“She still possesses the stardust that glitters.” – Art Cullison, 1954
November 5, 1932: “The Gumm Sisters” performed as part of Maurice L. Kusell’s Protege Review at the Barker Brothers Store Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
November 5, 1936: Another review of Pigskin Parade.
November 5, 1937: Here’s an early publication of Judy and Mickey Rooney together. It’s probably the first to feature Judy in a luxurious fur.
November 5, 1938: Judy sat for portraits in her Dorothy costume, with “Toto” (Terry), for The Wizard of Oz. The photos are now iconic and some of the most seen and most recognizable photos from the film.
November 5, 1944: Two items.
1) This photo of Judy with fellow singers Virginia O’Brien, Frances Langford, Dorothy Lamour, Ginny Simms, and Dinah Shore was circulated in newspapers on this day and up through the holidays. The occasion was their recording of the “Command Performance All-Star Holiday Special” which aired December 24, 1944. This show and these photos have been mistakenly identified as being the Command Performance recording made on October 30, 1943, and featuring most of the same ladies.
2) Judy was recently seen on the town at the Mocambo with Robert Walker, who was currently her costar in The Clock which they were currently filming, and studio executive Henry Willson.
November 5, 1944: We’ve all heard of “Bobby Soxers” but “Daddy Soxers”? Apparently, that’s the term used at the time to identify fans of female singers, such as Judy, according to this record review of the Decca “Cast Album” of songs from Meet Me In St. Louis, as published in the New York Daily News. The reviewer, David Quirk, singled out “The Boy Next Door” as his favorite.
Listen to this Decca version of “The Boy Next Door” here:
November 5, 1947: Judy had a rehearsal of the song “Mr. Monotony” for Easter Parade. Time called: 1:30 p.m.; dime dismissed: 3:35 p.m. The actual filming of the number didn’t begin until November 21st.
November 5, 1949: A music recording session for Summer Stock. Recorded on this day was “The Portland Fancy” number. The number didn’t include any vocals, but it’s included here because on-screen it’s one of Judy’s best dance numbers.
Listen to Take 3 of the “Fast Finish” here (note that there is some barely audible chatter and dead space before the music actually begins):
Listen to Take 1 of the “Trumpet Sweetener to 2020-2” here:
Listen to the completed number here:
November 5, 1949: Here’s a great Max Factor ad.
November 5, 1950: Judy starred in the radio adaptation of “Alice Adams,” co-starring Thomas Mitchell and Ann Shoemaker for NBC Radio’s “The Theatre Guild on the Air.”
Listen to the show here:
The show was directed by Lawrence Langner, narrated by Roger Pryor. Judy played the lead role first played by Katherine Hepburn in the 1936 film of the same name.
Of interest is that in October 1950 Judy was in New York and in talks with Rodgers & Hammerstein about possibly replacing Mary Martin in “South Pacific” on Broadway. Rodgers & Hammerstein also wanted to write a stage or film musical version of “Alice Adams” for her. Neither project happened.
Photos: Judy with Thomas Mitchell and Mary Wickes; various newspaper ads and notices.
Note: This is a correction. I mistakenly included this show in the entry for November 3rd.
November 5, 1950: Summer Stock was still enjoying great success. The majority of critics enjoyed the film’s bounciness and lighthearted story.
Included above is a “Draw Me” ad which, although it isn’t Judy, it’s included here because it’s very “Judy-esque.”
November 5, 1953: Different headlines, same column. Louella Parsons gives A Star Is Born some great early press.
November 5, 1953: A Star Is Born filming continued with scenes on the “Interior Projection Room” and “Interior Danny’s Room” sets. Time started: 10 a.m.; finished: 6 p.m.
The “Interior Projection Room” scenes shot on this day most likely did not include Judy. She had filmed her scenes of “Esther Blodget/Vicki Lester’s” first day at the studio, with Jack Carson, on October 30th and 31st. Today’s shots would have been of Charles Bickford with an Extra watching the screen and responding to Esther’s confusion.
November 5, 1954: This review, published in the Akron Beacon Journal, makes note of the film’s harsh post-premiere editing while making sure readers know that the film is still great.
A Star Is Born
Strand Film Is Garland Triumph
A star is reborn in “A Star Is Born,” now at the Strand. Judy Garland, for many years rated as a has-been, proves she still possesses the stardust that glitters in the character she portrays in the honestly-told story of Hollywood.
Miss Garland has the lead, IS the lead and plays it to the hilt in this musical version of the original and quite successful film drama of 1937 that starred Janet Gaynor and Frederic March. Her singing voice is splendid, her performance among the finest and her dancing is winning.
