The Making of Meet Me In St. Louis starring Judy Garland

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Production Notes

Judy Garland sings "The Boy Next Door" in "Meet Me In St. Louis"Judy Garland sings "The Trolley Song" in "Meet Me In St. Louis"
Click here to read about author Sally Benson and the origins of the story.

MGM purchased the screen rights to Sally Benson's "Kensington Stories" for $25,000.00 on March 1, 1942. Right away, the story went through the screen writing process at MGM. Several screen writers and authors took a stab at it. Sally Benson herself worked on what became a 198 page treatment written with Doris Gilbert between March 30 and May 9, 1942. Between April and October 1942, other writers worked on the project, including the husband-and-wife team of Victor Heerman & Sarah Y. Mason (Oscar winners for their 1933 adaptation of Little Women) and William Ludwig, who had written for the Andy Hardy series and also Margaret O'Brien's Journey For Margaret (1943).

None of these treatments seemed to work, and finally Irving Brecher & Fred Finklehoffe were given the assignment. Finklehoffe had written for several Judy Garland musicals, and Brecher had written for the Marx Brothers, which seemed at first an odd choice to write a delicate family story. On the set with George Folsey, Lucille Bremer, Judy Garland & Marjorie MainFinklehoffe and Brecher wisely decided that the bulk of the story should take place in the Smith family home and it's surrounding area of St. Louis. It was Finklehoffe and Brecher who expanded the "Warren Sheffield telephone call from New York" scene by making Mr. Smith ignorant to the goings on and having him hang up the phone when it first rings. They also took out scenes at Princeton University and a Smith family visit to their grandparents in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Some other changes made were: Moving Mr. Smith's decision NOT to move the family to New York from immediately after the family's objections to the night before the planned move(Christmas Eve) heightening the tension; Removing a romance between Rose and Colonel Andrews (renamed Darly in the final film) -only a small scene remains that hints of Rose's attraction to him;Removing an announcement by Tootie that she did not want to go to the fair; Changing the hair color of Rose and Esther from blonde and black to both being auburn; Removing a blackmail subplot involving Esther and finally, they divided the film into four segments representing the four seasons of the year (Sally Benson's book had been 12 chapters, one for each month of the year).

Name changes were made too, sometimes for legal reasons. Sally Benson wanted Lucille Ballard's name to be either Picard or Dorsey. John Truett began life as John "Bluett," then for legal reasons became Collins, then Truett (Ms. Benson objected to "Truett"). "Bluett" stayed as the reference name of the house on MGM's "St. Louis Street" even after the backlot was torn down. Warren Sheffield originally was named Warren Sheppard, and for legal reasons the Waughops became the Braukoffs. The real life name of the maid was indeed Katie, and the real-life Katie was alive and well and provided a signed release to the MGM legal department, giving the "ok" to use her name.

Finally, here are some interesting additions, changes, and/or deletions from the original book: The ketchup tasting scene that opens the film is an very expanded version of a simple paragraph in the book; In the book Rose gets mixed up with a middle-aged man; Mrs. Smith loses her temper; Tootie's ride on the ice wagon was originally a ride on a water-sprinkler; The cakewalk scene is danced in the book by Agnes, in a man's hat (Sally Benson based the Agnes character on herself); The Halloween sequence is in the book although it's Agnes who takes on the Braukoffs (or Waughops); A slight reference in the March segment of the book to a trolley gave birth to the entire "Trolley Song" sequence; The scene of Tootie and Agnes coming down the stairs during Lon's farewell party and Tootie singing "I Was Drunk Last Night" also comes from the book; Mr. Smith's decision to move the family to New York, and the subsequent tension it creates for the final half of the film, is from a small three-page episode in the book; and finally, it's Agnes who ends the book by saying "I can't believe it. right here where we live. Right here in St. Louis".

With the script in place, producer Arthur Freed turned to Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane to compose the original songs for the film. At the time, Martin and Blane had enjoyed moderate success with their successful Broadway show "Best Foot Forward".The property was bought by MGM, so Martin and Blane, along with stars Nancy Walker, Tommy Dix and Gil Stratton, were brought out to MGM to adapt the show for the screen. Martin and Blane also contributed to other films including "Three Cheers For The Yanks" to For Me And My Gal (1942) starring Judy Garland. Still, they hadn't obtained the success they wanted so Meet Me In St. Louis was their big chance. Freed felt strongly enough about their abilities to ask them to write new songs for Meet Me In St. Louis, to help complement the use standards of the day. They would end up providing four songs for the film, three of which would be the best of their careers and have since become classic standards ("The Boy Next Door", "The Trolley Song", and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas").

Freed also took a chance on hiring Vincente Minnelli to direct. At first Minnelli seemed like an odd choice to helm such a costly and risky project. Judy Garland Joy!Although to Freed, it probably seemed like the logical choice. Known for his use of composition and his unusual flair for design, Minnelli was an inspired choice. Minnelli had directed I Dood It (1942) starring Red Skelton, and most notably Cabin In The Sky (1943) starring Ethel Waters and Lena Horne. Click here for a biography of Vincente Minnelli.

Many at the studio felt the story had not plot and that the film would be a flop. It was even referred to by some as "Freed's Folly". But Freed stood by his choices and went about the tasks of pre-production on the film, including the casting of the major roles.

When Judy Garland first discovered that MGM was going to cast her in their new musical film entitled Meet Me In St. Louis she was not happy. She feared, and with good reason, that the film would set her career back. She had finally been allowed to grow up on the screen. In For Me And My Gal (1942) she was given a real romantic lead in newcomer Gene Kelly, and she was the undisputed star of the film, with her name alone above the title for the first time.

After that she appeared in Presenting Lily Mars which was the first time the studio made a real effort to make her look glamorous, even if it was mainly for the finale at the end of the picture. She was seen for the first time with her hair up and looking quite beautiful. True, she had also just completed Girl Crazy (1943) as well, but even in that, her final complete film with Mickey Rooney, she was a completely different character than in all of the other Garland/Rooney pictures. In this film, Mickey chased Judy rather than the other way around, and she was portrayed not as a teenager deep in puppy love, but as a lovely young woman.

Now, after reading the St. Louis script, it appeared as though the studio wanted her to revert back to playing a high school girl with a crush on the boy next door. Judy was dating Joe Mankiewicz at the time, and he was also instrumental in allowing her to see herself as not just a little girl with a big voice, but a desirable woman. At 22 years of age, Mankiewicz reasoned, Judy Garland had the talent and ability to graduate to more adult roles. And Judy not only agreed with it, but with Mankiewicz in her corner, for the first time she summoned up the strength to actually resist the studio for her own benefit.

