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"This genre gives actresses some really juicy lines and roles,but denies them the acclaim that comes from more 'serious' roles.Kidder was a gifted actress who was indelible in a few films."-Lady Edith

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Nov 23 2016

Judy by the Numbers: "Moon River"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

This Thanksgiving,I'm thankful for the simple things.This series (like TFE as a whole) has been a classic cinephile sanctuary for me this year.As the outside world has spun out,sped up,slammed down,and generally tossed us around,I've really enjoyed sharing music and tidbits of trivia with you all this week,and reading your reactions/stories/controversies – even when I haven't been able to reply myself.So briefly,before we get to this beautiful solo number,I just want to thank Nathaniel & you,the TFE readers,for continuing to create a lively,loving community.

The Show:The Judy GarlandShow Episode 12
The Songwriters: Johnny Mercer (lyrics),Henry Mancini (music)
The Cast: Judy Garland,Vic Damone,Zina Bethune,George Jessel directed by Norman Jewison

The Story: I just realized that this is the first solo fromThe Judy Garland Showthat I've featured on the series!Judy actually did several per show,but usually the highlight of the show was her duets and collaborations with odd guests,musical legends and nascent superstars.However,this version of "Moon River"is a good reminder of what made the show so good.

It's not just the trivia or the name-that-guest throwback;it's the genuine skill andoccasional artistry overlaid with real emotion.The number is comprised of two long takes,as the camera moves in and pulls away from Judy.The scene actually resembles the long take of "The Man That Got Away"from just a decade before.The camera dances through a shadowy set.Garland,bathed in spotlight,alternately moves with the camera and stands getting lost in the song,and adding wry humor to sweetly sad lyrics.Her quiet sweetness the emotional and cinematic complexity of her song.

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Reader Comments (3)

Can we have Madonna by the numbers next,not bothered how it's done.She has been getting a lot of flack lately and some younger people fail to remember or weren't around to know who she was back when we were young and what she emant.

November 23,2016 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

This is just gorgeous.There is something about that voice that just...even when it becomes more haggard with age and her tough life its still so monumentally resonant.Best Singer Ever,"World's Greatest Entertainer"indeed.

November 23,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

So beautifully delicate.A great example of a singer communicating with the song and through that song to the audience.You can see by her reactions that she's really THINKING about what the song says and means and how it makes her feel.Often a lost art now.

My favorite of her numbers from this show is Old Man River but this is one of the top five.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23,2016 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

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