There is pathos in the story, although it is never permitted to become maudlin. There is comedy, which never descends the slapstick.
Miss Garland is seen as a dance band singer who is discovered, coaxed and coached to fame by an alcoholic film star (James Mason). She marries him and goes on tot he heights of popularity as his wife. Meanwhile, he sinks into oblivion.
WHEN originally released, “A Star Is Born” ran a few minutes more than three hours. It has been trimmed by half an hour now, making some of the cuts rather noticeable. It probably would have been better if the script had been shorter in the first place.
But Miss Garland and the ideal cast keep up the viewer’s interest all the way. Mason is convincing and Miss Garland in his role of a man who encourages her and lovers her but cannot renounce a drink for her.
Bickford is equally good as the sympathetic studio head and sho is Jack Carson as the publicity chief who is mason’s chief hater. Tommy Noonan, an ex-nightclub comic, scores as Miss Garland’s piano playing sweetheart who remains her firm friend throughout.
INTEGRATED into the romance is some inside stuff on the Hollywood film production scene that studios usually decline to show. The intra-studio attitudes and exaggerations, the private and public antics of the great and near-great and the many jealousies are depicted.
There’s also a satire on the makeup men, and one on her preview jitters.
One of the highlights of the film comes when Miss Garland, in order to sheer her husband, does her impressions of a production number shot that day in the studio. It’s a combination of “Paris-Chinese-African-Cariocan” number.
SHE ALSO does one of the longest song-and-dance numbers in movie history in “Born in a Trunk” as she tells the story of a backstage birth and rearing, as the screen flashes from scene to scene in a building career and back to the stage where she sings it.
None of the songs in intrusive, being plausibly spotted as “Benefit” numbers or rehearsal routines. The Harold Arlen-Ira Gershwin songs are tailored for the plot and not the Hit Parade.
The entire picture is enhanced by CinemaScope. Its scenes of the seashore, night spots of Hollywood and the surrounding hills and studio live are outstanding.
— ART CULLISON
November 5, 1956: The recent premiere of The Wizard of Oz on network TV was a huge success.
November 5, 1960: Judy’s scheduled concert at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester England, was canceled when she, husband Sid Luft, writer Fred Finkelhoff and his wife, all came down with food poisoning. The show was rescheduled to December 4. Finklehoff was allegedly writing the screenplay for Born in Wedlock (retitled Gaiety Girl) which was a project that had Judy’s hame attached to it for a short time although it never got past that stage of development and was never made.
November 5, 1962: Judy and her attorney, Harry E. Claiborne, appeared in a Las Vegas court requesting that Judy’s petition for divorce from husband Sid Luft be postponed, which it was, to November 15th.
November 5, 1966: Apparently Judy’s TV series, “The Judy Garland Show,” didn’t premiere on Australian TV until 1966 per this ad from the Sydney Morning Herald published on this day.
November 5, 1967: “The Girl That Got Away.” Here’s an interesting article about the recent San Francisco Film Festival’s Judy Garland retrospective on October 29, 1967. The Oakland Tribune’s drama critic, Gerald Nachman, wastes no time getting right to the point with his observations about the cult of Garfreaks:
It’s too bad that the cultists have taken over – indeed, absconded with – the Judy Garland legend, which has turned into a catty little clique of ecstatic young men in denim and fluffy pullover sweaters.
Aside from the opening, the article is a nice tribute to Judy’s MGM years. One wonders what happened to Albert Johnson, who apparently hosted the event as was, per Nachman, someone who knows everything worth knowing about Judy Garland.
Note that either the paper or Nachman mistakenly lists “Lily Mars” as being a 1942 Paramount film. Oops!
November 5, 1968: At 2 p.m. Judy met with Mr. Wong and Mr. Rosen of the IRS, to continue negotiations in repayment of back taxes. Judy signed forms giving power of attorney to her new “business managers,” John Meyer and his accountant Aaron Schecter, and she signed a statement that Sid Luft had collected all monies from the sale of Kingsrow Enterprises’ automobile and office equipment and more. Late that afternoon Judy met with Meyer’s publishers, Bob Colby, and Ettore Stratta, who were forming a new record company, Blue Records, and they wanted to sing Judy. Judy sang Meyer’s original compositions “I’d Like To Hate Myself In The Morning” and “It’s All For You.” By the end afternoon, it was agreed that Judy would receive a recording contract with Blue Records. Upon signing, she would receive a $2,500 cash advance, non-declarable, and the planned first two songs for Judy’s debut on the label were those two Meyer compositions.
Photo: Judy at the Ritz Hotel in London on New Year’s Eve 1968.