Go West, Judy, Go West!
The Harvey Girls is a Hollywood original, but it feels like a Broadway musical brought to the big screen. Director George Sidney was an accomplished creator of some of the finest American movie musicals -- Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate and Pal Joey. But it is the pairing of Judy Garland and her onscreen rival Angela Lansbury that gives the film its crackling energy.
The studios tagline for the film was, "MGMs Gay and Lusty Musical Romance!" And MGM adds this description to the release of The Harvey Girls on DVD: "When Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury ("Murder She Wrote") head out West, the fur flies and the fun begins. Here's a big, bustling musical extravaganza the way they used to make 'em, brimming with period charm. The Harvey Girls also boasts a hummable score by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren, including 'It's a Great Big World', 'Oh, You Kid', and the Oscar-winning 'On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.'"
"At the turn of the Century, Fred Harvey's hotels and restaurants were the epitome of American elegance. When winsome Susan Bradley (Garland) discovers that the chain needs waitresses for their new place along the tracks of the Santa Fe railroad, she eagerly answers the call of 'Go West, Young Woman!'"
"The sparkling supporting cast features Ray Bolger (The Wizard of Oz), Cyd Charisse, Chill Wills, Marjorie Main (Ma and Pa Kettle) and Preston Foster. The Harvey Girls serves up a sprightly, rollicking banquet with the talented Judy Garland at her singing, dancing, romancing best!
Showtime: 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 21, Central Library. Check out the original theater trailer for The Harvey Girls here.
Full Fresh City Life schedule of events and workshops here.