January 24, 2013

A Moment In Film: The little girl with the big voice

Judy Garland in A Star Is Born (1954)

It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's magnificent! What I'm alluding to is when you're taken over by some powerful, overwhelming feeling whilst watching a scene in a movie. We've all experienced this feeling before (right?) and we always remember where and when it happened - it was that powerful!

One of those instances that sticks out in my mind was the first time I watched Judy Garland sing "The Man That Got Away" in A Star Is Born (1954). Holy Moses! Something came over me and I just sat there with my mouth hanging open and my eyes tearing up a bit. The moment when she sings "don't know what happened, it's all a crazy gaaaaaaame!" is simply too much for words. She thrusts her hand in the air and out of this little, tiny person comes a voice of fire.

Judy Garland was not in good shape when she made this film. Yes, she had overcome some rough hurdles by that point, but she was still on the mend (from prescription medication, alcohol, and a broken heart). A Star Is Born served as Garland's Hollywood comeback and she would have won the Oscar for Leading Actress that year if it hadn't been for Grace Kelly stealing it from her (yes, that's right. I said it).

This scene is a simple one: it takes place in a bar with one piano player and a small team of musicians. There is no audience (except for one) and there is no Busby Berkeley-inspired stage production. All that is left is a wounded woman and her voice. And what a voice it was!

A Star Is Born (1954) is currently available on DVD and Bluray.


  1. Very nice write up, Vanessa. I agree with you that there are certain scenes, lines, moments in films that resonate with folks. A chill goes down your spine. It's those films that I could watch over and over again.

    1. Well said! I feel the exact same way ;)

  2. Hi there,

    I discovered your site thanks to the Oscar Blogathon. I must say you are doing a great job. I have bookmarked your site and will be back for more!!! :-)

    Murtaza Ali

  3. I also.. discovered your awesome website thanks to the Oscar Blogathon. Judy Garland, what a treasure..


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