On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – September 17

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“By normal standards, it can’t be explained.  It is one of the true phenomenas of show business.  A 44-year-old woman is suddenly transformed into a teenager walking down the Yellow Brick Road to the Land of Oz.” – Leonard W. Stone, 1967




September 17, 1937:  “The Year’s Biggest Musical!” Broadway Melody of 1938.



September 17, 1938:  Love Finds Andy Hardy was still in theaters proving to be the most popular of the Hardy series to date.  In fact, to this day the film is considered to be the quintessential Hardy film.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Love Finds Andy Hardy here.



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September 17, 1939:  The cover of ABC magazine.  Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!



September 17, 1939:  The “Punch and Judy” shop in Newport News, Virginia, ran this essay contest.

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.



September 17, 1941:  Costume tests for Babes on Broadway.

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!



September 17, 1943:  Louella Parsons reported that Judy was going to star in MGM’s musical remake of Grand Hotel titled Weekend At The Waldorf.  It’s doubtful that Judy was seriously considered for the film as she was already slated to begin work on Meet Me In St. Louis just as soon as she returned to LA from the “Hollywood Cavalcade” bond tour.  Weekend At The Waldorf was released in 1945 starring Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, and Van Johnson.

On this day, Judy was in her home state of Minnesota, in Minneapolis as part of the “Hollywood Cavalcade” of stars traveling from city to city to raise money for the war effort by selling war bonds.  The star gave their show at the Minneapolis Auditorium.



September 17, 1951:  Director and choreographer Chuck Walters (seen in the photo at left) rehearse the “Get Happy” number with Judy and “her boys” for her upcoming debut at The Palace Theater in New York the following month.  The rehearsals took place at the Nico Charisse Studio on La Cienega Boulevard in Hollywood, California.



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September 17 – 23, 1955:  TV Guide one-page article, with fabulous color photo, promoting Judy’s TV premiere (which aired on September 24, 1955).



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September 17, 1956:  Judy arrived in New York from Boston in preparation for her upcoming return to The Palace Theater (September 26).



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September 17, 1960:  This photo was taken of Judy on the town in London.  This is just before her “spit curls, we used to call them in my day” were added to her hairdo when she went to Paris in late September.



September 17, 1961:  More ads for “Judy at Carnegie Hall” which was a complete blockbuster and to this date has never been out of print.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Judy at Carnegie Hall” pages here.



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September 17, 1963:  This ad makes it seem as though Judy was going to make an appearance on the Merv Griffin show.  There are no records of this happening.  It’s possible that she was slated to be on the show but couldn’t, probably because on this day she was in the middle of rehearsals for the upcoming taping of “Episode Seven” of “The Judy Garland Show,” taped on September 20th.



September 17, 1967:  A ticket order ad (check out those prices!) and an article for Judy’s upcoming two nights of concerts at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut.




6 comments

  1. Commenting here is fine. It’s no problem.

    I don’t know if the rumors about the other missing footage from other films have any basis in fact. My guess is that they don’t. If there were that many missing scenes allegedly in the hands of various collectors/hoarders, someone would have seen them by now. But the ASIB details hold up, in my opinion.

    I’ve never had any dealings with Feltenstein. He was, as you know, instrumental in getting the rare outtake materials (audio and visual) out on VHS then laser. He was, the last I heard, SVP of Classics as Warner Home Video. It’s a shame that the label seems to have forgotten their classics and also seems content to repackage their DVDs. A few new Blu-rays have come out, but Garland’s catalog is very lacking in that department. We did get a re-release of the “Meet Me In St. Louis” Blu-ray on their “Archive” label. But that’s it aside from the re-release of “Oz” every few years. And even those are re-releases (still in SD) of old extras material from as far back as 1993 – and they look it! The film itself always gets an upgrade, and the physical “collectible” items in the boxed sets change, but not the actual content. It’s to the point now where most of that material looks like bad copies of old VHS tapes. It would be amazing to have some truly HD versions of Garland’s films available not just on disc but for digital download (what’s available now are SD versions). In the meantime, you can bet we’ll get another “Oz” boxed set in 2019 for the 80th anniversary…

  2. Hi, Gary again (and this will be my last post on this, as I recognize this isn’t a discussion board). I just read your link from your 2010 posting and phone conversation/email with Caps. I now totally believe you, and I believe the details as to why Arick won’t budge (although I still feel he’s a pompous ass). I have a hard time buying that “Paging Mr. Greenback” exists, but that might be because I don’t WANT to (it hurts more to not see it, if indeed it exists).

