17 August 2008 | denis-38
Judy's charming MGM swan song...
I think many of the comments posted reflect what many of the posters know about the agonizing production of Judy's final film for MGM. This simple, very corny movie took months and months to shoot and Judy was either late or not appearing or collapsing. Okay. But if we didn't know that, how would we view the finished product? In my opinion none of the stress shows. Garland is by no means "fat" She is at the weight nature--if not MGM--intended. She's on the plump side. She is exquisitely photographed, and well-costumed. She's a farm girl; the over-alls make sense, as well as working to conceal her a bit. The dresses are flattering and designed to give her shape and height. Her face is lovely, still. (Four years later, in "A Star Is Born" she looks harsh and a decade older than her actual age.) Her voice is in top form, especially on "Evening Star" an unjustly forgotten gem. Gene Kelly looks fantastic and gives his all to a movie he didn't want to do. He felt, justifiably, that it was an old Mickey/Judy re-tread. And now, literally, a show was being performed in a barn! But he did it for Judy, who'd given him his movie break in "For Me and My Gal" back in 1941.
It goes on, and meanders, as so many MGM musical do, but it is still a satisfying, enjoyable example of the genre.
And, for all the "hokcum", sentiment and predictable outcomes, "Summer Stock" also offers Judy's best dancing sequence, ever--in any film. For Miss Garland to have risen to the challenge offered, in a movie that offered so few, and in her emotional distress...well, that's genius, folks.