Given its stature, it is ironic that both MGM and Judy Garland originally fought the project. Based on a collection of autobiographical stories by Sally Benson, the script is little more than a series of domestic adventures in the lives of the Smith family of 1903 St. Louis. But it became a thing of wonder: a careful balance of sly but gentle humor, a collection of memorable performances, an understated score shorn of the usual movie-musical affectations, and at the center of it all Judy Garland, one of Hollywood's most memorable talents.
The transfer is excellent, capturing every nuance of the film's meticulously and beautifully designed sets in full Technicolor; the sound elements, remastered in Dolby 5.1, are equally fine and Garland's unique vocal skills are undimmed by time. All in all, it seems safe to say that not even the original 1944 theatrical release could surpass the quality of picture and sound offered here.
Although the bonus package would have better without the awful pilot for a failed television series based on the film, by and large it offers a superior collection. Previously available on VHS, the Roddy McDowell-narrated "making of" documentary is worth revisiting, as is the TCM-produced "Becoming Attractions.Read more ›