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zmu16| Girl Crazy
Director: Busby Berkeley, Norman Taurog
Screenplay: Dorothy Kingsley, Fred F. Finklehoffe, Guy Bolton, Jack McGowan, Sid Silvers, William Ludwig
Cast: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton, Robert E. Strickland, Rags Ragland

Running Time: 99
Aspect Ratio:  (NTSC )
Features: Black and White
Studio:  Warner Home Video DVD Region:  1 NR
DVD Release:  Sep 2000 Discs:  1 (VHS Tape) [$14.98]
Reviews:  The promise of "One Hundred Beautiful Girls on Horseback" and a personal appearance by the Tommy Dorsey orchestra are among the enticements of this 1943 MGM musical, a typical installment in the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland let's-put-on-a-show genre. Not typical is the quality of the songbook, which trots out some sublime George and Ira Gershwin tunes: "Embraceable You," "Fascinating Rhythm," and a meltingly plaintive Garland solo on "But Not for Me." The plot has rich kid Rooney, energized as usual, sent away to a boys' school in the Wild West as a way of containing his mania (see title). The only gal in town is Judy, the granddaughter of the school's dean. The stars are affectionately matched, and musical fans will enjoy the young June Allyson belting out a spunky "Treat Me Rough." Rooney's comedy routine, imitating various radio personalities (including boxing champ Joe Louis), is one of those topical bits that will almost certainly puzzle viewers today. The director is Norman Taurog, an MGM workhorse who would later helm many of Elvis Presley's desultory vehicles. Busby Berkeley staged the rave-up finale to "I Got Rhythm," but the most beguiling production number is "Bidin' My Time," sung by Garland and some cowpokes--a droll performance with surrealistic flourishes. "Girl Crazy" seems no better or worse than the average musical of the era, but it was a huge hit, and Rooney would never reach this pinnacle of box-office success again. "--Robert Horton"

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