A Date With Judy – The upper-class Pringles and middle-class Fosters are two Santa Barbara families. Widowed businessman Lucien T. Pringle’s (Leon Ames’) interests, including a bank and a radio station, keep him absent from his children’s lives. Melvin Colner Foster (Wallace Beery) owns and operates a seafood packing plant, an offshoot of his days as a fisherman. Unlike Lucien, Melvin is very present in his family’s lives. Judy Foster (Jane Powell) and siblings Ogden “Oogie” Pringle (Scotty Beckett) and Carol Pringle (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) are seniors at the local high school and have known each other all of their lives. Judy, the school’s songbird, and Oogie, conductor of the school’s orchestra, are musical collaborators and consider themselves more than friends; Judy and Carol are best friends, although Judy and Oogie are oblivious to Carol’s actions being in her best interest, often at their expense. Events before, during, and after the senior-class dance have major repercussions: on Carol’s advice,…
A Date With Judy Sweet comedy, a time capsule of teen-hood in the movies in the 40’s with wonderful music courtesy of Xavier Cugat and his band.
Jane Powell is charmingly pert, full of youthful exuberance something she excelled at. According to her autobiography though that very spryness became a type of prison limiting her casting and when musicals declined in popularity made it impossible for her to transition to other types of pictures.
Someone who certainly didn’t suffer the same issue is Elizabeth Taylor, very young and very beautiful, this was one of her first roles that flirted with adulthood.
The doomed Scotty Beckett, a major child star throughout his youth, plays Jane’s gangly boyfriend, the unfortunately named Oogie, struggling with puberty in one of the roles attempting to ease him into adult roles. He couldn’t make the leap and within the year started the long slide into trouble with the law and drug addiction that ended in his suicide two decades later at 38.
In one of his last roles Wallace Beery is full of warm understanding as Jane’s father in a departure from his usual bluster, he and Selena Royale at well matched as a long married couple.
Lastly Carmen Miranda is a delight as always, her clothes and hats are outlandish, take special note of her shoes and wonder how she could possibly walk in them! One quibble, the Technicolor is unusually garish and at times the cast practically glows orange.
A Chorus Line