Judy went to L.B. Mayer and complained, and for once he sided with her. He went to producer Arthur Freed to discuss the matter, but was effectively swayed in the other direction by Freed, director Vincent Minnelli, and most importantly the reigning studio storyteller Lillie Messinger. Judy Garland and Lucille Bremer on the set of "Meet Me In St. Louis"Once Lillie got a hold of a story, no one was immune. She was able to effectively point out the charms and magic of the story. Mr. Mayer loved a good sentimental "all-American" story and this had everything he loved. Next Judy went to see Minnelli on her own, thinking that she might be able to persuade him, since she was one of MGM's biggest stars, and he was a novice director.

Minnelli had directed only two films before, neither was a big financial success. The best of the two, Cabin In The Sky, although a beautiful film that critics liked, was an all-black film and in 1943 that meant a limited audience. Judy was sure that not only would St. Louis be a mistake but that she could persuade Minnelli that it really wasn't very good!


In his memoirs, Minnelli reports what happened when Judy came to see him about the film: "She looked at me as if we were planning an armed robbery against the American public. She later told me that she'd come to see me thinking I would see it her way." Per Minnelli,Garland says "It's not very good, is it?" to which Minnelli responded with "I think it's fine. I see a lot of great things in it. In fact, it's magical."Whether years later the exact words of the conversation are remember by Minnelli is immaterial. Judy may have been going on an early draft of the screenplay which was, according to most accounts, not very good. But it was shaped up by the time rehearsals began. And since Mayer switched and sided with Freed, and Freed stood behind Minnelli, Judy had no choice but to acquiesce. Rehearsals began on November 11, 1943 and Judy did not exactly throw herself into the role. She was used to the more contemporary, "wise cracking" dialog.

When filming began almost a month later on December 7, 1943 things weren't much better. In fact, it's reported that when Minnelli was away from the set, Judy would sometimes entertain the cast and crew with a devilishly satire of Minnelli centered around his "perfectionism." This skit would entail her acting out the part of an MGM bit actor who is paid his set fee to say one line in every film in production: "I think it may rain today." The bit actor comes to the Minnelli set fully expecting to say his line, collect his pay, and leave. But Minnelli (again acted by Judy) has other things in mind and suggests the actor try saying his lines with a different inflection. Taken aback, the actor tries it that way. The Minnelli suggests a different way, then another and yet another until finally the bit actor is reduced to tears of frustration and confusion.

This story illustrates how funny Judy could be when she wanted to be (her wit is legendary in Hollywood and she was known as the perfect mimic). This could also be seen as her way of dealing with a situation of which she had no control and was not happy about. Judy had a practically photographic memory when it came to lyrics and script, and she resented Minnelli's constant rehearsals and multiple takes.Judy usually got her lines and hit her marks perfect the first time. But with Minnelli, not only was he insisting that she rehearse and endure long, multiple takes (he didn't like the idea of using the stand-in for much of this), but he was breaking down her confidence. He was exacting but in a quiet way. Her frustration grew as she began to question her merits as an actress, feeling like she wasn't doing anything right. She went to Freed to complain, who told her to bide her time and give him a chance. She also reportedly complained to Mary Astor, who flatly said to Judy: "Just go along with it, he knows what he's doing."

Things got a little better, but didn't really get on track until Judy began to see herself on film. Suddenly, under his direction, Judy not only looked more beautiful and vibrant than ever before, but Minnelli was getting a beautifully realized understated performance from her. And whatever qualms she had about being a "teenager" or lost in the ensemble were put to rest as well. Soon Judy was entrusting Minnelli with her trust. But that trust came with a price.

Judy would be absent from the set of St. Louis for close to 3 weeks. Initially this was due to a lack of interest in the project. But aside from that, Tom Drake & Judy Garland in "Meet Me In St. Louis"Judy was beginning to show signs of the strain that the previous years of overwork, malnutrition, and medications had caused. She was going through the ups and downs that addicts begin to experience when the drugs begin to take over. Judy was never a morning person, having been raised in a Vaudeville atmosphere of late nights and late mornings. But at MGM, she was expected to be at the studio usually at 5 or 6am. And she had other commitments as well: Radio appearances; Personal appearances for the war effort; and making records for Decca Records. All of this, added to her fragile psyche and her low self esteem, created a time bomb ticking away just waiting for the time to explode.

Mankiewicz saw this and suggested she go to therapy to help solve her deep emotional issues and restore her self worth. She agreed and went. But when the studio found out, they put a stop to it - not believing that one of their stars was "crazy" (the world of psychoanalysis in the 1940's was still considered suspect and charlatan by nature). In a few short years the studio would find themselves paying for Judy to continue treatment.

Beginning in 1943 and ending in 1947, Judy Garland changed from a nervous insecure young lady to a glowing, confidant woman in command of her talent and happily exploring and learning all avenues of that talent, then back again to an insecure young lady. The rise in happiness can be partly attributed to Minnelli, Meet Me In St. Louis, Kay Thompson and the rest of the legendary "Freed Unit." Everything that made the "Freed Unit" so special first burgeoned with Meet Me In St. Louis. Arthur Freed had been assembling a platoon of personnel, mostly from Broadway, to populate his little kingdom. These people were bright, young and talented individuals who would change the look and style of the movie musical forever.

For Judy Garland, being in this atmosphere was exciting and exhilarating. She was allowed to flourish and experiment with all aspects of her performing. Minnelli was perfect at this time to help guide her into his world of savvy, articulate and witty people. She loved it. And she would do some of her best work during this time and was, for the most part, quite happy. Judy and Minnelli began dating towards the end of production of Meet Me In St. Louis, and although many people thought the union was all wrong, for Judy it was the right man at the right time. At least as far as her career goes. Kay Thompson was a new addition to the Freed Unit, one of the many transplants from Broadway. Kay would take Judy under her wing and develop her singing style even further than her mentor, Roger Edens had. This would be Judy's closest friendship to any woman in her entire life. Kay had a sophistication and style that was classy, brassy, and highly stylized. Judy thrived.

The affair with Joe Mankiewicz over (he had evidently gone to the studio to argue that Judy needed professional psychiatric help and ended up walking out on his contract because Mayer and Judy's Mom wouldn't listen), Judy put all of her energies into St. Louis and her relationship with Minnelli. The end result is several wonderful performances given by Judy, most of them under Minnelli's direction.

