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Meet Me in St. Louis Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Sally Benson's short stories about the turn-of-the-century Smith family of St. Louis were tackled by a battalion of MGM screenwriters, who hoped to find a throughline to connect the anecdotal tales. After several false starts (one of which proposed that the eldest Smith daughter be kidnapped and held for ransom), the result was the charming valentine-card musical Meet Me in St. Louis. The plot hinges on the possibility that Alonzo Smith (Leon Ames), the family's banker father, might uproot the Smiths to New York, scuttling his daughter Esther (Judy Garland)'s romance with boy-next-door John Truett (Tom Drake) and causing similar emotional trauma for the rest of the household. In a cast that includes Mary Astor as Ames' wife, Lucille Bremer as another Ames daughter, and Marjorie Main as the housekeeper, the most fascinating character is played by 6-year-old Margaret O'Brien. As kid sister Tootie, O'Brien seems morbidly obsessed with death and murder, burying her dolls, "killing" a neighbor at Halloween (she throws flour in the flustered man's face on a dare), and maniacally bludgeoning her snowmen when Papa announces his plans to move to New York. Margaret O'Brien won a special Oscar for her remarkable performance, prompting Lionel Barrymore to grumble "Two hundred years ago, she would have been burned at the stake!" The songs are a heady combination of period tunes and newly minted numbers by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin, the best of which are The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. As a bonus, Meet Me in St. Louis is lensed in rich Technicolor, shown to best advantage in the climactic scenes at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:November 28, 1944

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ralph Blane Best Song 1944 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George Stoll Best Score - Musical 1944 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Irving Brecher Best Screenplay 1944 Nominee
National Board of Review Margaret O'Brien Best Acting 1944 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George Folsey Best Color Cinematography 1944 Nominee

Cast

Judy Garland
as Esther Smith
Margaret O'Brien
as "Tootie" Smith
Mary Astor
as Mrs. Anne Smith
Lucille Bremer
as Rose Smith
Marjorie Main
as Katie the Maid
June Lockhart
as Lucille Ballard
Leon Ames
as Mr. Alonzo Smith
Harry Davenport
as Grandpa Prophater
Hugh Marlowe
as Col. Darly
Robert Sully
as Warren Sheffield
Chill Wills
as Mr. Neely
Mayo Newhall
as Mr. Braukoff
Belle Mitchell
as Mrs. Braukoff
Robert E. O'Connor
as Conductor
Donald Curtis
as Dr. Terry
Buddy Gorman
Helen Gilbert
as Girl on Trolley
Victor Cox
as Driver
Darryl Hickman
as Johnny Tevis
Victor Kilian
as Baggage Man
Sam Harris
as Mr. March

Crew

Vincente Minnelli
Director
Arthur Freed
Producer
Irving Brecher
Screenwriter
Sally Benson
Book Author
George Folsey
Cinematographer
Ralph Blane
Composer (Music Score)
George Stoll
Composer (Music Score)
George Stoll
Musical Direction/Supervision
Albert Akst
Editor
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Set Designer
Paul Huldschinsky
Set Designer
Irene Sharaff
Costume Designer
Charles Walters
Choreography
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