Filled Under: Elizabeth Taylor
“A Date with Judy” is a 1948 MGM musical film photographed in Technicolor starring Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, and Elizabeth Taylor. Directed by Richard Thorpe, the movie was based on the radio series of the same name. “A Date With Judy” also stars Carmen Miranda, Xavier Cugat, Robert Stack, Scotty Beckett, Leon Ames, Selena Royle, Clinton Sundberg, George Cleveland, Lloyd Corrigan, Jerry Hunter, and Jean McLaren. The film features Elizabeth Taylor’s beauty, the soprano singing voice of young Jane Powell, and is also a showcase for the musical performances of the Latin American singer Carmen Miranda and bandleader Xavier Cugat.
Judy Foster (Jane Powell) and Carol Pringle (Elizabeth Taylor) are teenagers and best friends who find their loyalties tested from complications arising because of the upcoming high school dance. Judy Foster expects boyfriend “Oogie” Pringle (Scotty Beckett) to be her escort, but he declines. Meanwhile, Oogie’s sister, sophisticated senior Carol Pringle has booked famous bandleader Xavier Cugat and his orchestra for the dance. Cugat’s lady friend and singing star with his band, Rosita Cochellas (Carmen Miranda), is also a dance instructor who is secretly giving dancing lessons to Judy’s father, Melvin Foster (Wallace Beery). Soda shop owner Pop Scully (Lloyd Corrigan) introduces a disappointed Judy to his handsome nephew Stephen I. Andrews (Robert Stack), who volunteers to take Judy to the dance, even though he’s considerably older. Judy finds him dreamy, and having Stephen as her date definitely makes Oogie jealous. Stephen, however, falls for the beautiful Carol instead. All this is very annoying to Judy, as is her discovery that her dad is seeing Rosita behind her mother’s back. Judy thinks they are having a romantic affair and enlists Carol to do a little sleuthing to try to figure out what really is going on between her dad and Rosita. With all these complications, humorous misunderstandings abound, including Rosita trying to explain the situation to her boyfriend, Cugat.
“A Date With Judy” is typical of MGM’s musical entertainment of the era. With that said, I thought “A Date With Judy” is one of the more enjoyable musicals they made. Definitely not MGM’s best, but very good. The film was a showcase for two of MGM’s most popular rising stars of the time in Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Powell. Elizabeth Taylor, age sixteen, and Jane Powell, age nineteen, are both very charming in their respective roles. Elizabeth’s great beauty was in full display as she was given the full MGM glamour treatment, including specially designed gowns just for her. Jane Powell shows off her singing voice with “A Most Unusual Day” and “Love Is Where You Find It”. Xavier Cugat and his band with Carmen Miranda as his star attraction are excellent as always. Leon Ames, Robert Stack, and Scotty Beckett are also very good. Wallace Berry is great as Jane Powell’s father and his dancing the ‘Rumba’ towards the end of the film almost steals the show. All in all a very charming and lighthearted film showcasing Elizabeth Taylor’s beauty, Jane Powell’s lovely voice and charm, along with Xavier Cugat and Carmen Miranda’s musical excellence.
“If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“I, along with the critics, have never taken myself very seriously.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“Everything makes me nervous, except making films.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“One problem with people who have no vices is that they`re pretty sure to have some annoying virtues.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“You find out who your real friends are when you`re involved in a scandal.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“I had a hollow leg. I could drink everyone under the table and not get drunk. My capacity was terrifying.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“It is very strange that the years teach us patience… that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“I believe in mind over matter and doing anything you set your mind on.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
Behind the scenes of “Giant”, a 1956 epic drama produced and directed by George Stevens and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker. Mercedes McCambridge, and Dennis Hopper. Giant won the Academy Award for Best Director and was nominated nine other times, twice for Best Actor in a Leading Role (James Dean and Rock Hudson). The other nominations came in the categories of Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mercedes McCambridge); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Boris Leven, Ralph S. Hurst); Best Costume Design, Color; Best Film Editing; Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture; Best Picture; and Best Writing, Best Screenplay – Adapted.
Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to ever grace the silver screen. The following is a pictorial honoring some of her best and most important movies.
Lassie Come Home (1943). Taylor had a secondary role in this movie as Lassie Come Home featured child star Roddie McDowell. But McDowell and Taylor both recieved favourable reviews which led to eleven year old Taylor signing a seven year contract with MGM. Taylor and McDowell became friends during the filming and would remain close friends until McDowell’s death in 1998.
National Velvet (1944). Mickey Rooney had top billing but it was Elizabeth Taylor who stole the show with her role as Velvet Brown, a young girl who trains her horse to win the Grand National. Taylor’s performance skyrocketed her to stardom at the age of twelve and led to her signing a new long term contract with MGM that raised her salary to 30,000 dollars a year.
Father Of The Bride (1950). Taylor easily made the transition to adult roles as she grew older. Father of the Bride, with Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, was Taylor’s first big box office hit in an adult role. She was seventeen at the time.
Giant (1956). Giant was a star studded epic directed by George Stevens and starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean. Giant was nominated for 10 Academy Awards with one win for best director. (On a side note, this was James Dean’s last movie as he died in a car wreck before the movie was released.)
Raintree County (1957). Taylor starred opposite Montgomery Clift in this Civil War Drama which earned Taylor her first of four in a row nominations for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) . Elizabeth earned her second of four nominations in a row for an Academy Award for Best Actress in her role as Maggie opposite Paul Newman in this movie adaptation of Tennessee William’s play.
Butterfield 8 (1960). Taylor won her first Academy Award for Best Actress after being nominated for the 4th year in a row for her role as Gloria Wandrous starring opposite her then husband Eddie Fisher.
Cleopatra (1963). Elizabeth Taylor became the first woman ever to sign a million dollar contract when she accepted the title role in the 20th Century Fox lavish production of Cleopatra. The movie won 4 Academy Awards and was the highest grossing movie of 1963. Taylor played Cleopatra opposite Richard Burton’s Marc Antony. It was during the filming of this movie that Taylor and Burton first met and started their torrid love affair which recieved much attention from the press as they were both married at the time. (Taylor and Burton would later marry and divorce, twice, but would remain friends for the rest of their lives.)
Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf (1966). Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf was a drama starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, and Sandy Denis. The film was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and is the only film to ever recieve an Academy Award nomination in every eligible catagory possible. It won five times including Taylor recieving her second Academy Award for Best Actress. Many critics said that Elizabeth Taylor’s role as the lewd and unkept Martha was her best performance ever.
For more on Elizabeth Taylor click here.