Judy Garland wasn't the only performer on the set causing problems. If you look at the timeline to this site, you'll see in great detail the constant barrage the company was under due to one illness or accident after another. As with so many films, accidents happen. St. Louis was no exception.On March 31, 1944 one of the extras suffered a hit on the head by one of the light standards (Click here to read about it). A cameraman was hit on the head with a piece of carbon. Joan Carroll had to be sent back to wardrobe (which on a lot the size of MGM could amount to a long trek) because she was given two right shoes to wear. Harry Davenport was 77 and was doing double duty on the set of Kismet so was ill and/or away from the set frequently. One memo states: "Wait for Margaret's hair to be dressed - wrong hair-do because script clerk did not give right hair change to hairdresser." Both Margaret and Joan Carroll (Agnes) were underage so had to be schooled for 3 hours with 1 hour of "recreation." This was California law, MGM would get around it as best they could. Their teacher, who was on the set at all times, was reportedly a formidable woman who had no qualms stopping the production because either Margaret should go home or in on instance, that it was simply too late for Joan Carroll to continue working.

Mary Jo Ellis, one of the cast members, had to be taken home due to fainting.Several cast members would be sick at one point or another. It should be pointed out that on a sound stage such as they had at MGM in the 40's, and before good air conditioning, a balmy set would be a breeding place for cold/flu germs to hop from one person to the next. Especially since half their time was sitting around waiting for the director to set everything up for a few takes. Judy Garland & Lucille BremerThey would entertain themselves as best they could.

But those were the least of the problems that seemed to plague the set of Meet Me In St. Louis. This film seemed to be the "sickest" film on the lot - with practically everyone coming down with some sort of illness - real or imagined.

Real: Joan Carroll's appendectomy. On February 2, 1944 shooting is halted as Joan is rushed to the hospital. The "ever so caring" studio places Joan on suspension - even though Arthur Freed sends her flowers and she sends him a "thank you" note.

This seemingly callous treatment may have been caused by recent events with the OTHER child actress on the set - Margaret O'Brien. Margaret's mother is convinced that the studio is working her daughter way too hard. So on January 31, 1944 a two week period began without Margaret. Her mother feigned illness as the cause, originally. But as you will see in this letter from Margaret's mother, her absence was really a mother protecting her child, not illness: Click here to read the "apology" from Margaret's mother which arrived some time after their departure. Margaret's mother had decided (with justification) that the studio had been working her daughter too hard - so she took it upon herself to take the child away from the studio for a few weeks. Naturally this caused quite a stir at the studio - upset the production schedule, and added thousands of dollars to the budget (click here to read memo by Dave Friedman dated this day which begins the "layoff" of the company due to Margaret O'Brien's unscheduled absence which last through early February and click here to read related memo).
The children weren't the only ones causing delays due to illness, Mary Astor and Harry Davenport were both ill as well - and as noted on the previous page, many delays were caused by accidents (which was normal for any film). And there you have it - Minnelli's first chance to show what he can do as a director - which he does to meticulous detail!

Minnelli's use of color and movement in the film is nothing short of genius. In an interview, he stated "You have to have great discipline in what you do. I spent a great deal of time in research, and finding the right things for it. I feel that a picture that stays with you is made up of a hundred or more hidden things."

This is apparent upon repeated viewings of the film. There are so many little things filling out the backgrounds - yet they blend in naturally so as not to look to over done. Take Grandpa's room. Now here is a "man's" room of the time. Filled with muted colors and all kinds of masculine brick-a-brack. Minnelli raided the MGM props and costume departments, looking for just the right things with which to clothe them and surround them. He also worked closely with art director Jack Martin Smith; set decorators Edwin B. Willis & Paul Huldchinsky; costume designers Sharaff and Irene; as well as Jack Dawn on make-up and of course George Folsey on photography. In fact, Minnelli was such a perfectionist that he drove practically everyone crazy! He would take hours making sure the set was perfect, the camera angles/movements were perfect - THEN get to the actors. At which time he would rehearse and rehearse with them until he found everything to be perfect, then filming would finally begin.

This was especially maddening for Judy. Judy had just this side of a photographic memory. People still speak with awe about the way in which she could read a script for the first time and speak it like she had rehearsed it for months.The same with music. She would hear a song once or twice on the piano, then sing it right back to the composer.Judy Garland & Margaret O'Brien A TRUE natural talent. So, just like the kid in school who's to "fast" for the class, so Judy was too "fast" for Minnelli. And it drove her crazy. She would try to get out of the studio, only to be stopped at the studio gate by Minnelli and summoned back to the set for more rehearsals.

Although it seems that the production was mired in chaos, there were wonderful times too. Once Judy saw herself in the dailies she realized that not only was Minnelli making her the most beautiful she had ever been, but he was also making a beautiful and touching film.

The credit for Judy's new appearance doesn't belong solely to Minnelli. The bulk of the credit goes to "Dottie" Ponedel. Minnelli had specifically asked for "Dot" to be Judy's make-up artists. This was a first at the time. Up to this time, all of the major make-up artists who worked on the stars were men. Sure, there were women assistants, but never before had one woman been given the task of making up a star of Garland's caliber. It was Dottie who was responsible for Judy's beautiful new look as shown for the first time in Meet Me In St. Louis. Dottie was a "no nonsense" type of person, and it's been reported several times that if there were no cup of water around, Dottie would simply dip her make-up brush in the nearest cup of coffee and continue! Meet Me In St. Louis was the first time Judy and Dottie worked together. Dottie reportedly looked at Judy's inserts for her nose and said "What are those?" When Judy told her, Dottie said "Throw them out, you don't need all that junk, you're a pretty girl." It was Dottie who gave Judy the new look that would last the rest of her career. From this moment on, Judy insisted that only Dottie would do her make-up in all of her subsequent films.

As Judy's appearance blossomed so did her acting. Although still a high school girl, the role of Esther Smith is light years away from the characters Judy had previously played. Instead of a peppy "teen" or "juvenile", Esther Smith is a young lady on the verge of womanhood. And Judy plays her with a subtleness and a sort of softness that effectively makes you believe that this character is real. That her emotions are real. Even though the film is a "musical" there are many wonderful scenes that rely on Judy's incredible comic timing. Once again, very subtle and never once forced. This is the film in which Judy completes her transition to mature leading lady. From here on out, Judy would always be presented as a beautiful and desirable woman.

