Meet Me in St. Louis. 1944. USA. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Screenplay by Irving Brecher, Fred. F. Finklehoffe, based on the book by Sally Bishop. With Judy Garland, Mary Astor, Margaret O’Brien. 35mm. 113 min.
The Smith family of St. Louis, Missouri, looks forward to the coming 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair—but not to their impending move to New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their tribe of five plus a saucy, elderly grandpa sing their way through the four seasons leading up to their relocation East. The exuberance of Minnelli’s gleeful direction and the joyfulness of Judy Garland’s voice make this a classic not to be missed. Songs include “The Trolley Song,” “The Boy Next Door,” and the melancholy standard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The lyrics of the latter, written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, encompass the concept of time passing, separated families, and memory, but all with an optimistic conclusion.