Monday, January 19, 2015

Cinema Cycle - Meet Me In St. Louis

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE: 01/202/2015

FORMAT: LaserDisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 58 minutes



SYNOPSIS:  Life during one year (1908-9) for a large well-to-do family in St. Louis, MS is chronicled, leading up to the World's Fair held in that city 1909.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER:  The mating habits of the affluent, young, white female at the turn of the century, or at least what the major studios wanted young women to think was the right way to do it.

PROS AND CONS:  I have seen this film before.  It is a showcase for Judy Garland and was done at the height of her career.  The fact that it is directed by Vincent Minnelli, who later married Ms. Garland makes it a bit of Hollywood folklore.  

On my second viewing of the film for Cinema Cycle, a couple of odd things popped out of the film.  It is evidently meant to be a homage to the American Dream at the turn of the century.  There are servants galore, money problems are non-existent, the entire world consists of well behaved and friendly caucasians, and the only real problems are of the social nature.  Hence, this is a chick flick.

Indeed, most of the male roles are marginalized and only present to give the women a sort of foil to play off of, but rarely do they make decisions or show any backbone.  In essence, this is a film that is supposed to take the viewer (mostly women) into the turn of the century parlor to talk about boys, hairdos and who is taking who to the next dance.  Quaint, but hardly a true representation of the period.  The film is a fantasy.  A fantasy that has some basis in reality (I can actually remember some of the dream like scenes from youth), but not very many and certainly not with all the syrupy overtones.  Although I will give kudos to the production designer here.  They nailed the look of turn of the century America quite well.

There was one rather odd theme in the film that I never noticed before.  The youngest daughter played by Maraget O’Brien has a fascination with death.  In almost every scene she is in, she references dying or death in some form or fashion, to the point where it became a little creepy.  In today’s day and age, this little girl would be in therapy.  Here the parents just smile at her and nod when she references cutting off doll heads and burying them in the back yard.  WTF?

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on

The summary of the project and a glimpse of what is coming up next can be found on my public LaserDisc spreadsheet.