Meet Me In St. Louis has a look and feel all its own. Minnelli and his crew took great care in creating this singular palette. For the scene in which Esther and John go through the house turning out the lights, Minnelli went to great pains in creating just the right mood. To achieve the right multiple lighting effects when Esther and John turn out the lights, Minnelli had the technicians use everything from conventional dimmers to actual window blinds. The scene is beautifully effective in showing the deepening of Esther and John's romance as the rooms slowly darken.

A very happy accident occurred when filming the lights from the kitchen beaming onto the nighttime snow. The scene is Esther and Tootie looking out the window on Christmas Eve, just before Esther sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", and there is a quick shot of the back yard. This beautiful shot actually was an accident. When it was filmed by the Assistant Director, the word came back from the lab that film wasn't exposed properly. Happily, the beauty of the scene remained intact.

Meet Me In St. Louis had it's first preview on June 5, 1944 and a second on July 3, 1944. And that's when more heartache came in. Some executives at the studio wanted the entire Halloween sequence cut - they thought it slowed down the picture and didn't have anything to do with the plot. In a sequence of events reminiscent of "Over The Rainbow" in The Wizard Of Oz, Minnelli and Freed fought to keep the sequence in. Movie Theater Display for "Meet Me In St. Louis"Arguing, as Minnelli would state later, that the sequence actually underlined the entire crux of the story - the reason WHY this family would want to stay in St. Louis - it was their HOME. No argument came of the cutting of "Boys And Girls Like You And Me." It was decided that either that or "The Boy Next Door" should be cut - and since "The Boy Next Door" advanced the plot, whereas "Boys And Girls" really didn't, there was no contest. Martin and Blaine were pleased, fearing that the Rodgers & Hammerstein "Boys And Girls" would get all of the attention, leaving the songs by the "relatively unknown" songwriters in the background. Luckily, this wasn't to be.

The film had it's official premiere in St. Louis, Missouri on November 22, 1944. Running 113 minutes, it was a smash! No one objected to the Halloween Sequence, and audiences everywhere fell in love with the Smiths of S. Louis.Judy Garland's status went from "star" to "superstar" - and there was no denying that while Margaret O'Brien was cute and funny and quite the scene stealer - the REAL star of the picture was Judy. Now, in her first color film since The Wizard Of Oz (and one song in Thousands Cheer in 1943), Judy Garland blossomed into a beautiful, talented young woman - the epitome of what young girls everywhere wanted to be - and what the boys overseas were fighting for.


When it was released in 1944, Meet Me In St. Louis became an instant hit, and was MGM's biggest grossing film to date after Gone With The Wind. However it must be noted that Gone With The Wind was actually a David O. Selznick production that MGM owned the release rights to, and would eventually own the entire film. Meet Me In St. Louis was 100% an MGM production. The film would go on to be nominated for 4 Academy Awards: Color Cinematography -- George Folsey ; Scoring of a Musical Picture -- Georgie Stoll; Song "The Trolley Song" -- Music and Lyrics by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin; and Screenplay -- Irving Brecher, Fred F. Finkelhoffe . It wouldn't win any Oscars, but it did win a lasting fame and place in film history that few films of 1944 would be able to achieve.

Among other things, the film has one of Judy Garland's three best film performances (the other two being The Wizard of Oz and A Star Is Born). It's also considered one of, or THE, best efforts of many of the people involved. It's the film that launched Vincent Minnelli on his stellar directing career as the greatest director of film musicals. It broke new ground as an "integrated" musical - and in doing so, paved the way for further experimentation and freedom for Arthur Freed and the "Freed Unit" - this unit at the studio would be responsible for practically ALL of the great musicals of the 1940's & 1950's.

Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Tom DrakeBoth Judy and Margaret O'Brien would reprise their roles in a radio version of the film for CBS Radio in 1946 - and in 1947 Judy would join the AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Show) Show Time Players in performing a version of Meet Me In St. Louis for the "Show Time" radio program.

The film would inspire imitations - Summer Holiday (another Freed effort in 1948); On Moonlight Bay & By The Light Of The Silvery Moon (both Doris Day vehicles atWarner Bros and both with Leon Ames as the father, and a cast of characters almost identical to St. Louis).As charming as those film are, none have that special magic that Meet Me In St. Louis has. Like all great cornerstone films of any genre, Meet Me In St. Louis was the right people in the right place at the right time making the right film. Two Broadway versions of the film, in 1960 and 1988, would be popular - as are the various touring companies that have brought the film to the stage - but in all cases, the film is so indelible that comparisons are always made (and usually not in favor of the stage version!). Now, more than 50 years after its release, Meet Me In St. Louis continues to work it's magic on audiences of all ages.


Over the years, Meet Me In St. Louis has remained one of the best film musicals ever made. Gene Kelly would always call it "my favorite musical". Today, the film still has resonance and power. This is due to its simple themes of family and home. Made during a time when America was embroiled in World War Two, and so many families didn't know if their loved ones would come home, the film gave them hope in lovingly looking back to an era that even then was a distant memory.

Now, 100 years after the era it portrays, Meet Me In St. Louis still grabs us and makes us believe in the idealized world of the Smith family of St. Louis, Missouri. And even today there are precious few films that can so expertly give us that special warm feeling that Meet Me In St. Louis still gives. A true American classic that will last as long as people want to see good, quality entertainment.


