A tuneful throwback to the old-fashioned "you've got the barn, I've got the instruments, let's put on a show" movie musicals, Judy Garland's last MGM film was fraught with problems resulting from the star's emotional difficulties, temperamental behavior and fluctuations in weight.
Garland plays Jane Falbury, a New England farmer in financial trouble. Her sister, Abigail (Gloria DeHaven) is due to come in and help harvest the crops, but to Jane's surprise Abigail, an aspiring actress, arrives with a whole summer stock company led by Abigail's love interest, Joe D. Ross (Gene
Kelly). Jane, meanwhile, is loved by Orville Wingait (Eddie Bracken), the goony son of the local general store proprietor. When Abigail suggests that they raise money by putting on a show in Jane's large barn, Jane reluctantly agrees on condition that the performers help with the harvesting and
other chores to pay for their room and board--a decision which incurs the disapproval of Orville, his father, and Jane's housekeeper (Marjorie Main), none of whom think much of the acting profession. Meanwhile, Joe and Jane develop a mutual attraction, although Jane stifles her feelings out of
consideration for Abigail. Soon enough, however, Abigail and Joe quarrel, sending Abigail off to New York in a huff and leaving Joe stuck for a leading lady.
Complementing the simplistic plot are several excellent songs by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, as well as the old Ted Koehler-Harold Arlen hit "Get Happy," tacked on to the film by the studio after the rough cut was complete. Featuring a sensational performance by Garland--clad in leotard, a man's
tuxedo jacket, and black fedora--the number shows the star some 15 pounds lighter than she appears in other scenes. It would be four years before Garland appeared in another film, Cukor's remake of A STAR IS BORN.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A tuneful throwback to the old-fashioned "you've got the barn, I've got the instruments, let's put on a show" movie musicals, Judy Garland's last MGM film was fraught with problems resulting from the star's emotional difficulties, temperamental behavior an… (more)