Cabin in the Sky (Vincente Minnelli, 1943)

  • Why: This film is just so captivating and full of energy. There’s always something going on — no dull moments, ever. Also, two words: Lena Horne! Two more words: Vincente Minnelli!
  • Favorite character: Petunia, portrayed by the amazing Ethel Waters
  • Favorite song: “Honey in the Honeycomb”

Meet Me In St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)

  • Why: There are so many great things about this film. Vincent Minnelli (again), Judy Garland is lovelier than ever, the hilarious Tootie (portrayed by Margaret O’Brien), wonderful songs and technicolor!
  • Favorite character: Esther Smith, portrayed by Judy Garland (though Tootie is a close second)
  • Favorite song: “Under the Bamboo Tree”

The Harvey Girls (George Sidney, 1946)

  • Why: The songs are amazing, and the nice waitresses versus crazy saloon people plot is hilarious. Plus it stars a lot of great people!
  • Favorite character: Em, portrayed by Angela Lansbury
  • Favorite song: “The Train Must Be Fed”

The Pirate (Vincente Minnelli, 1948)

  • Why: This is definitely the most under-appreciated Judy Garland film. People like to give it crap because it bombed at the box office, but it’s so flashy and fun that I can’t help but love it! Plus, the combination of Vincente Minnelli (yes, again), songs by Cole Porter, and Judy Garland starring alongside Gene Kelly makes it a winner in my book.
  • Favorite character: Serafin, portrayed by Gene Kelly
  • Favorite song: “Mack the Black” – Judy’s delivery is just perfect

On the Town (Stanley Donen, 1949)

  • Why: Do I even need to explain this one? Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra sharing the screen! Song and dance! Great characters! New York City!
  • Favorite character: Hildy, portrayed by Betty Garret
  • Favorite song: “Prehistoric Man” or “Come Up to My Place”