05 December 2011

Day 6 of Christmas Nightlight Readings: 5135 Kensington; or, Meet Me in St. Louis

I don't know about you, but whenever I think about one of my favorite movies, "Meet Me in St. Louis," I can't help but think of Christmas and my all-time favorite song, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Although there have to be a hundred different versions, Judy Garland still does the best rendition. You might be wondering why I choose "Meet Me in St. Louis," for Day 6, because it's a movie not a book, which you are absolutely right! But one thing many people don't realize about this movie, is that the story is actually an adaptation of the memoir vignettes of Sally Benson (the real Esther Smith—played by Judy Garland). The stories were first titled "5135 Kensington," but in 1942 as the movie was being scripted, Benson added a few more chapters and titled it "Meet Me in St. Louis" after the script. (Benson wrote an early addition of the screenplay that was never used.)

If you are interested in reading the book, it is available at Amazon here.

One of my favorite scenes is when Esther returns from her Christmas ball to see Tootie still up, waiting for Santa Claus, worried that Santa may not find them next year after they move from St. Louis. Of course, Judy Garland begins to sing my all time favorite song. (Although in the movie they end up not moving from St. Louis, in the real story the family does move—but MGM did not think that would be an appropriate ending—after all happy endings sold tickets!)

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