THE HARVEY GIRLS

STUDIO:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

PRODUCTION NUMBER:  1348

PRODUCTION DATES: December 29, 1944 – June 14, 1945 (Judy)
(last day of principle photography was actually on June 4, 1945)

PRODUCTION COST:   $2,524,315.06

RUNNING TIME:  101 minutes

RELEASE DATE:  January 18, 1946

INITIAL BOX OFFICE:  $5,175,000+

The Harvey Girls was Judy’s big budget Technicolor musical follow-up to Meet Me In St. Louis (in between the two she filmed her first dramatic role in The Clock as well as her one-scene guest appearance in Ziegfeld Follies). It was based on the 1942 Samuel Hopkins Adams novel of the same name, which was based on the real-life “Harvey Girls,” the waitresses who were employed by the Harvey chain of restaurants (still in existence today) placed along the route of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.

Judy originally wanted the Lucille Bremer role in Yolanda And The Thief (1946) which was filming at the same time and was being directed by her current love and future husband Vincente Minnelli. Producer (of both) Arthur Freed convinced Judy that the role of Susan Bradley in The Harvey Girls was the better of the two. They were right, as The Harvey Girls became one of Judy’s (and MGM’s) biggest musical hits of the 1940’s winning the Oscar for Best Song (“On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe”) and earning a spot on Variety’s list of “all time box office hits”.

TIMELINE PART ONE:

