Last year, my grandmother died somewhat unexpectedly. Yesterday would have been her 90th birthday, and in honor of my grandmother, I watched one of her favorite movies for the first time: Meet Me in St. Louis. I don't know how I've gone this long without bearing witness to this technicolor triumph, but now that I have, I can't get it out of my head. For a "romantic musical comedy," Meet Me in St. Louis sure has its fair share of dark moments. Because of this, my grandmother must have known that I would fall head-over-heels for Tootie and the entire Smith family! Smith was also my grandmother's last name. My grandmother told me once that she and my grandfather would watch Meet Me in St. Louis whenever they were feeling down. Before the credits rolled, my grandfather would take her hand, and they'd slow-dance around the living to Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the background. I'd like to think that watching Meet Me in St. Louis was my grandmother's gift to me this Christmas.
She has four fatal diseases... and it only takes one.
"Meet Me in St. Louis" lives on as one of Judy Garland's most iconic films. A technicolor holiday classic even though only about 25 minutes of the movie takes places at Christmas. "Meet Me in St. Louis" marks the debut of the now holiday standard, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Garland owns that song now and forever.
“Meet Me in St. Louis” influenced a number of future filmmakers. The Halloween sequence with Tootie and Agnes would inspire the color scheme of John Carpenter’s Halloween in 1978, and Woody Allen would update the six-month family tale to 1996 Manhattan in his movie musical "Everyone Says I Love You."