5135 Kennsington AvenueJudy Garland & Tom Drake in "Meet Me In St. Louis"

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Timeline

DATE

EVENT

06/14/1941
"The New Yorker" magazine runs part one of eventually 8 installments of short stories written by Sally Benson entitled "5135 Kensington" the eighth and final installment appears May 23, 1942.
01/06/1942
Lily Messenger provides an initial screen treatment of the stories to MGM Studios boss Louis B. Mayer. Ms. Messenger is instrumental in getting Mayer to support the making of the film. People at the studio balked that there was no plot, but after "MGM's Scheherazade" (Lily) vividly described the story, Mayer was enchanted.
03/01/1942
MGM purchases the screen rights (as well as the radio and, interestingly enough, the television rights) to the "Kensington Stories" for $25,000.00. The purchase date could be much earlier, in May of 1941 as some reports give Arthur Freed credit with reading the stories provided to him by Fred Finklehoffe while in the office of Leland Hayward (the famous show business agent) BEFORE publication in "The New Yorker" magazine. According to the legend, Freed is so taken with the stories, that he immediately gets on the phone and negotiates their purchase. (date is approximate)
3/30/42 thru 5/9/42
Author Sally Benson, collaborating with Doris Gilbert, produces a 198 page screen treatment of the stories, followed by additional supplemental material. During this time, Ms. Benson takes the original stories, adds 4 more chapters so each chapter represents one month of the year from January - December, 1903 and 1904 - and then publishes them as a book by Random House as "Meet Me In St. Louis" - this is the first time the title of the film is associated with the stories. MGM of course has the rights to the book as well.
April thru October 1942
Screenwriters who work on the script during this time include: Husband & wife team of Victor Heerman & Sarah Y. Mason (who jointly won the 1933 screenplay Oscar for "Little Women"), William Ludwig (who wrote the screenplay to Margaret O'Brien's immensely popular "Journey for Margaret") and even director George Cukor, who after a few months of work starting from scratch, was drafted into the Army and so the project was shelved, temporarily.
04/30/1943
Irving Brecher & Fred Finklehoffe provide a "rough continuity outline" of the screenplay followed by a draft of the screenplay.
05/22/1943
Arthur Freed signs the final shooting script as "complete".
06/10/1943
Judy Garland's 21st Birthday - this is important because Garland did not want to play Esther. In her previous few films, she was finally being allowed to "grow up" a little on screen, and playing the teenage Esther, in her eyes and those of many around her, would be a backwards step for her career. Her reluctance would cause a rocky start once rehearsals and production begins.
07/16/1943
After Brecher worked on the script alone adding additional supplemental material, the final screenplay is completed. Total cost to MGM for all the work on the script is: $86,616.67
07/30/1943
Letter dated 7/29/43 is delivered to MGM from Joseph I. Breen of the Hays Censor Office. Click here to read the memo.
11/03/1943
Arthur Freed and singer Denny Markas pre-record "You and I" for Leon Ames & Mary Astor to lip sync to.
11/11/1943
Rehearsals begin.
11/11/1943

Meet Me In St. Louis goes into production as Production No. 1317. It is budgeted at $1,536,971.93 with a shooting schedule of 58 days. Included in the budget are the following:

$151,575 to build the new "St. Louis Street"
$62,225 for the lower floor of the Smith home
$16,625 for the miniature of the exterior of the World's Fair
$15,625 for the trolley depot
$5,091 for the trolley tracks

12/01/1943
Judy & cast pre-record "Meet Me In St. Louis".
12/02/1943
At 8:45pm, Judy & chorus and 41-man band pre-record "The Trolley Song" (which is Scene 90 in the shooting script).
12/03/1943
Judy & Lucille Bremer pre-record "Meet Me In St. Louis" (duet version).
12/03/1943
Judy & cast pre-record "Skip To My Lou".
12/04/1943
Judy pre-records "The Boy Next Door".
12/04/1943
Judy pre-records "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".
12/06/1943
An "R. Monta" sends a memo to Arthur Freed relaying some story changes suggested by author Sally Benson. Click here to read the memo.
12/07/1943
Principle photography begins.
12/11/1943
In a memo, Arthur Freed gives final approval for the following name changes Lucille Ballard (was to be surname of Picard or Dorsey) John Truett (was to be Bluett or Carson - author Benson objects to "Truett") Warren Sheffield (was to be Sheppard) Mr. & Mrs. Braukoff (was to be Waughop) Note: The Smith's real-life maid Katie gives her approval to MGM to use her name!
12/17/1943
Judy & Margaret O'Brien pre-record "Under The Bamboo Tree."
12/18/1943
Judy arrives late for St. Louis filming, meets with producer Arthur Freed, then leaves at approximately 10:30 am not feeling well. Click here to read memo.
12/30/1943
Judy absent from filming of St. Louis due to illness - Memo reads "Judy Garland is still ill, and Company worked around her until 12 noon today. The balance of the day was spent in rehearsing musical number."
01/12/1944
Judy absent from filming of St. Louis due to illness. Click here to read memo.
01/20/1944
1:20pm - Margaret O'Brien's dental plate comes loose and she's sent to the dentist. Click here to read the previous memo detailed the beginnings of Margaret's dental problems and absences from the set.
01/24/1944
"Under The Anheuser Bush" instrumental recorded (this is to be part of the underscoring of the "Christmas Party" sequence).
01/28/1944
Click here to read memo detailing Mary Astor's bouts with the flu.
01/31/1944

Click here to read memo by Dave Friedman dated this day which begins the "layoff" of the company due to Margaret O'Brien's unscheduled absence which last through early February. Click here to read related memo.

Click here to read the "apology" from Margaret's mother which arrived some time after their departure.

