A Date with Judy (film)

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A Date with Judy
A Date With Judy film poster.jpg
A Date with Judy film poster
Directed by Richard Thorpe
Produced by Joe Pasternak
Written by Dorothy Cooper
Dorothy Kingsley
Aleen Leslie (characters)
Starring Wallace Beery
Jane Powell
Elizabeth Taylor
Carmen Miranda
Xavier Cugat
Robert Stack
Music by Ernesto Lecuona
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Edited by Harold F. Kress
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s)
  • July 29, 1948 (1948-07-29)
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,353,000[1]
Box office $4,586,000[1]

A Date with Judy is a 1948 MGM musical film starring Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, and Elizabeth Taylor.[2][3] Directed by Richard Thorpe, the movie was based on the radio series of the same name.

The film was photographed in Technicolor and largely served to showcase the former child star Elizabeth Taylor, age 16 at the time. Taylor was given the full MGM glamor treatment, including specially designed gowns.

Robert Stack appears in a prominent supporting part. Many others in the MGM stock company appear in their customary roles, including Leon Ames as a dignified father figure, the same role he played in the Judy Garland film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and Wallace Beery in his penultimate role as a contrasting "rough and ready" father figure.

The film features the soprano singing voice of young Jane Powell, and is also a showcase for the musical performances of the Latin American singer Carmen Miranda and bandleader Xavier Cugat. In this film, she is given to humorous malapropisms such as "His bite is worse than his bark" and "Now I'm cooking with grass". The songs "Judaline" and "It's a Most Unusual Day" also debuted in this film.

Plot[edit]

The big high school dance in Santa Barbara is coming up. Judy Foster (Jane Powell) expects boyfriend "Oogie" Pringle to be her escort, but he declines. Meanwhile, Oogie's sister, sophisticated senior Carol Pringle (Elizabeth Taylor), has booked famous bandleader Xavier Cugat and his orchestra for the dance.

Cugat's lady friend, Rosita Cochellas (Carmen Miranda), is a dance instructor. She is secretly giving rumba lessons to Judy's dad, Melvin Foster (Wallace Beery), who wants to surprise his wife with a dance for their upcoming wedding anniversary.

Soda shop owner Pop Scully (Lloyd Corrigan) introduces a disappointed Judy to his handsome nephew Stephen I. Andrews (Robert Stack), who volunteers to take Judy to the dance, even though he's considerably older. Judy finds him dreamy, and having Stephen as her date definitely makes Oogie jealous.

Stephen, however, falls for the beautiful Carol instead. This is annoying to Judy, as is her discovery that her dad is seeing Rosita behind her mother's back, presumably carrying on a romantic affair. Misunderstandings abound, including Rosita trying to explain the situation to her boyfriend, Cugat.

During the dance scene in which Mrs. Foster dances with Xavier Cugat, the song is the instrumental version of "The Walter Winchell Rumba", which Cugat and his band played during their normal gigs. The words, can be heard during a PBS Lawrence Welk show called, "The New York Show" by Gail, Sandy, and Marylou.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film was a hit, earning $3,431,000 in the US and Canada and $1,155,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $1,495,000.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Jane Powell was used to playing good-girl types, but for Elizabeth Taylor A Date With Judy represented a chance to build a whole new image.

The role of sultry bad-girl Carol in the film gave her the opportunity to show the world that she was no longer a child, but a beautiful young woman. A direct contrast to Powell's girlish wholesomeness, Taylor's character was more mature, and costumes and makeup strategically played up her sensuality.

Musical number highlights in A Date With Judy include the popular "It's a Most Unusual Day" and "Judaline." However, it's the "Brazilian Bombshell" Carmen Miranda who nearly steals the show in a supporting role as rhumba teacher Rosita. Her energetic rendition of "Cuanto Le Gusta" alone makes watching A Date With Judy worthwhile.[4]

Soundtracks[edit]

  • Judaline ... Performed by Jane Powell, Scotty Beckett & Quartet
  • Its a Most Unusual Day ... Performed by Jane Powell
  • I'm Strictly on the Corny Side ... Performed by Jane Powell & Scotty Beckett
  • Love Is Where You Find It ... Performed by Jane Powell
  • Its a Most Unusual Day ... Performed by Elizabeth Taylor (Dubbed by Jean McLaren)
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ... Performed by Lillian Yarbo
  • Smiling Through The Years ... Performed by Jane Powell & George Cleveland
  • Love Is Where You Find It (Reprise) ... Performed by Jane Powell
  • Home Sweet Home ... Performed by Jane Powell, Jerry Hunter & Selena Royle
  • Cooking With Gas ... Performed by Carmen Miranda with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
  • Marguerita ... Performed by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
  • Cuanto La Gusta ... Performed by Carmen Miranda with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
  • Its a Most Unusual Day (Reprise #2 - Finale) ... Performed by Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Powell, Carmen Miranda,

Wallace Beery, Xavier Cugat, Robert Stack, Scotty Beckett, Selena Royle, Leon Ames, George Cleveland, Jerry Hunter & Ensemble

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Variety film review; June 23, 1948, page 6.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; June 19, 1948, page 99.
  4. ^ "ARTICLES: A Date with Judy (1948)". Andrea Passafiume. p. Watch Turner Classic Movies on TCM. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]