Judy Garland was an iconic actress, singer, and performer, known for her incredible talent and captivating performances.
Her movies are considered classics of the Golden Age of Hollywood and continue to entertain and inspire audiences today. Here’s an introduction to some of the best Judy Garland movies:
The Wizard of Oz (1939): One of the most beloved movies of all time, “The Wizard of Oz” stars Judy Garland as Dorothy, a young girl who is swept away to a magical land and must find her way home.
Garland’s performance as Dorothy is iconic, and the movie features some of the most memorable songs in movie history.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944): Set in turn-of-the-century St. Louis, this musical drama follows the lives of the Smith family as they navigate love, life, and the impending World’s Fair.
Judy Garland plays Esther, the second-oldest Smith daughter, and her performance is a highlight of the movie.
A Star is Born (1954): In this musical drama, Garland plays Esther Blodgett, a talented singer who rises to fame with the help of an established actor. The movie features some of Garland’s most memorable performances, including the iconic song “The Man That Got Away.”
Best Judy Garland Movies
Judy Garland’s movies are a testament to her incredible talent and lasting legacy. Whether you’re a fan of classic movies, musicals, or just appreciate great acting and singing, her movies are definitely worth watching.
1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
“The Wizard of Oz” is a classic 1939 musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and directed by Victor Fleming. It stars Judy Garland as Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas who is swept away to the magical land of Oz by a tornado.
Along the way, she makes friends with a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, and together they embark on a quest to find the Wizard of Oz and ask him for help returning home.
The film is known for its imaginative story, vibrant visuals, and memorable musical numbers, including “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard”.
It has become a beloved classic of American cinema, inspiring countless adaptations, spin-offs, and homages over the years.
“The Wizard of Oz” was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won two for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
It remains one of the most iconic and beloved films in cinema history, cherished by generations of viewers for its timeless charm, wit, and heart.
2. Presenting Lily Mars (1943)
“Presenting Lily Mars” is a 1943 musical film directed by Norman Taurog and starring Judy Garland, Van Heflin, and Fay Bainter.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Booth Tarkington and tells the story of a young aspiring actress named Lily Mars (Judy Garland) who dreams of making it big on Broadway.
Despite the disapproval of her practical father (Van Heflin), Lily refuses to give up on her dreams and moves to New York City to pursue a career in the theater.
Along the way, she falls in love with a talented composer (Van Johnson) and struggles to win the approval of a tough Broadway producer (Martyn Green).
“Presenting Lily Mars” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, praised for its lively musical numbers and Garland’s charming performance in the lead role.
The film is notable for its memorable songs, including “Every Little Movement,” “Broadway Rhythm,” and “When I Look at You.”
It is a heartwarming and uplifting tale of perseverance and following one’s dreams, with Garland’s performance capturing the spirit of optimism and determination that defined the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals.
3. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
“Meet Me in St. Louis” is a 1944 American musical film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, and Mary Astor. The film is set in St. Louis, Missouri, in the year leading up to the 1904 World’s Fair.
The story follows the Smith family, a well-to-do family living in St. Louis, as they navigate the ups and downs of daily life.
The film is divided into four seasons, each with its own set of joys and challenges. Along the way, there are several memorable musical numbers, including Garland’s rendition of “The Trolley Song” and O’Brien’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
“Meet Me in St. Louis” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of American cinema.
The film’s themes of family, community, and the passing of time continue to resonate with audiences today. It is also notable for its colorful depiction of turn-of-the-century America, as well as for its memorable score and lively musical numbers.
4. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
“Judgment at Nuremberg” is a historical drama film released in 1961, directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, and Marlene Dietrich.
The film is based on the real-life Nuremberg Trials, which were a series of military tribunals held by the Allied forces after World War II to prosecute prominent members of the Nazi regime.
The story follows Judge Dan Haywood (Tracy) as he presides over a trial of four German judges who are accused of committing war crimes during the Nazi regime.
As the trial unfolds, the judge must confront the horrors of the Holocaust and the complicity of many ordinary Germans in the crimes committed by the Nazis.
“Judgment at Nuremberg” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores themes of justice, morality, and responsibility.