02/02/1944
Shooting is stopped for several days due to Joan Carroll (Agnes) being rushed to the hospital on this day for an emergency appendectomy. MGM callously suspends her salary during the time she is away from the set. However, Arthur Freed sends her flowers and "well brought up young lady" that she is, she sends him a "thank you" note! Click here to read memo.
02/14/1944
Click here to read from daily production log of this date detailing Judy Garland's frequent lateness & absence.
02/15/1944
"Margaret O'Brien was available for work today" is reported in a memo - shooting resumes.
02/29/1944
Click here to read memo detailing Joan Carroll's bout with the sore throat and flu that seemed to be "popular" amongst the cast.
03/01/1944
Judy absent from filming of St. Louis due to illness - Click here to read memo (Due to this and Joan Carroll's absence, the company is laid off again).
03/03/1944
Beginning at 8:43pm, the "Halloween Sequence" is filmed. A lunch from 11:45pm - 12:45am is reported. From 11pm through 11:32pm there is a break in filming for Minnelli to discuss "change in set up to give more eerie effect." The filming finally finishes early 3/4/43 at 4:55am.
03/09/1944
Judy absent from filming of St. Louis due to illness. Click here to read memo.
03/20/1944
Company waits for "Perfume bottle (special container with satin lining asked for by Director)" (from daily production log) - the company waits until 3/26/44 for the bottle. This is a perfect example of Minnelli's quest for perfection.
03/23/1944
Judy absent from filming of St. Louis due to illness. Click here to read memo.
03/31/1944
Report by Assistant Director Dave Friedman tells of one of many accidents to happen during filming. Click here to read memo.
04/01/1944
Click here to read from daily production log of this date detailing more of Judy Garland's frequent lateness & absence.
04/01/1944
Judy signs new three year contract with Decca Records.
04/01/1944
Click here to read entries from the daily production log detailing Minnelli's perfection in the composition of a scene - one that never makes it to the final print!
04/07/1944
Filming is completed and the production is closed. Total cost: $1,707,561.14 ($170,589.21 over budget) Filming lasts an actual 70 days (12 days over schedule).
04/20/1944
Judy records "Boys And Girls Like You And Me" for Decca records.
04/20/1944
Judy records "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" for Decca Records.
04/20/1944
Judy records "The Boy Next Door" for Decca Records.
04/21/1944
Judy records "Meet Me In St. Louis" for Decca Records.
04/21/1944
Judy records "Skip To My Lou" for Decca Records.
04/21/1944
Judy records "The Trolley Song" for Decca Records.
05/17/1944
Judy sings "The Trolley Song" on the "Mail Call" (#91) radio program.
05/25/1944
Underscoring for the film begins with Conrad Salinger conducting. Some of the sections recorded on this day are: The "Main Title" (w/the MGM Studio Chorus); The Halloween Sequence; & the "I Hate Basketball" scene.
05/26/1944
Judy pre-records "Over The Banister".
05/26/1944
Underscoring for the film continues with Conrad Salinger conducting. Some of the sections recorded on this day are: The "Getting Ready for the Party" scene; scene with Esther & John turning out the lights (including Judy's vocal of "Over The Banister"; "Tootie's Music Box"; "Tootie's Grief"; & the "Finale".
05/27/1944
Underscoring for the film continues with Conrad Salinger conducting. Some of the sections recorded on this day are: Opening of the Winter section; Esther's acceptance of John's proposal after the Christmas Party.
06/04/1944
Judy sings "The Trolley Song" on the "The Bakers of America Salute to the Armed Forces" radio program.
06/05/1944
First preview.
06/10/1944
Judy Garland's 22nd Birthday.
06/25/1944
Judy sings "The Boy Next Door" on "The Chase and Sanborn Hour" radio program.
07/03/1944
Second preview - cuts were made after this, including the deletion of "Boys And Girls Like You And Me."
07/14/1944
Arthur Freed writes a letter to Rodgers & Hammerstein about the deletion of their song "Boys And Girls Like You And Me" - Mr. Freed states "The entire sequence the song was part of was eliminated after the preview on account of its length."
10/08/1944
Judy sings "The Trolley Song" on the "Hollywood Democratic Committee Dinner" radio program.
11/02/1944
Decca Records releases the "Meet Me In St. Louis Original Cast Album" (it would be another 50 years before an official complete soundtrack album of the film is released).
11/22/1944
Meet Me In St. Louis premieres in St. Louis, Missouri - the running time of the film is 113 minutes.
12/17/1944
Judy performs "The Trolley Song" & "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," for Philco Radio Hall Of Fame.
04/23/1945
Judy Garland and Kay Thompson are recorded in the MGM Recording Studios singing an impromptu duet of "In The Valley When The Evening Sun Goes Down" (Judy's opening number to The Harvey Girls). This is the only know recording of these two great friends singing together. Click here to read more about Kay Thompson.
03/01/1945
At Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Meet Me In St. Louis is up for 4 Oscars in the 17th annual Academy Awards presentation: Cinematography (Color)-George Folsey; Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)-Georgie Stoll; Music (Song "The Trolley Song")-Ralph Blane & Hugh Martin; Writing (Screenplay)-Irving Brecher & Fred F. Finkelhoffe. It would win none.
09/17/1945
Judy marries Vincent Minnelli - studio boss Louis B. Mayer gives the bride away. Vincent would direct Judy in her guest appearances for "Ziegfeld Follies," and "Till The Clouds Roll By," as well as the films "The Clock" and "The Pirate." Although Vincent was scheduled to direct Judy in "Easter Parade" he was replaced with Charles Walters because, by this time, Judy's troubles at the studio had escalated to the point that Vincent (as both her husband and studio director) would be seen as and adversary and studio ally - thus aggravating her already fragile psyche.
12/02/1946
Judy & Margaret O'Brien appear in "The Lux Radio Theatre" radio show version of Meet Me In St. Louis.
08/12/1947
Judy and the AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Show) Show Time Players perform a version of Meet Me In St. Louis for the "Show Time" radio program. Judy sings "Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis," "The Boy Next Door," "Skip To My Lou," and "The Trolley Song."
04/16/1948
"Summer Holiday" is released. Produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Rouben Mamoulian, it is a musical adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's "Ah Wilderness" starring Mickey Rooney & Gloria DeHaven. Actually filmed in 1946 the film goes through numerous revisions and is shelved for 2 years. It's an unsuccessful attempt by Freed to re-capture the magic and success of "St. Louis."
03/01/1952
Decca Records releases the "Judy At The Palace" which is one of the first Garland "compilation" albums & includes the Decca versions of "The Trolley Song" & "Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis".
04/26/1959
CBS airs a T.V. version - complete with the original score - starring Jane Powell, Jeanne Crain, Tab Hunter, Walter Pidgeon, Myrna Loy, Patty Duke, & Ed Wynn.
 
