes for the better. Then, when the leading lady of the play walks out, Lily gets her big break on Broadway. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's New Sparkling Musical Romance! See more »


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Did You Know?


In the theatrical trailer, Judy Garland is seen in brief clips from some of her previous films: Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), The Wizard of Oz (1939) (in a rare alternate take of "Over the Rainbow"), Babes in Arms (1939), and Ziegfeld Girl (1941). See more »


Lily Mars: Poor Charles. He's so young... so very young... and it hurts me to hurt him, but... what can I do?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Under the single "The End" title, Davey Mars is seen to steal one more doorknob for his collection. See more »


Featured in Sid & Judy (2019) See more »


Is It Really Love (Or the Gypsy in Me?)
(1943) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Jurmann
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Sung by Mártha Eggerth
See more »

User Reviews

Actually, One of Her Best
15 November 2004 | by potironSee all my reviews

First of all, she never looked better... sort of the apotheosis of all that evil energy MGM spent in turning Frances Gumm into Judy Garland. Blondish (and not a wig), thin (but not too thin), energized and comic (working her mannerisms rather than the reverse), and she sounds great. Moreover, Hollywood and Tarkington were made for each other, and the payoff works here as well. Clever americana, with truly inspired set pieces surrounding Judy's attempts to get "discovered" by "local boy makes good" producer, Heflin.

The tacked-on, mega-production ending is a real clunker and can leave a bad aftertaste. Avoid the ending if you can pull yourself away. But for this grandiose, ill-fitting finale, an almost perfect Garland musical and as good as she gets (which is the best singing actress ever to grace the screen).

One more point in Garland's favor: she plays the perfect "straight man" in two comic scenes with her on screen younger sister. Given Garland's reputation, let alone the instincts of any actor not to be upstaged, one can't but admire her generosity. Her self-confidence and generosity in these scenes make the film that much funnier and stronger.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

20 March 1944 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Lily Mars vedette See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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