Movie Trailer of the Day: Judy Garland In “The Harvey Girls”

While the musical western is now an entirely dead genre, that wasn’t always the case. Annie Get Your Gun, Calamity Jane, Oklahoma!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Paint Your Wagon all mixed tales of frontier life with song and dance. Another film that merged the two genres seamlessly was 1945’s The Harvey Girls,” starring Judy Garland. Based on Samuel Hopkins Adams’ novel of the same name, the story drew its inspiration from the Fred Harvey restaurant chain that rose to popularity in the 1880s. As America headed west, so did Fred Harvey’s…as well as a lot of demure young waitresses who didn’t know how wild the frontier was! The film tells the story of some of these individuals, with charming results, focusing on spunky server Susan Bradley (Garland) as she gets the better of antagonistic Arizona barkeep Ned Trent (John Hodiak) in commerce and romance. The incredible supporting cast includes Angela Lansbury, Ray Bolger, Virginia O’Brien, Cyd Charisse, and with songs like “It’s a Great Big World” and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” (which won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1946), the film had people humming long after they left the theater. We present The Harvey Girls as today’s trailer of the day to remind you of a time when singing and dancing sagaebrush sagas were a vital part of the moviegoing experience.