Throughout the 1950's and 1960's Judy would perform songs from Meet Me In St. Louis in concert, on the radio, and on television literally dozens (if not more) times. "The Boy Next Door" and "The Trolley Song" were a part of her medley of film songs which began with her Palace concert in 1951. After a few years, "The Boy Next Door" would be dropped from the medley, and Judy would seldom perform it on it's own. Her most notable performances of the songs would come from her concerts and t.v. series. The most well know or significant are included in this timeline, but since Judy performed in concert hundreds of times, it would be futile to try and list each and every single performance of each song.
09/26/1955
Capitol Records releases it's first Judy Garland long playing LP "Miss Show Business." Included in the song line up is Judy's first studio recording of her original medley of "You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Boy Next Door/The Trolley Song" (recorded in August of 1955).
08/06/1958
The first legitimate concert recording of the newly trimmed "Judy Medley" which drops "The Boy Next Door" from the lineup, and would remain as "You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song" - released by Capitol Records as "Garland At The Grove" (the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, CA)
06/09/1960
The "official" stage version of the film, with additional songs, is premiered at the St. Louis Municipal Opera (in St. Louis, MO) - this is the version that has since been produced by numerous local and summer stock companies, as well as a full scale Broadway edition.
08/05/1960
In London, Judy records the second studio version of her medley, by this time "The Boy Next Door" had been dropped from the medley, and it would remain "You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song".
04/23/1961
The legendary Carnegie Hall concert, which of course includes the "Judy Medley" of "You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song".
10/04/1963
Episode #9 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy sings "The Trolley Song" as part of her medley of "You Made Me Love You/For Me and My Gal/The Trolley Song".
11/08/1963
Episode #13 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy and Peggy Lee sing "Under The Bamboo Tree" as part of the "Judy Garland-Peggy Lee Medley".
12/06/1963
Episode #15 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (this is also known as "The Judy Garland Christmas Show").
01/14/1964
Episode #18 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy sings "The Boy Next Door" in a rock arrangement as part of the "Hit Parade 1964 Medley".
01/31/1964
Episode #21 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy & Mel Torme sing a "duet" version of "The Trolley Song" with Mel singing a counterpart to Judy's lyrics from the "boy next door's" point of view in that fateful trolley ride!
02/21/1964
Episode #23 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy sings "The Boy Next Door".
07/23/1964
Episode #4 of "The Judy Garland Show" Judy and Lena Horne sing "The Trolley Song" as part of the "Judy Sings Lena Sings Judy Medley".
1964
MGM Records releases "The Judy Garland Story - Vol 2 The Hollywood Years!" - which include the first ever official release on record of the original soundtrack (taken directly from the soundtrack of the film) versions of "The Boy Next Door" & "The Trolley Song".
1974
MCA Records releases the two record set of the soundtrack of That's Entertainment! The only "St. Louis" song included is the first ever official release on record of the soundtrack version of "Under The Bamboo Tree."
1976
MGM Records releases the single record soundtrack of That's Entertainment Part Two. This is the first ever official release on record of the soundtrack version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". Unfortunately, since MGM Records saw fit to use the highly abridged versions as seen in the film, the song is missing the first verse.
1981
The new home entertainment revolution begins with the advent of VCRs and Video Disc players. Meet Me In St. Louis is released by MGM Video on VHS and Beta tape as well as by RCA on "SelectAvision VideoDiscs" (precursors to the LaserDisc). Since that time, Meet Me In St. Louis has been re-released several times on both VHS & Laser Disc with each new improvement in the technology. Also in this year, the first "real" soundtrack album of the complete soundtrack appears on "Hollywood Soundstage" records. This is a bootleg company that made soundtrack albums of varying sound quality directly from the film soundtracks themselves.
1986

Dunhill releases the very first Judy Garland compact disc. It is produced by Sid Luft and co-produced by Judy's son Joey Luft. The medley of "You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song" is included. Some tracks are capitol studio recordings mixed with applause and the live tracks to make the entire CD sound as thought it were one concert. For several years, this would be confusing to Garland fans, not being able to tell (due to the mix) what versions some of the songs were or whether they were previously unreleased recordings (they're not). It has since been re-released by DCC Compact Classics with the exact same mix & track lineup.

Also at this time, the Decca versions of the St. Louis songs pop up on a multitude of official and budget CDs.

1987
MCA Records releases the CD "The Best Of Judy Garland from MGM Classic Films". For some strange reason, the label uses the Decca version of "The Trolley Song" (and the other pre-1946 MGM songs) on some pressings and the soundtrack version on others, with no explanation or indication in the liner notes as to which version is included.
11/02/1989

The Broadway version opens at the Gershwin Theatre and runs for 253 performances. It closed on June 10, 1990. Donna Kane plays Esther, Betty Garret plays Katie, & George Hearn (who played Albin in "La Cage Aux Folles" in 1983 and Max in "Sunset Boulevard" in 1994) plays Mr. Smith (Alonzo). The show is popular although many critics state it is over produced and the additional songs are not as memorable as the originals from the film. Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane provide the additional songs, the same as were in the 1960 version. It was nominated for 4 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, but didn't win any. Interesting since the film was nominated for 4 Oscars and didn't win any.

Click here for a "review" of the show.

Meet Me In St. Louis is one of the few movie musicals to originate as a musical FIRST on the screen and SECOND as a Broadway adaptation. Oddly enough, three notable exceptions: "Singin In The Rain" (Broadway 1985), "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" (Broadway 1982), & "Gigi" (Broadway 1973) were also originally MGM mega-hit Musicals - and Gigi (the film) was directed by Minnelli and the film for which he won his only Oscar for Best Director (the film won a total of 8 Oscars including Best Picture).

1990
CBS Records releases a series of MGM original soundtrack recordings on CD. These are the complete soundtracks recorded directly from the film soundtracks themselves and are varying in sound quality. CBS did not do a soundtrack of Meet Me In St. Louis, nor did they do a version of That's Entertainment, but they DID do a double disc of That's Entertainment Part Two which included the first ever official release of the complete soundtrack version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".
1991
Capitol Records releases "The One And Only" - a 3 CD deluxe box set of studio recordings, live performances, and the never (completely) released in the US "The London Sessions" which include the "Judy Medley" of "You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song" recorded on 8-5-60. The following year, due to the success of the box set, Capitol releases a single CD entitled "The London Sessions".
1994
The Spanish company "Blue Moon" releases the CD "Judy Garland The Hollywood Years" which is a poor quality sounding copy of the MGM records versions (probably recorded directly from the old records themselves) of Judy's MGM songs. However, this is the first CD release of the soundtrack versions (aside from the confusing MCA 1987 release) of "The Trolley Song" and the first ever of "The Boy Next Door".
1994
Decca Records releases a 4 CD deluxe box set of all of Judy's Decca recordings "The Complete Decca Masters - Plus," which includes all of the Decca versions of the songs from St. Louis.
Dec 1994

Turner Entertainment, & MGM Records release the 50th anniversary edition of Meet Me In St. Louis on video, laser disc, & CD. The film's soundtrack is remastered into true stereo, and it's the first legitimate release of the complete soundtrack in audio form (all in one place) and the last title released under the old "MGM Records" label. The restored film has since been re-released on VHS once by Turner and once by Warners (who now owns the distribution rights to the Turner/MGM film catalog).

NOTE: Until the DVD edition is released, the Laser Disc is the only place to hear the entire background score, isolated and in true stereo, as well as alternate takes of many of the songs including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "The Boy Next Door," and "Over The Banister".

1995

Rhino Records obtains the rights to all of the MGM pre-recording sessions. This allows them to produce MGM soundtracks of the highest sound quality - many in true stereo for the first time - of many of the studio's classic musicals. Meet Me In St. Louis is one of the first soundtracks to be released, with all the songs and part of the background score as well as the outtake of "Boys And Girls Like You And Me" being released in pristine quality for the first time. Rhino has since included songs from Meet Me In St. Louis on many of their compilation CDs (including their Christmas compilation CDs). Now the public can enjoy the film and its soundtrack as it was meant to be seen and heard. Click here to go to The Judy Garland Online Discography Meet Me In St. Louis soundtrack pages.

04/06/2004
Warner Home Video restores the film utilizing their new "Ultra Resolution" process. The image is amazingly clear and vibrant, the best the film has ever looked. The restored film is released on a special 2-disc DVD with many great extra features. Click here to see the DVD page.