  • December 29, 1944:  Judy’s first day of work on The Harvey Girls.  On this day, Judy rehearsed the numbers ‘It’s A Great Big World” and “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 12:20 p.m.
  • January 2, 1945:  Wardrobe fittings.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 2:45 p.m.
  • January 3, 1945:  Wardrobe and hair tests.  Time called: 10:30 a.m.; Judy arrived at 12:20 p.m.; dismissed: 5:30 p.m.
  • January 5, 1945:  Pre-recording session for “It’s A Great Big World.”  time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1:15 p.m.; dismissed: 4:30 p.m.
  • January 6, 1945:  Rehearsals of “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe.”  Time called: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 4 p.m.  The assistant director’s notes state: “after finished rehearsal with Bob Alton at 3:00, [Judy] went over to rehearse with Kay Thompson.”
  • January 8, 1945:  Pre-recording session for “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:45 p.m.
  • January 9, 1945:  Rehearsal of “It’s A Great Big World.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 4:45 p.m.
  • January 10, 1945:  Per the assistant director’s notes: “Judy had an 11:00 a.m. ready call to make wardrobe tests.  She arrived at the studio at 10:45.  At 12 noon she called Griffin – an assistant on the picture – to say she wouldn’t be ready till after lunch.  Lunch was at 12:30 and on return she still was not ready; she arrived on the set at 3:07 p.m. all made up but not in wardrobe; she came on set dressed at 3:25.  At 4:00 she left the stage without making a test, for a conference with LB [Mayer] and did not return to the stage again.”
  • January 11, 1945:  Per the assistant director’s notes: “Judy Garland had a 10 a.m. makeup call to be ready on the set at 1 p.m.  She arrived at the studio at 12:12 and came on the set at 1:48.”  Judy “tested changes,” and was dismissed at 4:30 p.m.
  • January 12, 1945:  The first day of filming.  Per the assistant director’s notes:  “Last night Judy Garland was given a call for this morning, by the assistant: 8:00 in makeup; 10:10 ready on set.  She told him she wouldn’t be in until 8:30 as she didn’t need more than an hour and a half for makeup.  This morning she arrived at the studio at 9:25, onstage at 10:50, went into her dressing room and didn’t come on the set until 11:25.”  The scenes shot were on the “Exterior Balcony” an “Interior Dormitory” sets.  Judy was dismissed at 6:12 p.m.  Filming continued on the “Interior Dormitory” set through March 16th.
  • January 17, 1945:  Judy had wardrobe fittings from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m.  Later than evening she appeared on the NBC radio broadcast of “Esquire’s 2nd Annual All-American Jazz Concert” which was broadcast live from The Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium.
  • January 18, 1945:  Judy had rehearsals from 2:30 to 3:40 p.m. then she posed for promotional photos at the studio’s portrait studios.  These are the photos of Judy wearing a striped shirt in a haystack.
  • January 19, 1945:  More rehearsals of the “Atchison” number.  Time called: 2:30 p.m.; Judy arrived at 3 p.m.; dismissed: 3:30 p.m.  The assistant director’s notest state: “JG was to have a fitting at 1:15; then rehearse at 2:30; she called off the fitting and reported for rehearsal at 3:00 p.m.”
  • January 22, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior Sandrock Street,” “Exterior Alhambra,” and the “Exterior Station” sets which was the “Western Street” on MGM’s Backlot #3, dressed up as the fictional town of “Sandrock.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived on time, dismissed: 1 p.m.
  • January 23, 1945:  Judy had wardrobe fittings and was on “standby.”  Time called: 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 2:30 p.m.
  • January 25, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Harvey House” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:15 a.m.; dismissed: 5:10 p.m.
  • January 26, 1945:  Per the assistant director’s notes: “Miss Garland called at 3:20 this morning to say that she was not feeling well and could not come to work today.  We will try and shoot whatever we can without her.”  Later that evening from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Judy had a recording session for Decca Records.  She recorded “This Heart Of Mine” and “Love.” 
  • January 27, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Harvey House” set with the “Training Montage” sequence.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:40 a.m.; dismissed: 2:45 p.m.
  • January 29, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior R.R. Engine and Train” and “Interior Dormitory” sets.  Time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 2 p.m.; dismissed: 5:55 p.m.
  • February 1, 1945:  Judy had a wardrobe fitting.  Time called: 2 p.m.; Judy arrived at 2:15 p.m.; dismissed: 3:15 p.m.
  • February 3, 1945:  Per the assistant director’s notes: “Judy Garland’s house was called this morning by Assistant Director to give her a 2:00 call for rehearsal.  Her mother, who answered the phone, said that would be impossible as judy had teeth pulled yesterday afternoon and last night at midnight and would not be able to come in.”