The performances of the ensemble cast are exceptional, with Tracy delivering a standout performance as the conflicted judge grappling with his own moral convictions. Lancaster, Widmark, and Dietrich also deliver strong performances in supporting roles.
The film was well-received by critics upon its release and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning two.
It is widely regarded as a classic of American cinema and a powerful indictment of the horrors of war and the importance of justice and accountability. Fans of historical dramas and thought-provoking films will find much to appreciate in “Judgment at Nuremberg.”
5. Easter Parade (1948)
“Easter Parade” is a 1948 musical film directed by Charles Walters and starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Ann Miller.
Set in New York City during the Easter season, the film tells the story of a talented dancer named Don Hewes (Astaire) who is dumped by his partner just before they are scheduled to perform in a new show.
Don decides to try and create a new partner out of a naive chorus girl named Hannah Brown (Garland) with mixed results.
Featuring memorable songs by Irving Berlin, including the title song “Easter Parade,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” and “A Couple of Swells,” the film is a celebration of music, dance, and romance.
Garland delivers a standout performance as Hannah, showcasing her incredible vocal talent and undeniable charm. Astaire is equally impressive as the smooth-talking Don, with his trademark dance moves and suave persona.
“Easter Parade” was a commercial and critical success, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of 1948 and earning an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Easter Parade”). It has since become a beloved classic and a staple of the Easter season.
Overall, “Easter Parade” is a delightful and entertaining musical that showcases the talents of its lead actors and features memorable songs and dance numbers. It is a must-see for fans of classic Hollywood musicals and anyone looking for a fun and uplifting film experience.
6. In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
In the Good Old Summertime is a 1949 musical romantic comedy film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson.
The film is a musical adaptation of the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner, and tells the story of two bickering co-workers, Veronica Fisher (Garland) and Andrew Larkin (Johnson), who are unaware that they are secret pen pals who have fallen in love with each other through their correspondence.
Set in Chicago in the early 1900s, the film features a number of popular songs from the era, including “In the Good Old Summertime,” “Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines, Nellie,” and “Play That Barbershop Chord.”
Along with Garland and Johnson, the film also features performances by S.Z. Sakall, Spring Byington, and Clinton Sundberg.
In the Good Old Summertime was a box office success upon its release, earning critical acclaim for its performances and musical numbers. The film has since become a beloved classic, known for its charm, wit, and nostalgic depiction of a bygone era.
In addition to its success as a film, In the Good Old Summertime was also adapted into a stage musical in 2001, which featured additional songs and expanded plotlines.
7. For Me and My Gal (1942)
“For Me and My Gal” is a 1942 musical romance film directed by Busby Berkeley and starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly in their first on-screen pairing.
The movie follows a vaudeville duo, Jo Hayden (Garland) and Harry Palmer (Kelly), who fall in love while performing together. However, their relationship is tested when Harry is drafted into World War I.
The movie is known for its excellent musical numbers and charming performances by Garland and Kelly. The film was also notable for addressing the realities of wartime America, including rationing and the draft, which gave it a sense of realism and relevance during its release.
“For Me and My Gal” was a critical and commercial success and helped to launch Gene Kelly’s career in Hollywood.
It also cemented Judy Garland’s status as one of the most talented and versatile performers of her time. The movie remains a beloved classic today and is definitely worth watching for fans of musicals and classic Hollywood romance.
8. The Clock (1945)
“The Clock” is a 1945 romantic drama film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker.
The film tells the story of a soldier named Joe who meets a young woman named Alice in New York City just before he is scheduled to ship out to fight in World War II. The two fall in love during a whirlwind 48-hour romance, and Joe struggles with the thought of leaving Alice behind as he heads off to war.
The film was praised for its touching story, strong performances by Garland and Walker, and the way it captured the spirit of wartime America.
It was also noted for its detailed portrayal of life in New York City during the war, with scenes shot on location in places like Penn Station and Times Square.
Despite its critical success, “The Clock” did not perform well at the box office upon its release. However, it has since become a beloved classic of the romantic drama genre, with its poignant portrayal of love and loss during wartime continuing to resonate with audiences today.
9. The Pirate (1948)
“The Pirate” is a 1948 musical comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, and Walter Slezak.
