The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939) & Meet Me in St Louis (Minnelli, 1944)
Phoenix Cinema, 12.30pm
A superb Judy Garland double-bill of Christmas favourites.
Chicago Reader reviews by Dave Kehr:
The Wizard of Oz 'Thanks to innumerable childhood viewings, this 1939 film is too firmly
planted in my (pre)consciousness for me to find the proper critical
distance. In many ways, it's stiff, ersatz, and anonymous in the usual
MGM house style of the 30s (though King Vidor, one of several directors
who worked on the project, does manage some graceful camera movement in
the Munchkin scenes), but frankly I don't care. Those talking trees were
a staple of my nightmares for years, and Margaret Hamilton is still my
prime mental image of absolute evil. I don't find the film light or
joyful in the least—an air of primal menace hangs about it, which may be
why I love it.'
Here's a great extract
Meet Me in St Louis 'Vincente Minnelli created one of his masterpieces with this loosely
plotted but tightly structured 1944 story of a middle-class family
waiting through spring, summer, and fall for the opening of the Saint
Louis World's Fair of 1904. One of the first films to integrate musical
numbers into the plot, it explores, without condescension or
simplemindedness, the feelings that drive the family members apart and
then bring them back together again. And there's the sublime Minnellian
spectacle of Judy Garland singing "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next
Door," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." A great film.'
And here's another brilliant scene.