Thursday, April 15, 2010

Get Happy!!

Happy Tax Day, fellow Americans!! I don't know about you, but this is the first year in some time that instead of a refund, Alan and I actually OWE Uncle Sam!!  Needless to say, I really need a pick-me-up today!

So, I've chosen this great number from the movie Summer Stock, made in 1950.  This was Judy's last film with MGM, and she stars in it with my man, Gene Kelly.

The plot involves Judy's family farm being overtaken by her sister's boyfriend (Gene Kelly) and his troupe of performers.  They're in the process of putting together a show, and sister insists that the farm will be a perfect place to rehearse the numbers.

Judy, a simple farm girl, agrees to let the theater folk stay in exchange for helping out with the milking, plowing, and egg gathering.  She is soon bitten by the performing bug herself, of course, and she and Gene fall in love at the film's conclusion (once her sister has lost interest in both acting AND Gene, if you can imagine such a thing!).

I'm an enormous fan of Judy Garland.  Like every young girl over the last several decades, I fell in love with her the moment she leaned against that haystack and sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to her dog, Toto. That love carried-over to her cute "Let's Put on a Show" films with Mickey Rooney, then to the glorious technicolor classics like Meet Me in St. Louis and The Harvey Girls.

Here's something I learned a while back that you may not know:  Judy had a photographic memory.  Directors often spoke of how they'd show her the intricate blocking for a scene or dance number, and she follow behind, barely paying attention.  Then, they'd start rolling the cameras, call "Action!"  and Judy would come to life, executing the blocking/choreography perfectly, hitting every mark exactly.  She rarely required an additional take!  Neat, huh?

As you probably know, Judy struggled with her weight her entire career, and this movie was no exception.  This may have been the heaviest she'd ever been in any of her films.  On top of that, she had to appear in a pair of extremely unflattering overalls for a great many of the scenes!  Here's a picture from one of the Summer Stock scenes on the right.

Once the movie wrapped, everyone went their separate ways.  Judy was finally able to get some rest and drop the extra pounds she'd been carrying during filming.  Except that two months later, in post-production, the producers felt that there was still one final show-stopping number missing from the movie.  They called Judy and asked if she'd come back and film this number, "Get Happy."  As you can see, she is much trimmer, rested, and as always, AWESOME!!

I wish the quality of this clip were a little better, but see if you can make out Judy's expression, around 1:01.  I love her facial reactions when the chorus boys throw their hands at her!  I think perhaps her most underrated quality was her delightfully subtle comic timing.

Hope you like it!  And if you're about to step out the door like me and mail your check to Uncle Sam, hope this serves as a gentle reminder:  Forget your troubles, come on, Get Happy!!

32 comments:

Feeling Just Right said...

Ha! Talk about miraculous weight loss. "THIS" girl had weight problems??! Oh no! I'm not asking that silly question. It's just my fat rear.

suenosdeuomi said...

Well, this movie was made before I was born, in Europe, and has never belonged to my growing up years. What strikes me so very odd, is for this woman to be dancing in shorts of sorts among men in long pants. Yicks, not my kind of thing. I do appreciate the cheering up effort here, I sure can use such, thanks.

elsiee said...

self-employed, mail a big FAT check EVERY year - thanks for the pick me up, Judy RULES!!

Delana said...

Love that song! And for the first time in years, as I found out yesterday, I'm getting a refund! Get Happy!

Being Me said...

I love, love, love Judy Garland. I know this song and fell in love with this scene (but only from having seen it in my many, many watches of That's Entertainment - love that doco!). I've never seen Summer Stock. I know, slap my wrist now! you've got me all inspired. I'm going to go hunt it down :)

And I have always loved Gene, right from the start through to Xanadu (and beyond)!!

JenJen said...

What a cute pick-me-up! I love it! Thanks for the smiles :) Now if only I could rock those tights....

KathyB said...

Once again, really fun stuff to read and fun stuff to watch! I watched "Singing in the Rain" all the way through a few days ago too. It's a great smile bringer. :) BTW, that top photo of Judy looks so much like YOU!

Chell... said...

Just the smile I needed today:)

Fantastic number!

Moooooog35 said...

Are there explosions or nudity?

Those are two prerequisites for me watching a movie.

Lindsay @ Just My Blog said...

Hey, I gave you a much-deserved award on my blog this morning. Passing on the love :)
http://kidsareteachers.blogspot.com/2010/04/blog-award-for-me.html

Barbara E Brink said...

Great video! I've always loved the old musicals. Used to watch lots of them as a kid. We only had a black and white tv, so didn't know they were in color:)
My husband's a CPA tax preparer, so he's certainly glad this is the last day of insanity. And I'll be glad to see more of him after this. Get Happy!

Pat said...

Just love the old musicals...simpler times!

Eva Gallant said...

She was a huge talent!

Momma Fargo said...

This was an awesome post on a day that totally makes me pout!

Just be happy! said...

Thank you for the great posts you always have here.
:o)

Sylvia K said...

That brought back lots of memories! Love it! She was so very talented. Hope you can hang on to the smile and enjoy the day!

Sylvia

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

first year you had to pay? Jeez I can't even remember a time I got a refund. Get Happy is most appropriate.

Lindzena said...

I LOVE Gene Kelly! I grew up on these things. Though I absolutely adore Judy Garland, Doris Day is bar-none my personal hero. I plan on doing a musical-themed post soon, for sure.

magically ordinary said...

I love Judy Garland. I think I need to go watch "Meet me in St. Louis now"!

Kat said...

Wow, I SO love Judy Garland! Great Post!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Sorry about your tax :( But I guess it means you're making money, so there's a bright side to everything... ;)

WhisperingWriter said...

Sounds like a good movie.

I've always liked Judy Garland.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

BTW - Congratulations on your award as well! I am in good company! Too bad cocktails don't come with this award....just sayin'

ReformingGeek said...

Go Judy!

I'm so sorry you are writing a check. We did that for years when I worked full-time. ;-(

lifeshighway said...

Huge Judy Garland fan, so you made my evening and you made me smile. Which you tend to do a lot :)

We live in a Zoo! said...

We almost forgot about paying our state taxes, lol, imagine that. What a relief that we got it taken care of ;D

citymouse said...

What a great song. I've loved Judy Garland since I was a little girl (and Gene Kelly...wowser!).

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

It's impossible not to get happy watching this! I found you through Tuppence, btw, and am a new follower (HAPPILY).
Cheers,
Robyn

Shan said...

Mad's sitting on my lap. When I started the clip she gasped and said, "Yea! It's singing!" Two more Yeas punctuated the end. So, definitely a hit with the 2 year old crowd.

Kelly L said...

I grew up watching Judy, Gene, Frank, and Elvis.. Miss those movies of song and dance....

Love to you
Kelly
http://www.ivebecomemymother.com

tattytiara said...

It's wonderful to see a sincere tribute to the woman that doesn't caricaturize her. Bravo!

Getting My Words Out said...

How sad is it that I'm sitting here reading this wearing my very own (unflattering) pair of overalls--that I wore all day shopping for plants at a nursery?? :D

Love JG and love that song.

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