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Judy Garland - The Concert Years
Judy Garland - The Concert Years
Actors: Lorna Luft, Edward Albee, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Judy Garland
Director: David Heeley
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2002     1hr 25min

In 1985, 16 years before her memoir became the basis for the television film Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, Lorna Luft narrated this documentary focusing on her mother's "second career" following her years at M...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lorna Luft, Edward Albee, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Judy Garland
Director: David Heeley
Creators: David Heeley, Joan Kramer
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, King, B.B., Documentary
Studio: White Star
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 11/19/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Finally, the Complete Broadcast
dbphoenix | Phoenix, AZ United States | 12/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I saw this show on PBS back in '85, I didn't have a VCR, and after I got one, I looked forward to the day when the show would be made available on tape. When it finally did become available, I was pretty ticked to find out that a third of it had been cut (who knows why).When the DVD came out, I was a bit reluctant to buy it because it was so inexpensive. I figured that all that had been done was to transfer the tape to DVD. But, for the money, why not? Tapes don't last forever. So I went ahead and gave it a shot.I am both surprised and pleased, therefore, to announce that the DVD is in fact the complete broadcast, just shy of 90 minutes, not just a transfer of the tape, which is only 59 minutes, and the quality is everything you'd expect from a DVD.Understand, though, as has been noted in other reviews, that this is called The Concert Years for a very good reason: the emphasis is on Judy's concert performances, not her movie roles. Therefore, there are very few movie clips. Likewise, this is not a biography, though there is a fairly liberal sprinkling of biographical material along with archival footage that you probably will not have seen elsewhere (such as her first appearance on film at age 7).Unfortunately, very little was filmed of her concerts. It is amazing to me that, given the popularity of TV by the mid-fifties, it never occurred to anybody to capture some of these performaces, not just on television, but on broadway (imagine having a professional film of the Carnegie Hall performance). Therefore, the "concert" footage used is mostly from her television show which, granted, did try to recreate to a large extent the concert experience and did run during the middle of her concert years. However, with only a couple of exceptions, whoever put this together exercised excellent judgement and chose those performances which show Judy at her best, e.g., Ol' Man River, Chicago, Smile, As Long As He Needs Me. And, yes, the DVD is worth buying just to get her "little tramp" performance of Over The Rainbow, performed in concert. The point of the whole thing is to show how Judy performed in front of a live audience, and the DVD does just that.This is the real deal, all almost-90 minutes of it. And there's stuff here you won't find anywhere else. Highly recommended."
Judy is at the peak of her form in this compilation
dbphoenix | 05/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Judy Garland's legendary television series produced some of her best filmed performances. This collection of songs selected from the television series focuses on the material she most often performed in live concert. It shows Miss Garland at the very top of her form--excellent voice, well recorded, nicely filmed in black and white, and with the able assistance of her musical director with whom she worked for years. Judy seems happy and excited about her performances, moving from up-tempo numbers to heart warming ballads in a way no one else has shown us. Unlike the television show, there is no "filler" here--just great performance after great performance. It is a gift to lovers of great singing that these filmed recordings exist. This video should be added to the collection of any admirer of Miss Garland's work."
Sean Orlosky | Yorktown, IN United States | 06/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Judy Garland soars again in a marvelous, hour-long compilation of some of Garland's latter-day concert and television performances. For those who wonder what made Judy Garland one of the most beloved singers and icons of all time, this collection will be a bright and phenomenal discovery, and for those who already adore Garland, they are blessed with marvelous memories through this show. Affectionately narrated by Garland's daughter Lorna Luft, and including on-screen bits with Garland's third husband Sid Luft, son Joe Luft, critic Rex Reed, colleague Tony Bennett, and Melissa Manchester. Manchester describes Garland singing as "the thrill of a lifetime" and she is fully justified. You'll see the dynamic Judy Garland belting out numbers like "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody", "Swanee" (in color!), an emotional, glorious "Ol' Man River", the heartbreaking "As Long As He Needs Me", and crooning her trademarks "The Man That Got Away" and "Smile". You can tell that Garland is putting all her heart, and all her passion into her singing, and it is never more evident than when she sings "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (as noted in the show, in memoriam of the recently assassinated JFK). To hear Garland's rich, indescribably glorious, anthemic rendition of "Battle Hymn" is enough reason to buy this tape, as is just about every number in the show.And there are some delightful guest shots, too: there is footage of Judy singing with daughter Liza Minnelli at the London Palladium, and very rare clips of her singing at the Palace in 1967, with accompaniment of her children Lorna and Joe Luft. She sings tributes to each of her children, her warm voice caressing the lyrics of "Liza", "Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe", and "Lorna", which Luft narrates with special tenderness. And there are delightful clips of Garland's television series: She dances with Donald O'Connor, belts with Ethel Merman, and included in its entirety is her outstanding duet with a young Barbra Streisand of "Get Happy"/"Happy Days Are Here Again". Also included is an amusing solo rendition by Garland of her famous number from "Easter Parade", "A Couple of Swells".But the greatest performance of all is the final one on the tape, and as Lorna Luft notes: "There's one song that truly belongs only to my mother..." It is, of course, "Over the Rainbow", and its emotional delivery is made all the more poignant by Garland being costumed as a dirty tramp, crying as she sings, reaching for a greater goodness through the song, to triumph over all. That performance of "Over the Rainbow" is the most moving performance of any song that I have ever heard in my life. As Lorna says warmly: "I think what Judy Garland loved most of all was that people wanted to hear her sing... and they always will." A very true and loving tribute, to one of the most brilliant performers who ever lived. I can say "Mine eyes have seen the glory" from hearing Judy Garland sing, and I hope you will, too."
Judy Garland: The Concert Years (The Best Ever!!!!!!)
HOYTE | MURFREESBORO, TN United States | 11/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Without question this is the best video of her concert years that I have ever seen, and I have seen them all. Originally this video was 90 minutes long and has been cut to 60 minutes. Why I don't know. Maybe someday the original from 1985 will be resirected. Her rendition of "Old Man River" will completely desolve you into tears. The final song "Over the Rainbow" will leave you completely spent. I highly recommend this to every Garland fan. It's a must for every library."