Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Stock (1950)

None of the songs in this musical are particularly memorable, but the dancing is. Gene Kelly and Judy Garland seem to really be alive when they are dancing and that makes the dancing scenes all the more lively.
There is one long tap-dancing solo by Kelly that's hard to get into if you're not really into tap-dancing, but I'd say that's better than an abstract ballet, any day (no, there is no abstract ballet in this one).

The chemistry between Garland and Kelly might not be sizzling but it seems both real and tender. They enjoy each other and seem to always look for each other in every scene. No-one else really stands out in this film. There are some great comic moments and some great character actors, but Kelly and Garland ARE the movie.

Judy plays the older sister who is determined to hold on to the family farm and make it a success. Her younger sister, meanwhile, is chasing stardom and men in the city. For the summer, JG expects the sister will come home and help out with the farm work - instead she brings an entire theater company to the farm to set up a makeshift theater in the barn.

Hilarity ensues.

Judy Garland is a little plump EXCEPT in this last scene:

But I like her plump and I like that her character is a practical, hard-working, long-suffering older sister.

There is only one offensive musical number, which makes fun of hicks and involves real live howling dogs. Go ahead, imagine it, your imagination would not be as bad as the number itself.

Three stars - will definitely watch again. It would be four stars but it's just a little hard to swallow all the country bumpkin.


Kim said...

I have to confess this might be my favorite Judy movie, despite it's corniness and that terrible hick song at the end. I'm not sure I've ever watched that one all the way through. But there are just some hilarious moments, and the Portland Fancy might be my favorite Judy moment of all time!

Jessica said...

What, "Howdy Neighbor" with its bright and scary farm costumes was not a memorable number?

I really really really enjoyed this movie. That being said, how big was that barn?