  • February 7, 1945:  Rehearsals of the “Round and Round” and “Picnic sequence” numbers.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 2 p.m.; dismissed: 5 p.m.  It’s unclear what the “Picnic sequence” number was although a good guess would be that it was probably the deleted “Hayride” number.
  • February 9, 1945:  The notes written by the assistant director were quite detailed for this day: “At 4:30 p.m. yesterday, Thursday, the company called Miss Garland to giver her Friday’s shooting call.  At this time Miss Garland advised the company that she could not work until possibly Monday due to having two teeth extracted and for which a bridge was being made.  At 12:45 pm. today, Friday, I telephoned Miss Garland at her studio dressing room to inquire if the situation was the same and she advised it was.  Mr. Grady [an assistant] communicated with Miss Garland’s dentist, Dr. Pinckus, and received the information that Miss Garland will receive the bridge on Saturday, wear it Saturday and Sunday and be in Dr. Pinckus’s office on Monday morning, for a checkup.  Mr. Grady therefore advises Miss Garland should be ready at 1 p.m. on Monday for shooting purposes IF the dentist reports the bridge satisfactory.  Under the present conditions it would not be wise for the company to plan a shooting day on Lot 3 on Monday, with a big crew and talent list, on the possibility of getting a couple hours work in the event Miss Garland is available.  Inasmuch as we have nothing to shoot at this time without Miss Garland we must also avoid a shooting call for Saturday.  We therefore plan on rehearsing musical numbers Saturday and Monday.”  The AD reports for this date state: “Judy Garland was given 1:00 shooting call which she didn’t accept on account of her teeth.  The call was then changed to a 1:00 p.m. wardrobe fitting; she didn’t come in for fittings.”
  • February 12, 1945:  Judy was back at the studio after the aforementioned dental drama.  On this day she rehearsed the “Round and Round” and “Hayride” numbers.  Time called: 2 p.m.; Judy was early, arriving at 1:55 p.m.; dismissed: 4:50 p.m.
  • February 13, 1945:  The production was back on MGM’s Lot 3, the “Western Street” shooting scenes on the “Exterior R.R. Station” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:05 a.m.; dismissed: 3 p.m.
  • February 15, 1945:  Judy had a wardrobe fitting, time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 2:10 p.m.; dismissed: 2:55 p.m.  Afterward, Judy had a rehearsal with Kay Thompson which was originally scheduled for 2:30 p.m. but obviously Judy didn’t make that having not been dismissed from that wardrobe fitting until 2:55 p.m.  Judy arrived at this rehearsal at 3 p.m.; dismissed: 4 p.m. 
  • February 16, 1945:  Pre-recording session of the “My Intuition” number with co-star John Hodiak.  Judy also recorded her solo of “In The Valley.”  Time called: 1:30 p.m.; Judy arrived on the recording stage at 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 4:40 p.m.
  • February 17, 1945:  Another pre-recording session, this time for “In The Valley” (deleted reprise version); and “March of the Doagies.”  Time called: 1 p.m.; dismissed: 4:17 p.m. 
  • February 19, 1945:  Another pre-recording session.  Judy was joined by co-star Ray Bolger and the MGM “Dancer Chorus” (according to the Daily Music Report).  The songs pre-recorded were “Swing Your Partner” and the ultimately deleted “Hayride.”  Time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1:16 p.m.; dismissed: 5:45 p.m.
  • February 20, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Alhambra” set as well as rehearsals for “Hayride” and “Round and Round.”  Time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1:16 p.m.; dismissed: 5:45 p.m.
  • February 21, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior R.R. Station” set, on MGM’s Lot 3, the “Western Street” dressed up as the fictional town of “Sandrock.”
  • February 23, 1945:  The third day in a row of filming on the “Exterior R.R. Station” set.  The assistant director’s notes state: “4:48-4:55 – Waiting for Miss Garland to come out of dressing room – she doesn’t feel well.  Note: Due to Miss Garland’s disposition were unable to shoot last shot on lot 3.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:10 a.m.; dismissed: 4:55 p.m.
  • February 24, 1945:  The production moved to the “Interior Alhambra” set.  Time called: 3 p.m.; Judy arrived on time; dismissed: 6:10 p.m.
  • February 28, 1945:  Filming moved to the “Exterior Alhambra” set.  The assistant director’s notest state: “3:35-3:42: Mr Sidney [the film’s director, George Sidney] discussing scene with Judy Garland who, by the way, is still in slacks and hair not combed out, although she had a 3:00 ready call; she told Mr. Sidney that she was promised the scene would be rewritten and would rather not (shoot the scene) until then.  Mr. Sidney then decided to do scene with her and Chill Wills on Ext. Alhambra; Chill Wills, who had no call, was phoned for 3:45-4:29: Line and Light long shot with Garland and Wills; meantime, Sidney discussing scene above with Garland and Roger Edens; at 4:15 Miss Garland was sent to her dressing tom to get read for scene on Ext. Alhambra; Chill Wills Ready at 4:30; 4:29-4:47: Waiting for JG to get ready.”  The company was dismissed at 5:55 p.m.
