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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Judy Garland's Screen Magic
by Betty Jo Tucker

I watched Easter Parade last Sunday night on TCM for the umpteenth time, and it made me think about how magical Judy Garland is on screen. I believe she’s the most remarkable personality in the history of motion pictures. She could do it all -- sing, dance, act in comedies or in dramas -- better than anyone else before or since.

Each time I watch one of Garland's many films. I'm amazed at her raw talent. Nobody haunts my movie memories quite like Judy singing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" in The Wizard of Oz. No one makes me laugh more joyously than Judy dressed like a tramp and cavorting with fellow bum Fred Astaire to the tune of “We’re a Couple of Swells” in Easter Parade. And nothing gets my dander up more than remembering Judy’s loss of the Oscar she should have received for her heart-wrenching performance in A Song Is Born

In addition to “A Couple of Swells” in Easter Parade, Judy also belts out many of Irving Berlin’s other catchy tunes, and she shows off her special flair for comedy throughout this wonderful movie musical. Her clever facial expression to make men notice her while walking down the street always leaves me laughing so hard I can barely breathe. And her awkward ballroom dance with Astaire gets me chuckling enough to worry my husband. It’s such a joy to watch Judy’s vibrant screen presence!

Below are some of my favorite musical numbers performed by Judy in other films.  

“The Man Who Got Away” in A Star Is Born

“I Don’t Care” in In the Good Old Summertime

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in Meet Me in St. Louis

“Get Happy” in Summer Stock

“You Wonderful You” in Summer Stock

“But Not For Me” in Girl Crazy

“The Great Lady Has an Interview” in Ziegfeld Follies 

“Mack the Black of the Caribbean” in The Pirate

Of course, that list could go on and on!  We are fortunate to have Judy’s films available now. Her magic still casts a spell over movie fans throughout the world.  

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