Musical Monday: “A Date with Judy” (1948)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

dateThis week’s musical:
A Date with Judy” (1948) –Musical Monday #105

Studio:
MGM

Director:
Richard Thorpe

Starring:
Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Wallace Beery, Robert Stack, Selena Royale, Carmen Miranda, Leon Ames, Xavier Cugat, Scotty Beckett

Plot:
Best friends Judy (Powell) and Carol (Taylor) both have a crush on a college aged soda jerk (Stack). While planning her parent’s (Royal, Beery) anniversary party, Judy and Carol fear that Mr. Foster is having an affair with a Latin dancer (Miranda), who is really teaching him rumba lessons to surprise his wife.

Trivia:
-The movie was based on a radio series with the same name.
-The songs “It’s a Most Unusual Day” and “Judaline” debuted in this movie.
-Carmen Miranda’s song “Cuanto la Gusta” was one of her favorite songs. The album reached number 12 on the Billboard charts.
-After this film, Robert Stack was supposed to make a musical remake of the Marion Davies film “Peg O’ My Heart,” that never materialized, according to John Fricke’s book “Judy: A Legendary Film Career.”
-Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor were around the same age in this film. Powell said in her TCM Private Screenings Interview that she was a bit jealous that Taylor was dressed in more mature costumes and got to wear green eye shadow.
-This film followed Taylor’s demure roles in “Cynthia” and “Life With Father” and made her more of a “vamp” and a woman. Her next film would be as a sophisticated young engaged woman in “Julia Misbehaves,” according to “How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood” by William J. Mann.
-Elizabeth Taylor is dubbed by Jean McLaren.

Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor in "A Date with Judy" (1948)

Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor in “A Date with Judy” (1948)

Highlights:
-Wallace Beery trying to dance the rumba.

Notable Songs:
-“It’s a Most Unusual Day” sung by Jane Powell
This song is my favorite in the whole film. It’s light, it’s cheery and fun.
-“Judaline” sung by Jane Powell, Scotty Becket and a quartet
Another fun song. Not serious but light and cute.
-“Love is Where You Find it” sung by Jane Powell
It demonstrates Jane Powell’s excellent singing abilities. Confusion over if she or Kathryn Grayson sung it first on film.

My Review:
This is my favorite Jane Powell movie, as well as one of my all-time favorite films. I recall once in high school when I came home upset about something. I turned on this movie and all of my cares were forgotten- that is the effect “A Date with Judy” has on it’s audience.
It may be frothy and light, but it’s happy. Jane Powell is as adorable as ever and the Technicolor is awesome.
The film has a top notch cast including musical performances from Carmen Miranda and Latin bandleader Xavier Cugat.

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