Through her incomparable work on screen, stage, record, radio, and television, Judy Garland earned renown as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.” It was as a motion picture star though, that she first rose to international fame. From her feature film debut in 1936 through the aptly titled I Could Go on Singing in 1963, she lit up the screen with a magic uniquely hers—and dazzled world-wide audiences of all ages.
Judy Garland starred in two dozen of the all-time classic movie musicals, among them A Star is Born, Meet Me in St. Louis, Babes in Arms, Easter Parade, For Me and My Gal, and The Harvey Girls. Her dramatic turns in Judgment at Nuremberg, The Clock, and A Child is Waiting won added acclaim. And perhaps most unforgettably, she starred as Dorothy Gale in the best-loved motion picture of all time: The Wizard of Oz.
Judy: A Legendary Film Career tells the story of Garland’s movie work in unprecedented detail. Hundreds of never-before-published photos, newly-assembled contemporary reviews, insight from her costars and coworkers, and production histories are provided for each film in which she appeared. Highlighting and complimenting the feature films is a definitive biography; an examination of Judy’s short subjects; details of the movies she did not complete; and an enthralling compendium of film projects for which she was considered or rumored. The text is illustrated by more than five hundred photos, encompassing poster art; costume tests; behind-the-scenes candids; onstage and backstage glimpses of her theatrical successes; and personal snapshots.
Judy is the exhaustively researched work of historian John Fricke. He celebrates as never before the heart, humor, and incandescent motion picture achievement of the one-and-only Judy Garland.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I always enjoy hearing backstage stories and this book was specifically geared to this.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Judy. You get the measure of a woman who was a signing and dancing marionette, who had little control over her professional and personal life. Yet all of the show business personalities used and abused her talents without apparently acknowledging this. Somehow, she maintained a resiliency that allowed her to be involved in the incredible body of work described in the book.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
I enjoyed the shift that the narrator presented as he spoke as the different personalities. The Judy Garlard voice was interesting, but not really necessary. What I intensely disliked was the seeming lack of preparation that resulted in the mispronunciation of names ("Dick Bogard"?, "EV-ah-lyn Waugh" as opposed to "EVE-ah-lyn...) and terms ("biopic" was pronounced "by-OPP-ic", rather than "BY-oh-pic"). Every time such terms were read, I openly cringed...
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
While the narrator has a mellifluous reading voice, I think significant care should also have gone into learning how to correctly pronounce names and related industry terms.
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