The movie tells the story of a young woman named Manuela (Judy Garland) who is in love with the legendary pirate Mack the Black (Gene Kelly), despite being engaged to a wealthy plantation owner.
Manuela dreams of running away with Mack and joining his crew, but her plans are complicated by the arrival of Serafin (Walter Slezak), a traveling actor who poses as Mack in order to win her heart.
As the romantic entanglements grow more complex, the characters find themselves caught up in a series of comedic misunderstandings and high-energy musical numbers.
“The Pirate” is known for its inventive choreography and memorable songs, including “Be a Clown,” “Mack the Black,” and “Love of My Life.”
It was not a commercial success upon its release, but has since become a beloved classic of the Hollywood musical genre. The film’s colorful costumes, elaborate dance sequences, and energetic performances from Kelly and Garland have earned it a reputation as a lively and entertaining musical romp.
10. A Child Is Waiting (1963)
“A Child Is Waiting” is a 1963 American drama film directed by John Cassavetes and starring Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland.
The film is set in a school for children with developmental disabilities, and explores the challenges faced by the students, their families, and the teachers who work with them.
Lancaster plays Dr. Matthew Clark, a new teacher at the school who is determined to make a difference in the lives of his students. Garland plays Jean Hansen, a dedicated but troubled teacher who clashes with Clark over his unorthodox methods.
The film was notable for its realistic portrayal of the challenges faced by people with disabilities, as well as for its strong performances by Lancaster and Garland. It was also groundbreaking in its use of non-professional actors, including several actual students from the school where the film was shot.
Although “A Child Is Waiting” was not a commercial success at the time of its release, it has since gained a reputation as a powerful and poignant drama that addresses important social issues.
The film’s themes of compassion, acceptance, and the power of human connection continue to resonate with audiences today.
11. A Star Is Born (1954)
“A Star Is Born” is a musical drama film released in 1954, directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason.
The film follows the rise of Esther Blodgett (Garland), a young aspiring singer who meets alcoholic actor Norman Maine (Mason) and helps him overcome his addiction. As Esther’s career takes off and she becomes a major star, Norman’s career begins to decline, leading to a tragic ending.
The film is notable for its music, including several classic songs like “The Man That Got Away” and “Born in a Trunk.” Garland’s performance in the film is widely considered to be one of her best, and the chemistry between her and Mason is electric.
“A Star Is Born” is a timeless classic that explores themes of love, ambition, and addiction. The film’s emotional impact is still felt today, and it has been remade several times since its original release.
Fans of classic Hollywood musicals and powerful drama will find much to appreciate in this iconic film.
12. Summer Stock (1950)
“Summer Stock” is a 1950 musical comedy film directed by Charles Walters and starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.
The film follows a struggling farmer named Jane Falbury (Garland) who agrees to host a theatrical troupe led by Joe D. Ross (Kelly) on her farm in order to raise money to save the property from being foreclosed.
Featuring memorable songs by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, including “Get Happy” and “You Wonderful You,” the film is a celebration of music, dance, and the joys of country living.
Garland delivers a standout performance as Jane, showcasing her incredible vocal talent and comedic timing. Kelly is equally impressive as the charming and charismatic Joe, with his trademark dance moves and magnetic screen presence.
“Summer Stock” was a commercial success and is now considered a beloved classic. The film features several iconic musical numbers, including Garland’s show-stopping rendition of “Get Happy” and Kelly’s famous dance with a squeaky floorboard in “You Wonderful You.”
Overall, “Summer Stock” is a delightful and entertaining musical that showcases the talents of its lead actors and features memorable songs and dance numbers. It is a must-see for fans of classic Hollywood musicals and anyone looking for a fun and uplifting film experience.
13. The Harvey Girls (1946)
The Harvey Girls is a 1946 musical film directed by George Sidney and starring Judy Garland, John Hodiak, and Angela Lansbury.
The film tells the story of a group of waitresses, known as Harvey Girls, who travel to a remote town in New Mexico to work at a new restaurant established by the Fred Harvey Company.
Judy Garland stars as Susan Bradley, a headstrong young woman who becomes a Harvey Girl and quickly finds herself at odds with the local saloon owner, Ned Trent (John Hodiak).
