Our Dark December series continues with this Technicolor confection from Director Vincente Minelli that may be candy-coloured on the surface but hints at the darkness at the heart of a family in transition.
Set in St. Louis in 1903, the film centres around the Smith family and their four beautiful daughters, including Esther (Judy Garland) and little Tootie (Margaret O’Brien).
The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he’s been transferred to New York, which means they must leave their beloved St. Louis, a reality that sends them all into a equal mixture of melancholy and fear over the unknown lives they’re about to embark on. As they slowly come to grips with all that they’ll be leaving behind (the cute boy next door!), they sing through their worries and each grow up a little bit along the way.
The film features several memorable songs songs by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin, including “The Trolley Song”, and of course, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”