The favorite film:

(Image via Wichita Orpheum)
(Image via Wichita Orpheum)

Meet Me in St. Louis, a 1944 musical romance directed by Vincente Minnelli

The synopsis:

“In the year before the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.” – via IMDb

The cast:

Judy Garland as Esther
Tom Drake as John Truett
Margaret O’Brien as Tootie
Mary Astor as Mrs. Smith
Leon Ames as Mr. Smith
Lucille Bremer as Rose
Joan Carroll as Agnes
Henry H. Daniels, Jr. as Lon
Harry Davenport as Grandpa
Marjorie Main as Katie

Fun facts:

  • Kensington Avenue is a real street in St. Louis, but the film was shot on a backlot.
  • Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli met during the production of this film and married soon after.
  • The film is based on a novel by Sally Benson, who wrote based on her own childhood experiences. Benson was nicknamed “Tootie” when she was a young’n, and her father moved her family to New York City before the World’s Fair.
  • “The Trolley Song” was reportedly recorded in just one take.
  • Old department store catalogs were used by the costume designers as references, to ensure that their looks would be appropriate to the film’s turn-of-the-century setting.
  • Van Johnson was originally cast as John, and Robert Walker was also considered for the role before Tom Drake took over.
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” originally included the lyric “Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last.” Judy Garland didn’t want to scare young Margaret O’Brien by singing this line, so it was dropped from the final version of the song.
(Image via Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention)
(Image via Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention)

Favorite things/quotes:

  • The beautifully decorated opening credits (and the music that accompanies them!)
  • Everyone having a different complaint about the food that Mrs. Smith and Katie are making
  • Katie: “Personally, I wouldn’t marry a man who proposed to me over an invention!”
  • Esther: “Well, why else do you think he’s calling you long distance? Do you know what it costs?!”
  • Tootie tagging along with the ice man, and her doll’s four fatal diseases — it only takes one!
  • Tootie: “Wasn’t I lucky to be born in my favorite city?”
  • Mr. Smith: “I wish everyone would meet at the fair and leave me alone!”
  • Rose and Warren not being able to hear each other very well on their long distance phone call
  • Esther already saying she’s going to marry John before she’s even formally met him
  • John calling Esther’s young sisters “mice in the house”
  • Esther & Tootie’s “Bamboo Tree” duet
  • John helping Esther put out all of the lights, and Judy Garland’s “Over the Bannister” rendition
  • The trolley and “The Trolley Song” — I love trolleys! You haven’t lived until you’ve traveled on one!
  • Tootie’s Halloween hijinks, including her and Agnes’ masks
  • Esther running next door to beat John after Tootie lies about him trying to kill her
  • Agnes: “Oh, Rose, you’re so stuck up!”
  • John: “If you’re not busy tomorrow night, could you beat me up again?”
  • Grandpa: “They’ll all be safe with me, I’ve got twelve guns in my room!”
  • Tootie calling the orphanage “the orphalans home”
  • Katie scolding the snowman-making Smith kids for gossiping about the dance
  • Esther having to take the sham of a dance card, because Grandpa doesn’t let these kids make mistakes without learning their lesson!
  • John’s proposal to Esther
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  • The super-sweet ending
(Image via Classic Movie Night)
(Image via Classic Movie Night)