  • March 1, 1945:  The production moved to the “Interior Alhambra” set.  The assistant director’s notes stage: “5:01-5:12 – Time Lost in discussion; Miss Garland told assistant director she was ill and would have to go to her room to lie down but might be back in 15 minutes; director decided to setup on an over shoulder shot sof Susan and Em.”  Time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1:10 p.m.; dismissed: 5:12 p.m.  Later that evening, the film’s producer Arthur Freed’s assistant Don Loper held a betrothal dinner for Judy and Vincente Minnelli.
  • March 5, 1945:  After a few days off, Judy was back on the “Interior Alhambra” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:09 a.m.; dismissed: 5:05 p.m.
  • March 8, 1945:  The assistant director’s notes state: “Judy Garland had an 11 a.m. call; she phoned from her dressing room at 10:50 and asked whether we needed her.  Assistant Director told her we would phone her when needed.  At 11:15 Assistant Director phoned her and told her she would be needed 1 p.m.; then changed it to 1:30 call; she was ready at 2:11.”  Dismissed: 6:05 p.m.
  • March 9, 1945:  The production moved to the “Interior Harvey House” set.  The assistant director’s notes state: “4:50-5:15 – Discovered Judy didn’t like the way her hair was being fixed; her own hairdresser went home ill this morning and the substitute couldn’t seem to hit the right note.  It would take too long for Judy to get ready and as Judy had recording to make right after six it was decided not to shoot anymore tonight.”  The company was dismissed at 5:20 p.m.  The recording session mentioned was one that Judy had with Decca Records.  She recorded the following duets with Bing Crosby: “Connecticut” and “Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta (Talk, Talk, Talk).”  
  • March 10, 1945:  The assistant director’s notes state: “8:30-9:10: Judy’s makeup woman [Dottie Ponedel] phoned from Judy’s room that Judy wasn’t feeling well and it would take her longer, she was still under the drier and would be late – she didn’t know just how late.”  Judy arrived on the set at 4 p.m.; dismissed: 5:45 p.m.  The scene shot was “of Judy entering train.”
  • March 12, 1945:  The first of several days of filming on the “Interior Rail Road Coach” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:25 a.m.; dismissed: 5:10 p.m.
  • March 15, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Rail Road Coach” set as well as the “Interior Parlor” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:35 a.m.; dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
  • March 16, 1945:  The production moved to the “Interior Harvey House Party” set for several days.  Time called: 1 p.m.; dismissed: 5:30 p.m.
  • March 20, 1945:  The “Round and Round” number was filmed on the “Interior Harvey House Party” set.  Per the assistant director’s notes: “11:48-12:20 Rehearse w/JG although she said we could not shoot with her as her hair was done wrong and would have to be done over – it was decided to call lunch; 1:20-1:49 – Rehearse w/Harvey Girls and stand-in while waiting for JG who was dissatisfied with her hair arrangement, which was done by other than her own hairdresser who is ill – Judy hair had to be done all over; 1:49-2:55 – Waiting for JG; she returned to the stage at 2:47, ready at 2:55.”  The company was dismissed at 6:40 p.m.  Filming on the “Interior Harvey House Party” lasted for several days.
  • March 27, 1945:  The first day of filming the “March Of The Doagies” number on the “Interior Harvey House” set.  The assistant director’s notes state: “10:20-10:22 – Waiting for Judy – She meantime called Bob Alton and said she didn’t like the steps in number; Note: JG due at 10 a.m.; called at 10:15 from her dressing room and said she wasn’t feeling well and would like to rest as long as possible – she was told we would need her within a few minutes; 10:22-10:51 – still waiting for Judy, Bob Alton rehearsed Garland’s substitute and rest of cast in changed steps; 10:51-11:02 – waiting for Judy; 11:02-11:14 – Judy arrived but not dressed – rehearsed cast while Judy watched; 11:14-11:45 – Rehearsed cast and Judy’s substitute with camera moves in changed routine of number;11:45-12:15 – added lighting for changed routine; 12:15-1:15 – Lunch; JG did not return from lunch until 2 p.m. – 45 minutes late.”  Dismissed: 5 p.m.
  • March 28 & 29, 1945:  Judy was out sick.  On the 28th she arrived at the studio but immediately went home sick.
  • March 30, 1945:  The production moved to the “Exterior Harvey House” and “Exterior Alhambra” sets on MGM’s Backlot #3, the “Western Street” dressed up as the fictional town of “Sandrock.”
  • March 31, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Western Street” on MGM’s Backlot #3, the “Exterior Harvey Hour,” “Exterior Street,” and “Exterior Garden” sets.  The assistant director’s notes state: “8:57-11:40 – Waiting for Garland; due on set at 10 a.m.; at 9:15 she phoned that her makeup woman [Dottie Ponedel] was ill, that she didn’t think that anyone else could make her up properly; Dave Friedman and cameraman went up to her room to see her and persuaded her to get made up by Bill Tuttle; she consented and arrived on Lot #3 madeup at 10:45 but not ready until 11:05 – all dressed and madeup, but found that she has wrong hairdo; she had to be sent to dept. to have hair done over, and was ready on set at 1:18 p.m.”  The company was dismissed at 5:40 p.m.
  •  

