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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Summer Stock (1950)

An unmarried woman (Judy Garland) is struggling to work her farm all by herself when her spoiled sister (Gloria DeHaven) arrives with a troupe of actors to use the barn to rehearse a show. Directed by Charles Walters (EASTER PARADE), this is a Technicolor updating of the old "Hey gang! Let's put on a show!" musicals that Garland did with Mickey Rooney in the 1930s and early 1940s. As she had with Rooney, Garland has a strong chemistry with co-star Gene Kelly. They play off each other so effortlessly that they bring a believability that's often touching in their more romantic moments. That chemistry along with some first rate songs are enough to transform the mindless plot into something almost special. Garland also gets a chance to display her terpsichorean talents and while no Cyd Charisse, she more than holds her own with Kelly. While the movie may not be one of Garland's most memorable, the spectacular Get Happy number is one of the most memorable movie moments in her career. With Phil Silvers, Eddie Bracken, Marjorie Main, Ray Collins, Hans Conreid and Carleton Carpenter. 

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