MEET ME IN ST LOUIS

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

The Christmas Countdown (Day 23)

4 mins read

Meet Me in St. Louis is available to rent, buy or stream now.


Vincente Minnelli’s classic musical is an odd Christmas film in that, apart from including one of the most famous Christmas songs ever written, the plot does not revolve around Christmas at all. Yet, there is no denying its overall warmth, atmosphere and family-orientated themes, all of which embody a classic festive vibe.

The film takes us through a year in the life of the upper-middle-class Smith family, starting in the summer of 1903 and leading up to the St. Louis World Fair in the spring of 1904. For a classic Hollywood studio film, Meet Me in St. Louis is somewhat unique in that it does not revolve around a specific conflict. The main issue here is a father moving to New York for work; his family leaving behind their beloved St. Louis. However, this secular plot device is only presented halfway through the film and resolved with few significant obstacles.


READ MORE: ENCANTO


Instead, Meet Me in St. Louis is told through a series of vignettes depicting each season. Each one, portraying the successes and hardships of the family members. This includes the disagreements of mum and dad (Leon Ames and Mary Astor). Meanwhile, the two oldest children, Rose (Lucille Bremer) and Esther (Judy Garland), search for love. While at the same time, the two youngest Agnes (Joan Carroll) and Tootie (Margaret O’Brien) search for security and warmth. Here we find elements of the classic coming-of-age tale, long before it was labelled as such. The film’s structure neatly dovetailed with the source material; a selection of short stories, published in The New Yorker by Sally Benson.


READ MORE: WEST SIDE STORY


Being the first collaboration between Minelli and Garland, Meet Me in St Louis is the epitome of a classic Hollywood romantic musical, with everything you could expect from the genre. The majestic settings, the authentic costumes and incredibly vibrant and gorgeous colours make it apparent how high the budget must have been. While at the same time, the cast is outstanding as an ensemble, with Margaret O’Brien’s 6-year-old Tootie stealing some scenes. However, make no mistake, this is Judy Garland’s film – her voice incredible and her performance beautiful. Here the now timeless classics “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song” have a personal touch that is unbeatable, no matter how many have tried over the years.

Meet Me in St. Louis is quite possibly one of the most iconic musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood. And while it might feel a bit too sentimental or even cloying at times, its visuals, performances and festive spirit are more than worth anyone’s time. However, while it may be referred to as a Christmas classic, the film is primarily a love letter to St. Louis. Yet, the age-old question remains unanswered on its correct pronunciation.


Are you passionate about film and TV? Do you share our love of independent cinema, new releases, festivals, classics and LGBTQ+ cinema and TV? If the answer is yes, and you have a passion for the written word, we would love to hear from you. Apply here.


Previous Story

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Next Story

Get Santa (2014)

error: Content is protected !!