Hollywood's golden age star, a legend whose fame started too early, Judy Garland was the darling of millions. We talk about her life and career, which formed the basis of the film "Judy" with Renee Zellweger in the title role.
A lot of books have been written about Judy Garland, a series has been shot and several films. Special attention of film critics and the public was attracted by the biopic, filmed by director Rupert Gould in 2019. Renee Zellweger played the role of Judy Garland. The transformation turned out to be so successful that the actress prophesy the Oscar statuette, in front of which was already the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Hollywood Film Awards. We dare to assume that during the casting the stars did not meet, but very much coincided: the age of Renee and Judy, their psychological problems and even the path to success. Therefore, if you watch the trailer of the film and, for example, the recording of Garland’s speech in 1963, it becomes clear that Zellweger was able to very accurately convey the drama of the famous and popular woman who so wanted to be loved and have real happiness, not written by the scriptwriters.
While there is no information whether “Judy” will be released in Ukraine, we advise you to take the opportunity to watch a tape at the Independence festival of American cinema.
So, we recall the legend and what it is remembered by the world.
At 13, Judy signed a contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Together with her two older sisters, Judy performed on stage. The talented daughters of Gamm sang and danced in vaudeville, which was a popular form of entertainment in the 1930s. Their parents, free, if not “stray” artists, did not leave the girls any other chance. Several successful roles, a tour in Chicago, during which the team decided to change the name, taking a different surname – Garland, brought the sisters to New York, where film studio agents scoured in search of new talents. Judy was spotted on stage and invited to a business meeting at Metro Goldwyn Mayer. At this point, it is worth making an important remark. When it comes to the golden age of Hollywood, we mean not only the actors who enriched the history of cinema with their talent, but also power and money. The empires of film companies were built on these two pillars, which completely controlled the process of creating the film, its distribution. Their power was over and over the actors. This is important to understand in order to know where the roots of Judy's future misfortunes go. So, at 13, she enters the world of cinema, which does not live according to children's laws. But the studio does not know what to do with Judy. She is not a stunning beauty, although very talented. Producers begin to work on the appearance of the girl, forcing them to wear a cap and special pads that adjust the shape of the nose. It is clear that this did not increase Judy's self-confidence. Her figure was also not delighted, therefore, at Garland's performances, they dressed in outfits of the romantic heroine – with fluffy skirts and frills to create a clearer silhouette. It would all go on and on, if in 1938, at the age of 16, Judy would not have got a role in the musical “The Wizard of Oz” based on the book by Lyman Frank Baum.
The Wizard of Oz Star
The film, the plot of which we know thanks to the plagiarism of Alexander Volkov and his “Wizard of the Emerald City,” has become a cult for Americans. Firstly, the tape was shot in a new revolutionary technique, which allowed us to create a color picture. Secondly, the songs that sounded in The Wizard of Oz scattered across the records. A play of actors, expensive costumes and scenery – the film became a new round in the cinema, defining the very Hollywood scope that we have long been accustomed to. Having played Dorothy Gale (aka Ellie from Kansas according to Volkov), Judy Garland became a star of a scale she could not even dream of. The film received two Oscars, with each year of its existence becoming more valuable and significant. “The Wizard of Oz” can be found in the lists of the best movies of the century, in the National Register of Films, which are stored as standards for future generations, in the UNESCO register “Memory of the World” and so on.
Judy Garland – Lisa Minnelli's mother
Hollywood is growing up fast. There everyone twists novels with each other due to lack of time and energy to go into the “outside world”. Judy was no exception. Her first romance happened when the girl was about 18 years old. He grew into a short marriage, which ended in an abortion, at the request of the studio, and divorce. By the way, Garland is one of the few who openly said that Metro Goldwyn Mayer stuffed actors with amphetamines and barbiturates so that nothing human would interfere with the filming. A frantic working rhythm, narcotic substances, self-doubt, followed by problems in his personal life, oppressed such a young Judy. She was stuck in the role of “the girl next door” – a romantic heroine, with whom the main character is always secretly or clearly in love. No matter how the studio tried to make sensual beauty out of Garland, nothing worked. Help came with makeup artist Dorothy, who changed Judy's eyebrow shape, lip makeup, hair style. Adult and sexy, Garland started a romance with director Orson Welles, the husband of yet another Hollywood legend, Rita Hayworth. In 1945, Judy married producer and director Vincent Minnelli, and 9 months after the wedding, they had a daughter, Lisa.
Conquest of Misty Albion
In 1951, Garland began a tour of the UK, Ireland and Scotland. He was so successful that Judy considered him the beginning of a new life. Her “star” positions in Hollywood were shaken due to depression, from which the actress almost never left. The course of therapy in a specialized clinic, disrupted filming, dismissal from the studio, divorces … And then again – the full halls of the audience who are waiting for her, catch every movement and enjoy the voice singing Over the Rainbow or Moon River. After her British triumph, Garland returned to the Broadway stage. Musicals with her participation were very popular, which was marked by the award of the Tony Award for outstanding achievements in the field of theater. But with the filming of the movie continued not to add up. Performing in front of the audience was made by Judy much easier. So, in 1955, she performed on the stage of one of the respectable hotels in Las Vegas, receiving $ 55,000 per week, becoming the highest paid actress in the capital of the gambling business.
Judy Garland hated being called weak, she fought against circumstances, with loneliness, industry cruelty. Even when in 1959 she was hospitalized with acute hepatitis, almost dying and having received a prediction from doctors that she could not live long and could not sing Judy again, Garland went on stage again with her own show, which became a sensation. In 1961, Judy at Carnegie Hall received four Grammy Awards. She tried herself on television, began work on memoirs and even went on a tour of Australia, which ended in complete failure. Alcohol and pills were the companions of Judy’s difficult journey, not saving them from emptiness and loneliness. When Judy died at 47, the world lost its identity, which fought for its idea of happiness, knowing how hard it was to be “just” – a woman, mother, star.
See also: 5 best films with Lisa Minnelli