Taking place over one year in the life of the Smith family as they look forward to the 1904 World’s Fair, Meet Me in St. Louis focuses on daughters Rose (Lucille Bremer), Esther (Judy Garland, who would go on to marry director Vincente Minnelli, with whom she would have daughter Liza), Agnes (Joan Carroll), and ‘Tootie’ (a scene-stealing Margaret O’Brien).
Esther’s blossoming relationship with the boy next door, John Truett (Tom Drake) is threatened when the girls’ father announces that the family is to move to New York. Matters come to a head at an elegant Christmas Eve ball, when proposals are made and realisations occur. Featuring such beloved musical numbers as Under the Bamboo Tree, The Trolley Song, and Garland’s heartbreakingly poignant rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, it’s no surprise that the film has become a Christmas classic. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
This is screening as part of IFI Christmas Crackers, a season of family favourites, classics and archive films in December.