Meet Me in St. Louis just screened at MoMA this weekend. The MoMA blog has a lot of notes and insight about the film including this mention from Mark Griffin's recently published biography, A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli.
We featured Mark Griffin’s A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life of Vincent Minnelli in an Auteurist History of Film special event last year. Mark’s book is scrupulously scholarly, but he confesses his devotion to Minnelli on the first page, based on his first viewing of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever at the impressionable age of 16. Regarding Meet Me in St. Louis, Mark presents a reasonable appraisal of Garland: “Freed from Andy Hardy, Busby Berkeley, and her outmoded ugly duckling image, a new Judy Garland emerges…and she’s a beauty.” Mark also quotes Minnelli’s own assessment of the film: “It’s magical.” So, I’ll buy into that and hold my ambiguity and qualms in check at least for Meet Me in St. Louis, The Pirate, An American in Paris, and The Band Wagon. Musicals are supposed to be magical.