Judy Garland is at her peak, pulling out all the stops, daring the gods in this dark, weighty fable of the price one pays to be at the top. This version, directed by Cukor, is lent all manner of mythic significance by Garland, teetering on the abyss before the slide. There would be other
triumphs in concert, but this is the peak of her film career. Here she finally exposed her powerful dramatic range, coupled with the magnificent singing voice that she pushed further than anyone could imagine. Her genius is attached to an uncomfortable, intense plot that allows reason for the
tremulous mannerisms and bottomless, dark eyes.
The plot essentially follows that of t...