Skip to content

Backseat Judy

Judy Garland.

Every year around the holidays I watch Meet Me in St. Louis. It’s about as Christmas as I get. Well, this year’s viewing was one that stands out. Maybe because I had the time to really watch it?

You can see how in love with her Vincent Minnelli was. Hell, he captured her so perfectly that we fell just as in love with her.

I also love that there isn’t a trace of dorothy gale in her performance. I feel like nowadays there are so many performances, on screen and off, where the principles are all but encouraged to bring just enough of their resume with them to their characters – not so much that it’s immediately NOTICEABLE, but enough to trigger that nostalgia in us. I’m sure that approach would have worked and we’d still have meet me in st. louis, but she didn’t have to. She was good enough and smart enough to know that if she just disappeared into the character and let the piece work (as opposed to working the piece), we’d be eating out of the palm of her hand. FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!

This illustration is clearly unrelated, but it’s been over a week and I’m still thinking about her. When I saw this photo, it took me back to my early “Ladies in Cars” era. It made me yelp, “Now who wouldn’t start smoking for a photo like that?!” It also makes me laugh because it kinda looks like she is hitch-hiking…from inside the car?

Also, yes. I opted not to include Sid Luft. She’d like that.

Inspired by a photo taken outside the Plaza Hotel, NYC by Bob Deutsch, 1963.