Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|In the Good Old Summertime|
Actors: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, Chester Clute, William Forrest, Lillian Bronson
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
Musical remake of "Shop Around the Corner" involving two feuding store employees who are unknowingly engaged in a romantic relationship as anonymous pen pals.
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DVD debut of MGM classic
Pope | Wisconsin, United States | 12/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This year 2004 marks the first appearance of this great Judy Garland film (one of her last for MGM) on DVD. This film is based upon an earlier James Stewart film THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER and was recently remade as YOU'VE GOT MAIL. This new restored print is an improvement over the previous VHS release. The picture has been cleaned up and colors look brighter and bolder than ever before, as we expect with 3-strip Technicolor, though there are still a FEW age related artifacts present, but I am forgiving enough to look beyond this. In general, the new transfer is beautiful. The soundtrack sounds equally as impressive and has been cleaned up very nicely for this release.
Included on the disc are trailers for this film, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, and YOU'VE GOT MAIL. I really don't know why the latter was included here, it lends nothing whatsoever to this release, and practically everyone in the country has seen it by now. There are no other "extras" to speak of. We wish that the deleted musical number, "Last Night When We Were Young," sung by Judy Garland, had been included as a bonus on this disc. Both the footage and soundtrack for this number survive, and it was included in the Outtakes section of the fourth disc of the new That's Entertainment 4-disc boxed set, released this past October. Why wasn't it included here?
On the whole, this is a very commendable release from Warner Home Video, but if you still have the VHS tape there's no real special reason to run out and buy the DVD.
Look for an 18 month old Liza Minnelli during the closing scenes, making her film debut."
Captivating Christmas Story With Judy Garland In Fine Form
Simon Davis | 06/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite this charming film's misleading title the majority of the story takes place in winter in the lead up to the Christmas season. It does however feature one of Judy Garland's best later performances made in an all to rare trauma free moment in the late 1940's for this legendary actress/singer when her health problems were affecting her ability to perform before the camera. Amazingly none of that is evident in "In the Good Old Summertime", which finds her delivering a wonderfully controlled and at times wistful performance as a young employee of a music store in turn of the century Chicago who is having a romantic letter correspondance with a penpal who addresses himself simply as "dear friend". Given its setting of a music shop "In the Good Old Summertime", also offers Judy Garland a number of opportunities to present some fine musical interludes in her unique style. It was a stroke of genius by MGM to decide to remake as a musical it's earlier 1940 classic "The Shop Around the Corner" which starred James Stewart and another highly strung female performer in Margaret Sullavan. The results here are almost as effective as in the earlier film and Garland and Van Johnson make a delightful screen team. Based on the play "The Shop Around the Corner ", by Miklos Laszlo, the action this time has been moved from present day Budapest to turn of the century Chicago. Indeed this beautiful film bares a strong resemblance to Garland's earlier classic "Meet Me in St. Louis",and here the atmosphere is just as rich where the action centres around Oberkugen's Music Store run by the memorable Otto Oberkugan (S.Z.Sakall), and his colourful group of employees in the store. Chief among them is Andrew Larkin (Van Johnson) who is a promising store clerk. Andrew however has a very prickly relationship with new employee Veronica Fisher (Garland)and both seem to always find something to disagree about. However what both dont realise is that the romances they are respectively enjoying via the mail out of work hours and which have progressed from "intellectual topics" to real love, are actually with each other! As the pen pal letter exchange deepens into love it is agreed that the two will meet. Andrew however sees Veronica already waiting in the restaurant and in his disappointment decides not to go in. Thinking about it longer and realising Veronica is his pen pal Andrew decides to give her a hard time about it and in a funny situation enters the restaurant and engages her in conversation much to Veronica's consternation as she believes her "date", will be due to turn up at any minute. Back at the store however things slowly begin to thaw between the two and when Andrew gets into deep trouble with Mr. Oberkugan for lending his prize violin to friend Louise (Marcia Van Dyke), for an audition he finds himself fired. The staff rally around him and its up to Otto's long suffering secretary Nellie (Spring Byington)and Veronica to make him see the error of his ways. Otto relents for his behaviour and Andrew is made the new manager however Veronica decides she must be the one to leave and its only during a romantic interlude alone in the darkened shop on Christmas Eve that Andrew reveals his real love for her. Veronica also confesses her deep love for her former antagonist and the scene cuts away to the couple in a warm summer setting happily married and with a beautiful young two year old daughter (Liza Minneli)."In The Good Old Summertime", boasts many memorable musical numbers including the title song, "I Don't Care", "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey", the comical "Play The Barbershop Chord", and my personal favourite "Merry Christmas". In all of these numbers apart from her beautiful singing style Judy Garland proves what an exceptional talent she was in comedy, pantomine and more energic pieces such as the barbershop number. Here is a talented actress in the full bloom of her capabilities who was unfortunately just about to exit the musical movie stage for quite some time. The supporting cast is exceptional with such fine comic talents as S.Z. Sakall and Spring Byington providing the top level support that they delivered in film after film in this period. Some rarities also pop up in "In The Good Old Summertime", as we see veteran Buster Keaton play Otto's brow beaten nephew to fine effect in his last MGM appearance and in the final scene reality and movie fantasy cross as Judy Garland's real life daughter Liza Minnelli plays her and Johnson's movie child in the last scene. Silent star Anna Q. Nilsson also has a small part as a woman buying one of the infuriating harps that reoccur in the story. MGM talent is abundantly on show in all departments here. The director Robert Z. Leonard who helmed the classic "Maytime", for MGM, was only brought in after Garland nixed plans by the studio to give the assignment to her husband Vincente Minnelli as the pair were having difficulties at the time. The choreography is top rate and was handled by Robert Alton who was responsible for the innovative dance numbers in Garland's previous film "Easter Parade". Cedric Gibbons' fine work in set design also deserves mention for giving the film its beautiful appearance and period flavour.After this effort Judy Garland sadly went into a steep decline health wise and after completing only one more film "Summer Stock", and being released from an aborted attempt to film "Royal Wedding ", with Fred Astaire her MGM contract was terminated. None of this sadness is evident in "In The Good Old Summertime", thankfully and what we have here is a movie with gorgeous technicolour, many fine musical numbers delivered by Garland and a funny, and touching story set against a beautiful "MGM", Christmas. Enjoy Judy Garland at the top of her talents in MGM's "In The Good Old Summertime"."
In The Good Old Summertime
senior | Bay City, TX | 03/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With so much tallent, it's difficult to tell who will end up stealing the show. They just don't make movies like this anymore. Although Van Johnson can sing, dance and act, he comes off to me as a sort of a heel, especially for the way he treats Louise, who is in love with him. My favorite part is at the dinner when Judy Garland sings "The Barbershop Chord" with the quartet. Just when it seems it can't get any better, Judy rips the roof off with her version of " I don't Care". Buster Keaton who is given a very few lines to speak just about steals the show when he masterfully demolishes his uncle's violin. I saw this picture when it came out in 1949, and have watched it many times afterwards. Each time I see something I didn't see before. Its simply wonderful!"
This is the flick to see from Garland's MGM years!
David H. Rubin | Portland, OR USA | 08/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why this movie is not heralded as the best of Garland's work from that era is a mystery to me. It is one of the few films where the material is up to the par of its magnificent star. Her renderings of the songs here is beyond great -- especially the joyous "Play That Barbershop Chord." Boy, could she put a number over, like nobody before or ever since! For an MGM flick, this movie is remarkably UNcloying, and the plot is pretty cute. Van Johnson actually generates electricity (!) in the second to final scene where he confesses his love to Garland.See this great film if you like Garland!"