“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”…
Famous yes? Maybe it’s too bold to say these are the most famous lines spoken in any motion picture ever, but I think they’re certainly up there with the best. The Wizard of Oz (1939 – so I think it makes the cut), is probably one of my favourite films of all time – but despite my rather grotesque amount of Oz memorabilia (30th October, my birthday is usually when the stock piles up), the film isn’t exactly what I wanted to talk about today, moreover, Dorothy…or Judy. Judy Garland.
I’ve always had a bit of a ‘thing’ for Judy. Growing up on her films will do that to you. However whilst at university, my class was set the task of ‘interviewing’ a celebrity (fictionally, obviously…I went to Salford after all…) After much deliberation, I decided that I wanted to interview Judy, so immediately ordered every, single Amazon book available on the subject. (There were many. Cost me a fortune.)
Anyway, my interest increased the more I read and watched about her. From seeing the stage version “End of the Rainbow” witnessing Judy’s fall from grace, to reading her daughter, Lorna Luft’s account of living with her volatile, demanding mother in “Me and my Shadows”, I realised, growing up on the MGM lot and being a Hollywood star before you were old enough to drink, vote and drive was a career move that backfired on many, not least Judy Garland.
Despite the drug addictions, the five failed marriages, the bankruptcy and the dismissal from more films than I can remember, Judy Garland remains a Hollywood legend over 40 years after her death. To be honest, she got a lot of bad press – most of it correct, and most of it deserved (in my opinion…Liza may disagree), but she was and is a star.
So, anyway…a bit of a tribute to Judy is necessary I think. She did after all produce some completely fabulous films throughout the 1940s. My favourites being: For me and my Gal, Easter Parade and The Pirate.
Enjoy this one from Judy as Esther Smith in Meet Me In St Louis. It’s chirpy! (Very chirpy!)