The film is presented a few days earlier on April 4, 2004 at the Director's Guild 60th Anniversary celebration. Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, June Lockhart and Margaret O'Brien are in attendance for this special screening of the newly restored film. See the Media Gallery for images from this event.

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Media

1944 Window Card       1957 Decca LP       MMISL Trade Ad

Click on the images above to see Meet Me In St. Louis media
(records, sheet music, posters, lobby cards, CDs, DVDs, and more)


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Photos

Mary Astor & Judy Garland on the set of "Meet Me In St. Louis"
PRODUCTION PICS

(Behind the scenes snapshots, costume tests, and on-set photos used for promotion)

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MISCELLANEOUS

(Premiere photos, the "St. Louis Street" prior to being torn down, and more)


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Credits

Judy Garland sings "The Trolley Song"MGM PRODUCTION No. 1317
Cost: $1,707,561.14
Includes:
   $208,275 to build the new "St. Louis Street".

   $86,616.67 for the screen writing process
     (including early drafts and treatments dating back to 1942)
   $62,225 for the lower floor of the Smith home.
   $16,625 for the miniature of the exterior of the World's Fair.

   $15,625 for the trolley depot
.
     $5,091 for the trolley tracks.

Premiere: December 31st, 1944
Domestic Gross: $7,566,000
(as of August 31, 1957 - does not include 16 mm. rentals, double-bill playoffs, or the film's share when sold for television as part of a package and subsequent home video sales)

Running Running Time: 113 minutes (10,147 ft)



CAST:

Esther Smith:   Judy Garland
Judy Garland & Margaret O'Brien perform "Under The Bamboo Tree""Tootie" Smith:   Margaret O'Brien
Mrs. Anna Smith:   Mary Astor
Rose Smith:   Lucille Bremer
Alonzo Smith:   Leon Ames
John Truett:   Tom Drake
Katie the maid:   Marjorie Main
Grandpa:   Harry Davenport
Lucille Ballard:   June Lockhart
Lon Smith Jr.:   Henry H. Daniels Jr.
Agnes Smith:   Joan Carroll
Colonel Darly:   Hugh Marlowe
Warren Sheffield:   Robert Sully
Mr. Neely:   Chill Wills
Dr. Terry:   Donald Curtis
Ida Boothby:   Mary Jo Ellis
Quentin:   Ken Wilson
Motorman:   Robert Emmett O'Connor
Johnny Tevis:   Darryl Hickman
Conductor:   Leonard Walker
Baggage Man:   Victor Killan
Mailman:   John Phipps
Mr. March:   Major Sam Harris
Mr. Braukoff:   Mayo Newhall
Judy Garland sings "The Trolley Song"Mrs. Braukoff:   Belle Mitchell
Hugo Borvis:   Sidney Barnes
George:   Myron Tobias
Driver:   Victor Cox
Clinton Badgers:   Joe Cobbs, Kenneth Donner, Buddy Gorman
Girl on Trolley:   Helen Gilbert
Singing voice of Alonzo Smith:   Arthur Freed
Singing voice of Anna Smith:   Denny Markas



PRODUCTION:

Producer:   Arthur Freed
Director:   Vincente Minnelli
Assistant Director:   Wallace Worsley
Screenplay:   Irving Brecher, Fred F. Finklehoffe from the novel by Sally Benson
Uncredited script contributions:   Sally Benson, Doris Gilbert, Sarah Y. Mason, Victor Heerman, William Ludwig
Photography (Technicolor):   George Folsey (uncredited: Harold Rosson for "The Trolley Song" sequence)
Technicolor Color Director:   Natalie Kalmus
Associate Technicolor Color Director:   Henri Jaffa
Musical Director:   George Stoll
Uncredited Musical Director:   Lennie Hayton
Judy Garland sings "The Trolley Song"Musical Adaptation:   Roger Edens
Orchestration:   Conrad Salinger
Songs & Music:   "The Trolley Song", "The Boy Next Door", "Skip To My Lou", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane; "Under The Bamboo Tree" by Bob Cole, J. Rosamond Johnson; "Meet Me In St. Louis" by Andrews B. Sterling, Kerry Mills; "You And I" by Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown; "I Was Drunk Last Night, "Over The Banister" (traditional) arranged by Conrad Salinger; "Brighten The Corner" by Charles H. Gabriel Jr.; "Summer In St. Louis", "The Invitation" by Roger Edens; "All Hallow's Eve", "The Horrible One", "Ah, Love!" by Conrad Salinger, "Good-bye My Lady Love" by Joe Howard; "Under The Anheuser Bush" by Albert von Tilzer, "Little Brown Jug" by R. A. Eastburn, arranged by Lennie Hayton, "The Fair" by Lennie Hayton, "Boys And Girls Like You And Me" (recorded and filmed but deleted prior to release) by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein III
Dance Director:   Charles Walters
Editor:   Albert Akst
Art Directors:   Cedric Gibbons, Lemuel Ayers, Jack Martin Smith
Set Decorator:   Edwin B. Willis
Associate Set Decorator:   Paul Huldchinsky
Costume Designer:   Sharaff
Costume Supervisor:   Irene
Make-up:   Jack Dawn
Recording Director:   Douglas Shearer
Sound Recording:   Joe Edmondson


Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
CREDITS:

A special thanks to Eric Hemphill, Jamin Fowler, Simon Tarantelli, Brie Copely, Kim Loeffler, Meredith Ponedel & Mike Siewert for sharing photos of items from their collections for this spotlight.



RESEARCH:
Meet Me In St. Louis by Gerald Kaufman
The World Of Entertainment! Hollywood's Greatest Musicals (subsequently published as The Movie's Greatest Musicals - Produced in Hollywood USA by The Freed Unit and "M-G-M's Greatest Musicals - The Freed Unit) by Hugh Fordin
Rainbow - The Stormy Life of Judy Garland by Christopher Finch
Judy by Gerald Frank
Judy Garland - The World's Greatest Entertainer by John Fricke
I Remember It Well by Vincente Minnelli with Hector Arce


A special thanks to the late Scott Schechter, author of the fantastic Judy Garland - The Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Legend for his willingness to share the Meet Me In St. Louis portion of his book as added "meat" to the timeline, and for his unwavering support.

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OTHER ST. LOUIS LINKS
The real World's Fair
Terry's 1904 World's Fair Site

The Greatest of Expositions

Meet Me At The Fair

The End



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