DCIB Book/Movie Club: Meet Me in St. Louis! Feminist Movie, Or Just a Movie With Boring Men? Also, That Halloween Sequence is Legitimately Scary!!!

So happy to talk about this movie! I’ve watched it soooooooooooooo many times, ever since I was a little girl, and it is always wonderfully entertaining.

Some discussion questions!

How awesome is the sex positive take on Rose and Esther??? Yes they talk about boys and think about boys and want to be kissed, but that’s exactly what they are supposed to be doing as teenage girls and the film and their family is fine with it.

The whole sex and violence Halloween kiss sequence, what’s up with that?

Kiss bisou beso GIF on GIFER - by Painblade

Poor Dad, working hard to support 5 kids and his father-in-law and then getting yelled at for having a promotion. Or, is he selfish and unaware and patriarchal?

The house, too many carpets and statuaries and thing gummies, or just the right amount? (Obviously, I say just the right amount. I love thing gummies)

And finally, most importantly, which of these outfits is most AMAZING?

Tennis Outfit:

Pin by Erin Farrell on Judy Garland | Tennis dress, Judy garland, Stage  costume

Party outfit:

Rate the Dress: Meet me in St Louis (Judy Garland's party dress) - The  Dreamstress

Kimono with underwear

The Pass-Along Song | Music and Film, New College of Florida Style

Red Dress

Wendy's Bees: February 2011 | Judy garland, Hollywood, Hollywood costume

Trolley Outfit

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) | The Blonde at the Film

Halloween Outfit

TBT: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) –

And of course, Lucille Bremer is hardly less!

Kimono and Underwear

mygirljoots | Judy garland, Classic hollywood, Movie stars

Halloween Outfit

Screen Dreams on Twitter: "Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor & Judy Garland in Meet  Me In St. Louis (1944)… "

Corset and slip

Lucille Bremer

Green Dress

13 thoughts on “DCIB Book/Movie Club: Meet Me in St. Louis! Feminist Movie, Or Just a Movie With Boring Men? Also, That Halloween Sequence is Legitimately Scary!!!

  1. I can’t decide on a dress, they’re all so pretty! And more importantly, they wear them so well!!

    Too much stuff in the house for me, but perfect for the period!

    It’s just SUCH a wholesome movie. Although I admit I didn’t quite get the central conflict. You get to move and you don’t…why exactly?

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    • I guess because the Dad decided to put the happiness of his family against more money and a promotion?

      On Mon, Nov 1, 2021 at 8:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh no, i got that. I just didn’t get why they were unhappy about it. But I’m a person who’s moved every three years of my life, so maybe it’s just not something I will instinctively understand.

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    • I’ve seen it as a theme in many books (and for that matter, the biographies of women) from the late 19th century and early 20th that the father wants to move, and because of the culture and their total dependency, the family can’t object and doesn’t have any say in it at all. And of course it was very hard to keep in contact with people once you’re far away then. You probably wouldn’t see those people ever again, and just when the girls are forming attachments. I think it’s one of those things they looked back on in the 40s as something that belonged to that era which had changed.

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      • The other part of it that I am so aware of with this movie is that it was made and released during the worst period of WWII. So I think a big part of the point was to have such a tiny conflict. The idea of a whole family moving cross country together is an echo of all the wrenching good-byes and sudden movements of that era, but in the sweetest safest nicest kind of way. Judy and Boring Dude considering a last minute marriage, Rose’s beau calling her long distance and writing her letters, and of course “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Tootie’s insane freak out were all WWII plots so far as I am concerned. But softened and put in the past.

        On Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 7:15 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes I agree, except I see that as basically the opposite, i.e. a lot of people would have to leave or be saying goodbye to people about to serve in WW2, and having a conflict revolve around that but in the past means you can see that and cry about it but in a safe way. So what you’re saying except I don’t think it was a tiny conflict for people, it was a huge conflict for them then, made bearable through the fact that it’s fiction and in the past.

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          • Ah, these are such good explanations/analysis. I think I just did that silly thing where I thought about it in my 5-year old way, when I first saw the movie. Makes total sense !!

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  2. I had to rewatch the whole thing (even though it does not have Christopher Lee in it) just to even remember what the men were like, so I think that tells you all you need to know.

    I’ve watched it like five times before and every time I only remember 1. the songs 2. the clothes and 3. the weirder nostalgia details.

    I realise they overpacked the house even for the era for nostalgia reasons but I love overstuffed Victorian/Edwardian interiors. Also, the best dress is the trolley one, but 90% of that is the lavender-blue gloves with the black jacket. Also also, I love Mary Astor so much.

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    • Mary Astor is from the same town as my Mom’s Dad!!! Not the Grandpa who is dying now, but the other one. Anyway, it was always a little fun family trivia for us. Also, of course, her sex diary. And yes, she was so good in this! Even the boring mother role was more interesting than the boring father role.

      Among the interesting women, how would you rank them? I would say, Judy, Marjorie Main, Lucille Bremer, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor, Joan Carroll. Among the boring men, I would put Leon Ames, Tom Drake, Grandpa, and then everyone else an interchangeable sea of boredom.

      The lavendar gloves are AMAZING! And Judy uses them so well to sell the song. I wonder which came first? Someone noticing how she used her hands and giving her gloves, or her putting on the gloves and then showing them off in her gestures?

      On Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 4:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • That’s great! She was great. Wonderful acting with the eyes. But doesn’t get much to do, although she does sing which is great.

        I’d change Lucille Bremer and Margaret O’Brien around, but otherwise agree. Also, would put Grandpa first, then the rest. Actually, I thought Leon Ames was weirdly hot in this or maybe it’s just the effect of the gold watch chain on my mind.

        Well, Irene Sharaff was a genius with an amazing eye for colour so she probably did pick the gloves to be eyecatching on purpose.

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        • There’s one line I heard about this movie which I find so perfect. I can’t remember where I read or heard it, but someone said “You are watching Minelli fall in love with Judy through the camera”. And if I think of Minelli as bi/mostly gay, it somehow is even more important. Judy’s romance with the camera was so amazing, and in this movie in particular Minelli gave her confidence and she gave it back, and they end up falling in aesthetic love. Does that make sense?

          On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 2:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, absolutely. I’ve read and listened to a bunch of stuff about this movie and they always comment on that. I don’t know if he was entirely gay or bi, but it’s like a crush in film form. And it’s really positive, not in that oppressive way you sometimes have in these relationships.

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          • Yes! He saw something amazing in her through his camera and just made her look GORGEOUS. All of the costumes and even the red wig just serve to highlight her unique face and way of performing.

            On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 11:11 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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