“Have yourself a merry little Christmas.” So sings Esther Smith (Judy Garland) to her little sister Tootie (Margaret O’Brien) in Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis.
It was the 1940s and musicals reined over Hollywood with one production powerhouse in lead of them all. Now British Film Institute (BFI) in Southbank, London is paying homage to MGM studios’ triumphant years, with a two-month season of classic musical screenings.
Musicals are the epitome of a Christmas television schedule, as films like The Wizard of Oz, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Mary Poppins agelessly rekindle a sense of magic, family and nostalgia. More then 75 years later, Busby Berkeley’s 42nd street, Mark Sandrich’s Top Hat, and Singin’ in the Rain are being recaptured on stage through elaborate theatre productions. So it is only fitting for Hollywood’s golden era to return to the platform it was made for – the big screen.