TIMELINE PART TWO:

  • April 2, 1945:  The production moved to the “Exterior Train Platform” and “Interior Dormitory” sets.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:55 a.m.; dismissed: 3:25 p.m.
  • April 3, 1945:. The production moved to the “Exterior Harvey House” and “Alhambra” sets.  Time called: 7:30 p.m.; Judy arrived at 7:50 p.m.; dismissed: 9:58 p.m.  This was the first of several nights of shooting on MGM’s Backlot 3, the “Western Street” dressed up to look like the fictional town of “Sandrock.”
  • April 4, 1945:  Night filming continued on the “Exterior Sandrock Street” set.  Time called: 7:30 p.m.; dismissed: 3:10 a.m.
  • April 5, 1945:  Night filming continued on the “Exterior Sandrock Street.”  Time called: 7:30 pm.; Judy arrived at 7:50 p.m.; dismissed: 2:30 a.m.  Judy twisted her ankle in a scene in which she runs downhill.
  • April 6, 1945:  Night filming continued on the “Exterior Sandrock Street” set.  Time called: 8 p.m.; dismissed: 2:15 a.m.
  • April 9, 1945:  After a couple of days off, Judy returned to regular daytime filming, this time on the “Interior Dormitory” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:40 a.m.; dismissed: 4:15 p.m.
  • April 10, 1945:  The production went on location to Chatsworth, California, to film the “Exterior Desert” scenes, specifically the “My Intuition” number (which was cut before the film was released).  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 5:35 p.m.
  • April 12, 1945:  On this third day of filming on location, the production was halted and dismissed at 3:40 p.m. due to the news of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  
  • April 13, 1945:  Production resumed on location in Chatsworth.  The assistant directors notes state: “No satisfactory take, but Judy refused to do another take as horse frightened her by moving to fast (horse was very fractious); compelled to do another setup using double.”  A double of Judy, not the horse!
  • April 16, 1945:  The production was back at MGM filming on the “Interior Alhambra” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:45 a.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.
  • April 18, 1945:  The scenes of the fight between the”bad girls” and the “good girls” on the “Interior Alhambra” set were filmed.  time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 5:35 p.m.
  • April 19, 1945:  An MGM memo reported: “Miss Garland had a 10:15 call to do loops [redubbing of dialogue] today … At 8:45 a.m. she telephoned that she was all bruised up due to fight scenes of yesterday and didn’t feel well enough to work today.”
  • April 20, 1945:  Filming began on the part of the “March of the Doagies” number that took place on the “Exterior Picnic Grounds” set (on an MGM soundstage, not on location).  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived ast 10:40 a.m.; dismissed: 6:10 p.m.
  • April 21, 1945:  The second day of filming the “March of the Doagies” number that took place on the “Exterior Picnic Grounds” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
  • April 23, 1945:  Judy had a rehearsal of the “wedding Procession” then she had a quick pre-recording session of the short version of “In The Valley” which is not in the film. During this session, Judy and Kay Thompson were recorded singing an impromptu version of “In The Valley.”  This is the only known recording of Judy and her friend and mentor (and Liza’s Godmother) Kay Thompson singing together.  Listen to that recording here.
  • April 24, 1945:  The assistant director’s notes state:  “At approximately 7:25 a.m. today, Judy Garland telephoned George Rhein, assistant director on above company [The Harvey Girls], saying that she didn’t feel well and didn’t know whether she’d be in or not.  Rhein telephoned me about it and I in turn telephoned Miss Garland, telling her that we had a crowd of people ordered for the day and would like to know definitely whether she would be in; she then said that. she didn’t feel well and would not be. intoday.  Call on extras was then canceled and company had to. goon layoff but utilized the day in rehearsing wedding scene, lining up shot for it and also rehearsed fight routine with stunt doubles in Harvey House.”
  • April 25, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior Picnic Ground” and “Interior Harvey House” sets.  Time called 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:15 a.m.; dismissed: 5:30 p.m.
  • April 26 through May 2, 1945:  Judy had a rare week off during which she was not needed nor what she on call.
  • May 3, 1945:  Judy returned to the production and filmed scenes on the ‘Interior Harvey House” and Exterior Harvey House” sets.  Time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1:30 pm; dismissed: 3:50 p.m.
  • May 4, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Alhambra House” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:30 a.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.
  • May 4, 1945:  Judy had a 10 a.m. call which was changed to 1:35 p.m.  The assistant director’s notes state: “JG had 10 a.m. call; at 10:15 she phoned that it would take her quite a while to get ready – she didn’t feel well; at 10:55 assistant phoned her to relax as we wouldn’t use her until after lunch.  Arrived: 2:05; Dismissed: 5:05 p.m.”
  • May 6 through 8, 1945:  Another few days off for Judy.
  • May 9, 1945:  Another night shoot on MGM’s Backlot #3, the “Western Street” which was dressed up as the fictional town of “Sandrock.”  Time called: 8 p.m., Judy arrived at 8:45 p.m.; dismissed: 11:30 p.m.  The scenes shot were most likely those of Judy and the rest of the cast arriving back in town from the ultimately deleted “March of the Doagies” reprise.
  • May 10 through 12, 1945:  Judy enjoyed another three days off.
