My daughters humor my love of classic films and will actually sit down from time to time and watch some with me. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a favorite musical at our house, and from watching it, the girls wanted to see another film that featured Jane Powell. One afternoon last year, TCM aired […]
My daughters humor my love of classic films and will actually sit down from time to time and watch some with me. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a favorite musical at our house, and from watching it, the girls wanted to see another film that featured Jane Powell. One afternoon last year, TCM aired a musical comedy, A Date With Judy, and my daughters and I watched it. What we didn't know until we began the film was that Elizabeth Taylor was in it, as one of Powell's co-stars. Taylor began making films in 1942, had her first “starring” role in 1944's National Velvet, and continued to hone her acting craft through her teen years in the later 1940s and early 1950s. When I was asked to participate for this blogathon, to commemorate Taylor's birthday-February 27th, I decided to write about A Date With Judy. To read other bloggers' pieces about Elizabeth Taylor and her films, visit Crystal's site at In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood.
ADWJ is an MGM romance comedy, filmed in technicolor gorgeousness. There is music, dance, and singing(Powell, Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, and Carmen Miranda.) There are gorgeous gowns-mainly made for Elizabeth Taylor's character. There is the handsome hero, whom both Jane and Elizabeth have aimed to catch, Robert Stack. Leon Ames and Wallace Beery provide two father roles. Rounding out the cast: Scotty Beckett, Selena Royle, Clinton Sundberg, George Cleveland, Lloyd Corrigan, Stuart Whitman(uncredited role as a guest at a dance), Jerry Hunter, and Jean McLaren. The film was directed by Richard Thorpe and was based upon a popular radio show of the day, with the same title.
The plot is pretty straightforward. Santa Barbara High School is getting ready to host a big dance and Senior Carol Pringle(Taylor) has managed to snag bandleader Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra to play for the dance. Carol's bff, Judy Foster(Powell), has been helping Carol with the dance preparations and is mad at her boyfriend Oogie(Beckett) because he said he's not going to take her to the dance! At the local candy/ice cream soda shop, owner Pop Scully(Corrigan) introduces Judy to his nephew Stephen(Stack.) Judy is immediately smitten and delighted when Stephen, although a college man, agrees to escort Judy to the high school dance. All seems to be going well for Judy until Stephen meets Carol, and he falls for her!!
Judy also becomes upset with her father(Wallace Beery). Melvin Foster(Beery) wants to surprise his wife at their upcoming Wedding Anniversary party with his improved dancing skills so he secretly takes dancing lessons from Miss Rosita Cochellas(Carmen Miranda) who also happens to be Xavier Cugat's girlfriend in the film. Judy thinks her father is having an affair with Miss Cochellas!
Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor play well together, as pretty teens who are friends yet clash over the same guy. The misunderstandings are funny, done in good taste, and at the end of the film, all is right with the world for all the characters involved. For a funny film, with a great look at 1940s teen pop culture, tune in to A Date With Judy. TCM will be airing it at March 12th, at 6:00 pm eastern time/5:00 pm central. Here is the link to the movie's trailer that MGM used to advertise it back in 1948.