Endorsement Monday: Judy Garland & the American Masters series

12 Nov

This week’s endorsement comes courtesy of PBS’ excellent American Masters series, which has profiled greats like Charlie Chaplin, Billie Holliday, Julia Child and Cab Calloway. I’ll be adding several of their DVDs to my Christmas wish list (you can find them on Amazon, among other places).

But this week’s endorsement is for “About Judy Garland: By Myself” which CityBoy was sweet enough to record for me and with which I spent two hours yesterday, engrossed in this amazing portrait of an amazing woman. I’ve always liked Judy Garland, having watched (of course) The Wizard of Oz about 10,000 times. I also watched many of her classic early movies, like the Andy Hardy movies with Mickey Rooney (if you haven’t seen one, go now). And I saw A Star Is Born a few years ago, her magnum opus. But I wasn’t a “fanboy,” which I have to say, having watched this documentary and seen snippets of her belting it out in concert, I now proudly am.

Original image: ‘The John Fricke Collection’ | Digital image restoration: Ranse Ransone | Quote: Judy Garland

I knew she had a rough life, soaring triumphs mixed with plunging depression, a dependency on pills and drinking, and fraught personal relationships. But this documentary lays it all out, most of the time in her own words, or in the words of family and friends. It is mind-boggling how the studios once owned their stars’ lives, utterly and completely. It’s hard to imagine now.

I’m not sure when it will next play on PBS, but you can find it appended to the Easter Parade DVD, which is going on my Amazon wish list right now.

Happy Monday,

Jho

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