  • May 14, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Rail Road Coach” set.  Time called: 11 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:35 p.m.  Later than night, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Judy was at the Decca Records recording studio for the first of two sessions of work on studio recordings for the “original cast album” of songs from the film.  She recorded (with a studio chorus) in the following order: “March Of The Doagies” and “Swing Your Partner Round And Round.”  “March Of The Doagies” was deleted from the film and so this studio version was deleted from the album prior to its release on November 1, 1945. 
  • May 15, 1945:  The assistant director’s notes state:  “At 2:30 this morning Judy Garland called Griffin, second assistant on the picture, and told him that she hadn’t slept all night so far because she was making Decca records until 11:45 p.m. last night. She said that after she came home she wasn’t able to sleep and knew that she wouldn’t look good the next day, and since the scene was an important one she felt she better stay home today . . . She called up as she knew we had people ordered and could cancel before it was too late. People were canceled on quarter checks and company was forced to layoff for the day as there are no scenes we could do without her.”  Judy was apparently conserving her strength and voice as she had another recording session with Decca Records that night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., the second of three sessions to complete the “Harvey Girls” cast album.  Judy recorded the elaborate studio recreation of “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe” which took up two sides of one 78 rpm record.  When the album was released, “March of the Doagies” was not included as it was deleted from the film.  The removal of the song from the Decca album created an uneven number of sides for the album. The intent was to have four discs with eight songs.  Decca remedied this by having Judy come in and re-record “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” on September 10, 1945.  The number (as recorded on this date in 1945) had originally taken up one disc (two sides) with a recreation of the elaborate introduction by the chorus on the first side (as it is in the film), then Judy’s entrance into the song beginning on the flip side of the disc with her singing the intro “What a lovely trip…”  Decca had Judy re-record the song because they deleted that full chorus introduction, so “What a lovely trip” didn’t make sense.  The re-recording had Judy singing “What a lovely day.”  The final album featured only three discs with six songs.  “March of the Doagies” was not released until November 12, 1984, when it was included on the “From The Decca Vaults” LP.  To confuse things even more, when Decca began re-releasing Judy’s recordings in the LP era, they mistakenly released the original “What a lovely trip…” version of “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe.”  The later re-recording (“What a lovely day”) had its LP debut on that same 1984 “From The Decca Vaults” LP.
  • May 16, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Rail Road Coach” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:20 a.m.; dismissed: 5:45 p.m.
  • May 17, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Interior Rail Road Coach” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:45 a.m.; dismissed: 6:20 p.m.
  • May 18 through 23, 1945:  Judy had six days off.
  • May 24, 1945:  Per the assistant director’s notes: “Miss Garland had a 1 p.m. call today to do loops; at 12:45 she telephoned Ted Hoffman on stage 2A that she was hoarse and would not be able to record the loops today but that the hoarseness was breaking and she’d be able to do them tomorrow.  The loops were ten set for 10 a.m. tomorrow.  
  • May 25, 1945:  Although the notes above state that the loops were rescheduled to this date, it’s noted that Judy had the day off.
  • May 26, 1945:  The assistant directors notes state: “Judy Garland had a 10:30 a.m. call today. todo loops; at 10:15 she telephoned that she was feeling ill and would not be able to do the loops.”
  • May 28, 1945:  Judy had the day off.  
  • May 29, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior Train in Desert” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 3:50 p.m.
  • May 31, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior Train in Desert” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 3:45 p.m.
  • June 1, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior Desert” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:40 p.m.
  • June 2, 1945:  Filming continued on the “Exterior Desert” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:56 p.m.
  • June 4, 1945:  The last day of principal photography for The Harvey Girls consisted of scenes shot on the “Exterior Picnic Grounds” set.  Time called: 10:30 a.m.; Judy was on time; dismissed: 7:05 p.m.
  • June 5, 1945:  Judy had an afternoon of loops (most likely those that were canceled as noted above).  Time called: 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 5 p.m.
  • June 6, 1945:  Judy had a day of posing for photos for poster stills for the film at  MGM’s photo studios.  Time called: 1 p.m.; dismissed: 5 p.m.
  • June 11, 1945:  Judy had another photo shoot, this time for glamour portraits.
  • June 13, 1945:  Another day of loops for Judy.  Time called: 11 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:45 a.m.; dismissed: 12:20 p.m.
  • June 14, 1945:  Judy’s last day of work on the film consisted of more loops.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 11:20 a.m.
  • September 7, 1945:  Judy was at the Decca Records studios in Hollywood, California, and recorded two songs for The Harvey Girls “Cast Album” of songs from the film: “It’s A Great Big World” and “In The Valley.”  The former was recorded with co-star Virginia O’Brien along with vocalist Betty Russell standing in for the non-singing Cyd Charisse.
  • September 10, 1945: Judy’s final recording session for the Decca Records “Harvey Girls” cast album” of studio songs from the film.  The session lasted from 2 to 4:40 p.m. Judy recorded another version of “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe” which was the shorter version   This was the final recording session for Decca’s “cast album” of songs from the film (see the details above).

