Even though the film starred Judy Garland, what I really enjoyed about The Harvey Girls is that it operates as an ensemble musical, giving features and spotlight numbers to just about everyone in the mammoth cast. This kind of thing is usually reserved for stage musicals only, but back in 1946 MGM's roster of talent was strong, if not yet infamous. Players like deadpan comic Virginia O'Brien and dancer Cyd Charisse were fairly new back then, but this film gives them individual spotlights: not only do they both sing with Garland in the nighttime ballad "It's A Great Big World," but O'Brien gets to sing "The Wild, Wild West" (while assisting blacksmith Ray Bolger in shoeing a horse) and Charisse gets to dance (briefly) opposite Kenny Baker singing "Wait And See." Marjorie Main leads the Harvey waitresses through "The Train Must Be Fed;" Angela Lansbury is featured in two saloon numbers, and Ray Bolger gets to do some of his rubber-legged clowning at the Harvey House party. And, of course, everyone on the planet is assembled for the big, eight minute production number "On The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe." There's literally something for everyone- even the oil-and-water romance between Garland and John Hodiak. And they shine as well, even if Hodiak wasn't the most well-known leading man. Check out this wonderfully scored, written, acted, and costumed tribute to old-fashioned Americana.