    Back in the late ’80’s, when George Feltentstein worked for MGM/UA, he was a young executive, and he would personally take my phone calls when I’d ask him what new Garland film would be released next (on VHS!). He was charming and sweet, and always took my calls personally (even calling me back when I left him a message). Then, as he became more powerful, he wouldn’t take my calls, and eventually he was just plain unreachable. He’s such a true fan, but also a business man. I can’t believe that he himself hasn’t at least seen an uncut version. Anyway, thanks so much! I’m now a “believer” that a full “Star” exists. Maybe someday…

  3. Well, I’m relaying what I was told. It makes no sense for the person who runs that website to go out of his way to contact me to set up a phone call if there wasn’t some truth of some sort behind it. It wasn’t like my article was published in the Times or anything. I don’t know any specifics about why it didn’t happen or what the lawyers did or did not do, only that Arick had a lawyer who Warner Bros. was allegedly dealing with. But it makes sense by way of the time frame and the fact that everything BUT the stills sections was restored.

    I can’t speak to why someone would work on “Liza with a Z” and not ASIB, but I find that collectors of a certain generation have very weird ownership issues around various pieces of media. It’s bizarre but not surprising that he may or may not have a grudge pertaining to ASIB. From what I’ve seen in the “fan community” it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    I would love to see it complete, too, or at least the stills sections upgraded. So much could be done. I don’t know how many times people have seen it and been confused by the stills section. Even Garland fans.

  4. I am surprised by your reply, especially by naming Arick. I just cannot fathom ONE person (and a person of his stature) having the full print, number one; and two (especially) being so selfish as to not share it! This man worked with Liza on gorgeously restoring her “Liza with a Z” TV special (which is a true example of how brilliant Liza herself was in her prime). Is his motive too much money, or a fear of being imprisoned for possessing work that certainly the FBI could be in on (they harassed Roddy McDowall some 40 years ago for his possessing 16 MM prints of films! They only didn’t prosecute when he turned in all of the tapes and films!). I really feel much of this is urban myth, and if it did exist, we would’ve seen it by now. I HOPE your right, and more importantly, I hope I see it before I’m gone! Strange how this last viewing on Sunday, was the very first time it bugged me to see the film interrupted by those stills. And it’s only about five minutes of a three hour film. But it remains a marred masterpiece. Too bad. Thank you for your detailed response!

  5. Thank you! I’m glad you like the post.

    It had always been assumed that Judy had been fired by MGM, and most of the columnists at the time said as much. Judy joked about it, of course, with quips like “Leo the lion bit me!” The Frank book is very good but it also is, as you said, sugar coated. Frank wasn’t able to report on a lot of things because too many people were still alive. And there was the added pressure from Sid Luft who was involved in it. After Frank’s book, the story about Judy asking for a release appeared in most bios in the 1990s and on. Whether she actually requested a release is up for debate but I would imagine she WANTED a release after the hell she had recently been through, and the year before, and the year before that. She didn’t want to re-sign with MGM in 1946 (45?) but was convinced to do so and instantly regretted it. So I think that her release and/or “firing” was at least mutual if not actually requested by her.

    Regarding A Star Is Born, here’s my article about the alleged complete print:
    http://www.thejudyroom.com/asib/asib-article.html

    I believe that a print does exist. Right after I published that story, I was contacted by the owner of a very popular media website/forum. He was “in the know” with Warner Home Video and asked me not to say anything else about Arick and the print. Allegedly Arick was, then wasn’t, cooperating with Warner Bros. pertaining to giving them the complete print. Lawyers on both sides were involved. This makes sense and is very plausable considering the timeline. Warner Home Video announced the new 4k restoration of ASIB two years before it was finally released. My hunch – and it’s just my hunch – is that they thought they could get the missing sections from him. Hence the delay. I was told by this same anonymous person that Arick got cold feet at some point in the process but not too long before my article. When it was finally released on Blu-ray in that special edition, it’s very noticeable that everything has been restored and color corrected and all that jazz (beautifully so), but Haver’s photo montages were the same. I believe that they didn’t redo those (and they could and should have) because they thought that they’d get the missing bits. They didn’t and they had to release it or else lose money on the project that had been on the books for two years. And they had the upcoming premiere of the TCM Film Festival of which the film was the centerpiece. Time ran out.

  6. Another great entry! On the strength of much of your “A Star is Born” coverage in the previous month, I watched the Blu Ray yesterday (I’m also looking forward to the Lady Ga Ga remake, so it’s on my mind). Two questions: After Oliver Niles tells Norman the studio is dropping him, we see Libby dictating that the studio is honoring Norman’s “request” to be let out of his contract, which we know isn’t the case. Don’t you think it’s possible that Judy was indeed fired by Metro on 9/29/50?? Certainly, she had been a studio problem for years, and hadn’t technically worked since March when she shot “Get Happy.” She herself ALWAYS stated “when they fired me.” I’ve never once read Judy saying she wanted out. Ever. And the asking for a release from her contract is first reported in the Gerold Frank bio, which we know is heavily sugar-coated in many ways (under pressure from superstar Liza). Second question: Do YOU think it’s possible that a full, uncut version of “Star” exists somewhere?? I think it would’ve surfaced by now. I ask this because with the beautiful Blu Ray/restoration of “Star”, it really is a shame when the scenes go to those black-and-white stills. I USED to appreciate it at this level; I now find it a drag. (While still being grateful to the wonderful Ronald Haver). Thanks!!

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