FACTOIDS:

  • The book was originally purchased by MGM in 1942 as a possible dramatic film for Lana Turner.

  • The Harvey Girls was The Freed Unit’s answer to the stage mega-hit “Oklahoma!,” which was the catalyst for the creation of a “western” musical that became The Harvey Girls.

  • Judy began her work on the film on December 29, 1944, when she rehearsed the numbers “It’s A Great Big World” and “On The Atchison, Topeka And the Santa Fe.” Her final day of work on the film was June 14, 1945 even though principle photography on the film was completed on June 4, 1945. Judy married Vincente Minnelli on June 14, 1945.

  • Angela Lansbury was only 19 years old and already an Oscar nominee (for Best Supporting Actress for the drama Gaslight in 1944) when she made The Harvey Girls. She later remarked (amusingly) that she actually received hate mail from fans berating her for being “mean to Judy”!!

  • Although she was dubbed in The Harvey Girls, 20 years later Lansbury would have her own career comeback (singing live) with her Tony winning roles in the musicals “Mame” and “Sweeney Todd” among other amazing accomplishments.

  • Virginia O’Brien is absent from most of the second half of the film because she became pregnant halfway through filming.

  • While on location in Chatsworth (San Fernando Valley), California, production was shut down for several days due to the devastating news of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death.

  • The Harvey Company was very involved in the production, insisting that only MGM could make a film about their company when MGM originally planned to sell the property to another studio (prior to The Freed Unit’s involvement). They even dispatched a representative to MGM to ensure that their company was presented with the proper family values. They also insisted that the company’s late founder, Fred Harvey, not be portrayed on film.

  • The Harvey company did not approve of the book on which the film is based. It was only after producer Arthur Freed sent a detailed letter, and associate producer Roger Edens went to the company’s headquarters in Chicago, Illinois and basically acted out the story, that the company gave MGM their approval.

  • This was the second and last time Ray Bolger and Judy would appear together on film.

  • Cost for the writers: $132,962 *

  • Cast payroll: $443,766.67 *

  • Cost of costumes: $75,942.38 *

  • Cost of the “Sandrock Street” with exteriors and interiors for both the Alhambra and the Harvey House: $395,969.40 *

  • Cost of extras for the big Harvey House fire & fight sequence: $7,440 *

  • First preview of the film: July 12, 1945 in Inglewood, California.

  • The film was held from release until January 18, 1946 (at the Capitol Theater in New York) due to the number of MGM films already scheduled for release in 1945.

  • The deleted musical numbers “March Of The Doagies” (and reprise) & “My Intuition” have survived. “Doagies” was first seen in the 1994 theatrical release of That’s Entertainment! III and its subsequent home media releases. Both numbers are now available on the DVDs of The Harvey Girls and the That’s Entertainment! series. That’s Entertainment! III is also available on Blu-ray.

  • “My Intuition” was put in and taken out so many times during production that the director George Sidney referred to it as “My Indecision.”

  • George Sidney has related many times (and on the commentary track to the laser & DVD release) about Judy’s genius. When filming the “Atchison” number on Lot 3 of the MGM Studios, Sidney tells how they rehearsed the number all day with a “dance-in” (dancing stand-in) for Judy. When Judy arrived, as Sidney relates: “That day Judy came in at one o’clock. She went through the whole thing and said, ‘I’m ready!’ We shot it and she did it like she had been rehearsing it for six months. It was sheer genius!”

  • Judy’s solo in “Atchison” until she sings “All Aboard!” is one long, continuous take. It’s a testament to the quality and talent of The Freed Unit, especially in these modern times of constant editing.

  • The soundtrack CD from Rhino Records includes the only know recording of Judy and Kay Thompson singing together on a rare piano demo recording of “In the Valley.”

