Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12 films of christmas: meet me in st. louis

Like Little Women this is not solely a Christmas film.  In fact it opens during a heat wave in summer 1903.  But it deserves it's place in the Christmas film rotation for the Christmas Eve scene and for contributing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to the Christmas canon.

With Meet Me in St. Louis, director Vincente Minnelli offers up a Valentine to the 'good old days': it's romantic, nostalgic and rich with period detail (Katie's Hallowe'en cake alone is reason enough to hit the pause button.)  When it premiered in November 1944, it was a feel-good film for a war-weary audience desperately in need of one.  It still is.

There's no question that the film is a Judy Garland vehicle - the star said she married Minnelli shortly afterwards because she had felt so beautiful in the film - but there's also no question that eight-year-old Margaret O'Brien walks away with pretty much every scene she is in... including the famous Christmas scene.

A little trivia:  The film was based on a series of New Yorker stories (and subsequent novel) by Sally Benson entitled 5135 Kensington Ave (the address of her own family home in St. Louis).  Benson  gave explicit instructions on the decor of the home in the film down to the last detail. 

1 comment:

Marion said...

I love meet me in St. Louis.