As tensions between the Harvey Girls and the saloon patrons escalate, Susan and Ned find themselves drawn to each other, leading to a romantic subplot.
The film features a number of popular songs, including “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe,” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as “It’s a Great Big World” and “Wait and See.”
Along with Garland, Hodiak, and Lansbury, the film also features performances by Ray Bolger and Preston Foster.
The Harvey Girls was a commercial and critical success upon its release, earning praise for its performances, musical numbers, and production design.
The film’s depiction of the Harvey Girls, who were known for their professionalism and high standards of service, has also made it a popular cultural reference over the years.
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14. I Could Go on Singing (1963)
“I Could Go On Singing” is a 1963 musical drama film starring Judy Garland in her final on-screen performance. The movie tells the story of Jenny Bowman (Garland), a famous American singer who travels to London for a series of concerts.
While there, she reconnects with David Donne (Dirk Bogarde), a former lover and the father of her son, who she gave up for adoption years earlier.
The film is a showcase of Garland’s incredible talent as a singer, as she performs a number of classic songs, including the title song “I Could Go On Singing.” The movie is also a poignant look at the toll that fame and success can take on a person’s personal life and relationships.
Despite mixed reviews at the time of its release, “I Could Go On Singing” has since become a cult classic and is highly regarded by fans of Judy Garland. The movie is a bittersweet reminder of her incredible talent and enduring legacy in Hollywood and the world of music.
15. Girl Crazy (1943)
“Girl Crazy” is a 1943 musical comedy film directed by Norman Taurog and starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The film is loosely based on the 1930 stage musical of the same name, with many of the original songs and characters included.
The plot follows a wealthy young man named Danny Churchill Jr. (Rooney) who is sent to a boys’ school in the American West to straighten him out.
There, he falls in love with Ginger Gray (Garland), the daughter of the school’s owner, and the two team up to save the school from financial ruin by putting on a big musical show.
The film features many memorable musical numbers, including “Embraceable You,” “But Not for Me,” and the title song, “Girl Crazy.”
It was praised for its energetic performances by Rooney and Garland, as well as its colorful and lively musical sequences.
“Girl Crazy” was a box office success and helped to cement Rooney and Garland’s status as one of Hollywood’s most popular on-screen duos.
It remains a beloved classic of the musical comedy genre, celebrated for its infectious songs, lively choreography, and the irresistible chemistry between its two stars.
3 Reasons To Watch Judy Garland Movies
Her musical talent: Judy Garland was a talented singer, dancer, and actress who became an icon of the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals.
Her powerful voice and emotive performances make her a joy to watch and listen to, and her many classic songs are still beloved by audiences today.
Her impact on cinema history: Judy Garland’s career spanned several decades and included a number of iconic roles and performances.
She starred in some of the most beloved films of the 20th century, including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” and “A Star is Born,” and her influence on popular culture is still felt today.
Her personal story: Judy Garland’s life and career were marked by triumphs and struggles, and her personal story has become a part of Hollywood legend.
Despite facing personal and professional challenges, she continued to perform and inspire generations of fans with her talent and resilience. Watching her movies is not only a chance to enjoy her talent but also to connect with the life and legacy of a Hollywood legend.
Best Judy Garland Movies – Wrap Up
Judy Garland was a legendary actress and singer whose career spanned over four decades. She starred in numerous films throughout her career, many of which have become classics of American cinema.
Some of Garland’s most iconic films include “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), in which she played the lead role of Dorothy Gale, “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), a musical drama set in turn-of-the-century St. Louis, and “A Star Is Born” (1954), a romantic drama in which she starred opposite James Mason.
Other notable Garland films include “Easter Parade” (1948), “The Harvey Girls” (1946), and “Summer Stock” (1950), all of which showcased her talent as a singer and dancer.
Garland’s performances in these films, as well as in many others, earned her critical acclaim and a devoted following of fans. Her unique combination of vulnerability, strength, and undeniable talent continue to inspire audiences today.
Overall, Judy Garland’s impact on American cinema is immeasurable, and her legacy as one of the greatest entertainers of all time continues to live on through her films and her music.