Presenting Lily Mars

  • 1943
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Musical

Judy Garland was 19 when pressed into service for this adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel, originally purchased by MGM as an intended dramatic vehicle for Lana Turner. When the script turned out to be lighthearted, however, Garland was given the role of Lily Mars, a resident of a tiny Indiana town. Broadway producer John Thornway (Van Heflin) visits...read more

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Judy Garland was 19 when pressed into service for this adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel, originally purchased by MGM as an intended dramatic vehicle for Lana Turner. When the script turned out to be lighthearted, however, Garland was given the role of Lily Mars, a resident of a

tiny Indiana town. Broadway producer John Thornway (Van Heflin) visits the town and Lily won't leave him alone until he agrees to take her to New York. He gives her a job in his new show and she falls in love with him, which causes the show's star (Marta Eggerth) to quit for a time before she

returns to the lead role. Lily, who has been upped from the chorus, gets the chance to do a few numbers in the meantime and becomes a huge success. Producer Joe Pasternak was a master of low-budget films and this was his first for MGM after years at Universal. Louis B. Mayer had him bring in

Charles Walters to stage the finale and put it in a grandiose setting more in keeping with MGM's musicals, and as a result the ending bears little resemblance to the beginning and seems incongruous. Songs include "When I Look at You" (Paul Francis Webster, Walter Jurmann, sung by Marta Eggerth,

Judy Garland), "Three O'Clock in the Morning" (Dorothy Terriss [Theodora Morse], Julian Robledo, sung by Judy Garland), "Kulebiaka," "Is It Love? (Or the Gypsy in Me)" (Webster, Jurmann), "Broadway Rhythm" (Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown), "Sweethearts of America" (Ralph Freed, Burbton Lane),

"Where There's Music" (Roger Edens), "Every Little Movement Has a Meaning All Its Own" (Karl Hoschna, Otto Harbach), "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son" (sung by Judy Garland). E.Y. "Yip" Harburg is also listed in the credits as a songwriter. Look for a very young Marilyn Maxwell as a chorus girl.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Judy Garland was 19 when pressed into service for this adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel, originally purchased by MGM as an intended dramatic vehicle for Lana Turner. When the script turned out to be lighthearted, however, Garland was given the role o… (more)

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