ABC PREMIERE EVENT: LIFE WITH JUDY GARLAND: ME AND MY SHADOWS {PART 1 OF 2} (TV)

Summary

Part one of this two-part miniseries, based on the book by Lorna Luft about her mother, Judy Garland. The program opens with narrator Lorna noting how hard it is to be the child of a legend. The program begins in 1924 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, as two-year-old Judy -- then known as Frances Gumm -- performs "Jingle Bells" for a cheering audience. In the audience, Frances's mother Ethel notices her husband Frank lovingly clasping hands with another man in the wings. To help compensate for her unhappy marriage, Ethel moves the family west to California. By 1935 in Los Angeles, Frank takes Judy to audition at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where her talent knocks them dead. Executives alert studio head Louis B. Mayer, who comes to watch Judy sing "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart." Louis asks if Judy can perform opera, resulting in her singing a traditional Jewish song that causes him to utter "little girl, big voice." Judy signs a contract with MGM and becomes the chief moneymaker for the Gumms, though Frank questions if Judy would be better off leading "a normal life." Once on the set, Judy becomes fast friends with young Mickey Rooney. He attempts to assuage her fears as producers try to improve Judy's look by changing her posture, giving her caps for her teeth, and inserting disks in her nose to turn it up. Composer Roger Edens tells Judy how to modulate her voice, as opposed to being "Miss Leather Lungs." He assures her that her voice is "a gift" as she sings "You Made Me Love You." Judy begins singing for radio shows, learning more about her vocal skills. One day, Judy returns home from work to find her father sitting in the living room and trying to conceal his body's pain. Judy complains that she isn't allowed to be in movies, as she isn't as glamorous as her studio colleagues. The next night, Roger calls Judy off stage from a radio show, alerting her that Frank has just been rushed to the hospital. However, Judy is not allowed to leave the radio set and Frank listens to her from his hospital bed. By the time she has returned home, Judy learns that her father has died and cries along with her sisters Suzy and Jimmie. Later that night, neighbor Wil Gilmore drops by the Gumm home, taking an emotionless Ethel out on a date. Three years later, Judy, now sixteen and with five movies under her belt, is meeting with Lana Turner, who is to star alongside Mickey in an Andy Hardy movie. On her birthday, Louis gives her a copy of "The Wizard of Oz," stating that she is going to star in a film version of the classic L. Frank Baum book. However, Judy is later upset to learn that the "New York office" is tapping Shirley Temple to star instead. To her relief, Twentieth Century Fox honchos don't let Shirley out of her contract, and Judy regains the Dorothy role. Immediately, the studio is giving her pills for weight loss, energy, and sleep, all of which are approved by Ethel. On "The Wizard of Oz" set, Roger and producer Arthur Freed are blown away by Judy's portrayal of Dorothy. Judy goofs around with fellow actors Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Bert Lahr before performing "We're Off to See the Wizard." Meanwhile, Judy remains concerned about her weight issues, discussing them with Mickey. Once released, "The Wizard of Oz" becomes a sensation and Judy's fame soars. She goes on the road with Mickey to perform songs like "Good Morning" for crowds. One night, Mickey finds Judy popping pills and acting frantic, cautioning her on overusing her prescriptions. On October 10, 1939 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Judy puts her hands into a block of cement, recalling her father's prediction that she'd soon have her prints there. In 1940, Judy and Mickey hit Ciro's nightclub together and she later gets a ride home with older bandleader Artie Shaw; a romance soon develops. Artie tries to make Judy believe in herself, telling her that she doesn't have enough confidence in her abilities. Ethel and her new husband Wil are not pleased with Judy's subsequent behavior. One day, Louis visits Judy in her dressing room, noting that Ethel called him to complain about her "carousing." Later, Judy and Mickey get reprimanded by director Busby Berkeley during rehearsals for "Strike Up the Band." At night with Artie, Judy and he discuss their futures. Soon, however, Judy learns that Artie has eloped with Lana Turner, leaving her heartbroken. Judy is too upset to go back to the "Girl Crazy" set but Ethel forces her to return. There, she struggles to perform "I Got Rhythm" and Busby lashes out at her. Then, she collapses and doctors find she has become too dependent on pills. Louis orders Judy to rest for three weeks, then bans Ethel from the lot. Later, Roger tells Judy that Busby has been replaced, but Judy can't stop crying, saying that she misses her father. She thinks Frank was the only person on her side. At nineteen, Judy marries composer David Rose, and divorces him nine months later. One day, director Vincente Minnelli discusses his upcoming movie "Meet Me in St. Louis" with Judy and how he will make her into "a beautiful woman" as its protagonist. Soon enough, Judy is filming "The Trolley Song," aided by the music's arranger Kay Thompson. Judy remains determined to marry Vincente, despite rumors of his homosexuality. The pair wed in June of 1945, then honeymoon in New York City for three months. There, Judy discusses wanting to quit Hollywood now that she is pregnant. By 1947, Judy is off pills and the mother of Liza. However, she is also still considered a valuable studio property and Vincente is convinced by Louis to get her to star in "The Pirate." That night, Vincente discusses the plan with Judy and she reluctantly agrees. When Vincente seems incapable of being intimate with her, she begins taking pills again. Six months later, Judy walks off Vincente's set and gets into a fight with her husband over his favoring of her co-star, Gene Kelly. Vincente then discovers that she is again hooked on pills. Judy is sent to Bingham Memorial Hospital to undergo analysis and begin rehab. She tells the doctor that her body is tired, not her head. Upon her release, Judy is soon back on set doing screen tests for "Annie Get Your Gun," again directed by her old nemesis Busby. After being put back on weight loss pills, Judy's behavior becomes erratic and housekeeper Lottie tries to comfort her. However, Judy gets suspended indefinitely for her behavior, upsetting her. Vincente tells Roger that he thinks the marriage will soon be over as he can't show Judy the love she needs. Then, Judy locks herself in a room where she starts to slash her throat with broken glass. She's saved by Vincente, Roger, and Lottie. Recovering later at home, she refuses to see her mother. Soon, MGM officially terminates Judy's contract. By 1950 in New York City, Judy has dinner with Kay, trying to make the best of her divorce from Vincente. There, Judy meets B-movie producer Sidney Luft and is warned by Kay to stay away from him. However, Judy goes out with the "dangerous" man, who tries to convince her to return to the stage. Judy agrees, as long as Sid will "take care" of her. The pair are soon sleeping together and he books her on a highly successful concert tour of Europe. Later, Sid struggles to get Judy any stage work back in America, as she is only offered radio deals. Sid turns them down and instead manages to get her booked at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. On October 16, 1951, Judy appears there to much acclaim, performing songs like "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody" and encoring with a poignant treatment of "Over the Rainbow." Narrator Lorna states that Judy's reviews triumphed "one of the greatest comebacks in show business history." Includes commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: February 25, 2001 Sunday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:57:22
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:64232
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SUBJECT HEADING:
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 2001
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CREDITS