CAST:

Judy Garland as Susan Bradley

John Hodiak as Ned Trent

Ray Bolger as Chris Maule

Preston Foster as Judge Sam Purvis

Virginia O’Brien as Alma

Angela Lansbury as Em

Marjorie Main as Sonora Cassidy

Chill Wills as H.H. Hartsey

Kenny Baker as Terry O’Halloran

Selena Royle as Miss Bliss

Cyd Charisse as Deborah

Ruth Brady as Ethel

Catherine McLeod as Louise

Jack Lambert as Marty Peters

Edward Earle as Jed Adams

Virginia Hunter as Jane

William “Bill” Phillips, Norman Leavitt as Cowboys

Ray Teal as Conductor

Horace (Stephen) McNally as Golddust McClean

Jack Clifford as Fireman

Vernon Dent as Engineer

Paul “Tiny” Newlan as Station Agent

Jim Toney as Mule Skinner

Morris Ankrum as Reverend Claggett

Lucille Casey, Mary Jo Ellis, Dorothy Gilmore, Gloria Hope, Mary Jean French, Daphne Moore, Joan Thorson, Dorothy Tuttle as Harvey Girls

Hazel Brooks, Kay English, Hane Hall, Vera Lee, Peggy Maley, Erin O’Kelly, Dorothy Van Nuys, Eve Whitney, Dallas Worth as Dance Hall Girls

Ben Carter as John Henry

Byron Harvey Jr, Beverly Tyler in bit parts

CREW:

Produced by: Arthur Freed

Associate Producer: Roger Edens

Directed by: George Sidney

Screen Play by: Edmund Beloin, Nathaniel Curtis, Harry Crane, James O’Hanlon and Samson Raphaelson

Additional Dialogue by: Kay Van Riper

Based on the Book by Samuel Hopkins Adams and the Original Story by Eleanore Griffin and William Rankin

Words and Music by: Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren

Musical Direction: Lennie Hayton

Orchestration: Conrad Salinger

Vocal Arrangements: Kay Thompson

Musical Numbers Staged by: Robert Alton

Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons & William Ferrari

Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis

Associate: Mildred Griffiths

Production Manager: Dave Friedman

Assistant Director: George Rhein

Camera: Cliff Shirpser

Costume Supervision: Irene

Costumes Designed by: Helen Rose

SONGS:

In The Valley Where The Evening Sun Goes Down
(Judy Garland)

Wait And See
(Virginia Reece for Angela Lansbury)

On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe
(Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, Virginia O’Brien, Marjorie Main, Ray Bolger, Benny Carter, The Seckler Group, The Williams Brothers (Andy, Bob, and Don), Alice Ludes, Dorothy McCarthy, Lee Botch, Jud Conlon, Ralph Blane, Loulie Jean Norman, Dorothy Jackson, Judy Matson, Mary Moder, Ruth Clark, Jimmie Garland, Dorothy Wilkerson, Vivian Edwards, Joe Karnes, Kenneth Rundquist, Claude Martin, Arnet Amos, Elva Kellogg, and the MGM Studio Chorus)

Training Montage
(The Train Must Be Fed) (Edward Earle, Selena Royle, Marjorie Main, Joe Karnes, Elva Kellogg, Judy Garland, Virginia O’Brien, Cyd Charisse, and the MGM Studio Chorus)

Oh, You Kid
(Virginia Reece for Angela Lansbury)

Wait And See (reprise #1)
(Kenny Baker)

It’s A Great Big World
(Judy Garland, Virginia O’Brien, and Marion Doenges for Cyd Charisse)

The Wild, Wild West
(Virginia O’Brien)

Wait And See (reprise #2)
(Kenny Baker and Marion Doenges for Cyd Charisse)

Swing Your Partner Round And Round
(Judy Garland, Marjorie Main and the MGM Studio Chorus)

In The Valley Where The Evening Sun Goes Down (deleted reprise)
(Kenny Baker, Judy Garland, and the MGM Studio Chorus)

Coda/New End Title
(The MGM Studio Orchestra and Chorus)

March Of The Doagies (deleted)
(Judy Garland, Joe Karnes, Frank Laine, Don Ellis, Eugene Dorian, Ralph Blane, Don Williams, and the MGM Studio Chorus)

March Of The Doagies (deleted reprise)
(Judy Garland and the MGM Studio Chorus)

Hayride (deleted)
(Ray Bolger, Judy Garland, and the MGM Studio Chorus)

My Intuition (deleted)
(Judy Garland and John Hodiak)

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