Get Happy

Atypical Neurotic writes:

On the occasion of what would have been Judy Garland’s 92nd birthday, I offer a link to a high-definition clip of the “Get Happy” number, from Summer Stock, the last musical she made for MGM (in 1950), and, the last nail in the coffin for Dior’s ridiculous postwar “New Look”. Note how sexy Judy looks in her tailored jacket and sheer stockings, especially in contrast with the chorus boys in their Italian-style sack suits.

Brilliant costuming. But also a triumph for Coco Chanel. She won, and Dior lost. Coco gave women permission to wear clothes that were stylish, sexy and looked good on them, and still be taken seriously. Judy Garland never looked better, before or since.

One of the first nails, I think, was in Beyond the Forest from 1949, in which Bette Davis’s Rosa Moline sews her own New Look skirts and makes a point of sashaying along the streets of Loyalton, Wisconsin, in them. But when Moose Lawson’s estranged daughter shows up one day on the train from Chicago, what is she wearing? A pale, tailored suit, not unlike the one Jacqueline Kennedy wore on that fateful November day 14 years later. Or the gray suit that mesmerized Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo in 1958, the year I was born.

Not so stylish after all, eh, Rosa? What a frump!

About Atypical Neurotic

An Illinois-born refugee from academia who in late middle-age finds himself a civil servant in Norway. An unashamed city-dweller, he walks 30 minutes every day to a job where he is not paid to be an economist (lawyer or accountant), only to sound like one.
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5 Responses to Get Happy

  1. peterike says:

    Weak choreography, but what a voice, and them legs ain’t so bad neither. The woman had the instrument. The gays were right to icon-ize her, she deserved every bit of it.


  2. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Great moment, especially since she spends most of the picture looking very chunky. Then she shows up in this number looking like a million bucks, and it’s unforgettable. It’s as though she knew going in this would be the culmination of her MGM career.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Faze says:

    Yeah, from what I understand “Get Happy” was filmed months after the rest of the movie, after Judy had lost a substantial amount of weight. As you recall, the first scene in “Summer Stock” is an extended sequence of her dressed in overalls driving a tractor. They filmed it so you can barely see her body, that’s how tubby she was. But by the time they shot “Get Happy” — wow! The benzedrine and starvation diets had done their work. And yes, peterike, the legs are sensational.


  4. Steve Sailer says:

    Coco Chanel’s little black dress appears to be that paradoxical accomplishment in fashion: a permanent step forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Showtune Saturday: “Doin’ What Comes Naturally” | Uncouth Reflections

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