    • Peter Sussman … Executive Producer
    • Ed Gernon … Executive Producer
    • Craig Zadan … Executive Producer
    • Neil Meron … Executive Producer
    • Lorna Luft … Co-Executive Producer, Based on the book by
    • Robert Allan Ackerman … Co-Executive Producer, Director
    • Kirk Ellis … Co-Executive Producer
    • Von Alvensleben, Philip … Supervising Producer
    • John Ryan … Producer
    • Robert L. Freedman … Producer, Writer
    • Dave Mace … Co-Producer
    • William Ross … Music by
    • David Lawrence … Music by
    • Miranda Garrison … Choreographer
    • Cynthia Gibb … Narrator
    • Judy Davis … Cast, Judy Garland
    • Victor Garber … Cast, Sid Luft
    • Hugh Laurie … Cast, Vincente Minnelli
    • John Benjamin Hickey … Cast, Roger Edens
    • Sonja Smits … Cast, Kay Thompson
    • Jayne Eastwood … Cast, Lottie
    • Daniel Kash … Cast, Arthur Freed
    • Alison Phil … Cast, Young Lorna Luft
    • Aidan Devine … Cast, Frank Gumm
    • Stewart Bick … Cast, Artie Shaw
    • Tammy Blanchard … Cast, Young Judy Garland
    • Al Waxman … Cast, Louis B. Mayer
    • Marsha Mason … Cast, Ethel Gumm
    • Dwayne Adams … Cast, Mickey Rooney
    • Rosemary Dunsmore … Cast, Ida Koverman
    • Carley Alves … Cast, Judy (2 yrs)
    • Cara Pifko … Cast, Jimmie Gumm (Adult)
    • Zoe Heath … Cast, Suzy Gumm (Adult)
    • De Cosmo, Josephine … Cast, Jimmie Gumm (7 yrs)
    • Samantha Gerber … Cast, Suzy Gumm (9 yrs)
    • Lindy Booth … Cast, Lana Turner
    • Rory Feore … Cast, Radio Host
    • Nancy McAlear … Cast, Wardrobe Woman #1
    • Ellen-Ray Hennessy … Cast, Wardrobe Woman #2
    • Elyssa Livergant … Cast, Wardrobe Assistant
    • Brendan Wall … Cast, Assistant Director
    • Alex Poch-Goldin … Cast, Psychiatrist
    • Michael Rhoades … Cast, Busby Berkeley
    • Gerry Salsberg … Cast, Charles Bickford
    • Salvatore Migliore … Cast, Clinician
    • Rodger Barton … Cast, Studio Doctor
    • Tannis Burnett … Cast, Commissary Waitress
    • Alan Rosenthal … Cast, Judy's Personal Doctor
    • Gary Brennan … Cast, Photographer
    • Ron Kennell … Cast, Reporter at Minnelli House
    • Phillip MacKenzie … Cast, Victor Fleming
    • Bruce McFee … Cast, Wil Gilmore
    • Thea Gill … Cast, Lucille Bremer
    • Noah Henne … Cast, Ray Bolger as The Scarecrow
    • James Kall … Cast, Jack Haley as The Tin Man
    • Michael B. King … Cast, Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion
    • L. Frank Baum
    • Gene Kelly
    • Shirley Temple