Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gene & Judy at MGM, Pt. 3

When we last left this story, Gene Marshall was trying on the classic black tux coat and fedora hat from her friend Judy Garland’s “Get Happy” number.

Judy was bubbling over with enthusiasm, seeing Gene happily playing dress-up and posing for the photographer.

“Sydney—let’s do ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ next!”

Sydney took Gene to the hair department as Judy stayed behind to assist Helen in wardrobe. With the help of a red wig, Gene was quickly transformed into Esther Smith, Judy’s character from “Meet Me In St. Louis.” As Gene put on the ruffled white outfit from the film’s finale, she felt like she had died and gone to heaven.

“Oh Judy, this is too much—I can’t believe I am wearing this! I remember sitting in the theater watching you up on the screen in this!”

And so the afternoon went. Gene modeled outfits from “The Harvey Girls” as well as the costumes from “The Wizard of Oz.” Imagine how Gene felt when she put on Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers and blue gingham dress—she felt like she had traveled over the rainbow!

Gene also tried on The Wicked Witch’s sinister black dress. For the backdrop, Judy again used her pull and had the men in the background department unfurl one of the painted backdrops that was used in the actual movie.

The costume for spinster Elvira Gulch, the witch’s alter ego, was also a lot of fun, but not as much as Glinda’s frothy pink confection of a gown. For each costume change, Sydney was on hand to select just the right wig. The two girls were having such fun it was hard for Sydney and Helen to be mad for keeping them late at the studio.

Thankfully these photographs survive to show you a sampling of what Gene Marshall experienced on that magical afternoon that she spent at MGM with her friend, Judy Garland.

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  1. Died and went to movie studio heaven! Seriously, amazing job!

  2. The hat for Meet Me In St. Louis is a little off. The original hat curved forward at the front, and I would know, because I'm a Judy buff.

  3. What a sweet story...huge fan of both Judy and Gene...who knew they both met but in a way makes perfect sense! lol