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The Judy Garland Show, Episode 15: The Christmas Special - DVD

In this 1963 holiday episode of The Judy Garland Show, a large crop of guest stars, including Judy Garland's three children, joins the singer for a bevy of classic and contemporary songs, most of them Christmas-themed. Opening with one of her signature tunes, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from Meet Me in St. Louis, Garland makes her way through "Consider Yourself" (from Oliver), "Little Drops of Rain" (from Gay Purr-ee), and, of course, "Over the Rainbow" (from The Wizard of Oz). Jazz singers Jack Jones and Mel Torme also turn up; Jones solos on "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Lollipops and Roses", while Torme duets with Garland on one of his own classics, "The Christmas Song" (also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"). Joey Luft and Lorna Luft, Garland's two school-age children by third husband Sidney Luft, get their chance to shine, as does eldest daughter and future superstar Liza Minnelli. The entire program is staged as a mock Christmas party, complete with dancing Santas, visiting carolers, and a couple of medleys featuring the entire ensemble. Garland begins the show by inviting viewers into her "home" -- actually a split-level set dressed to resemble a palatial living room. Episode 15 of Garland's short-lived CBS television show, The Judy Garland Christmas Show was taped on December 6, 1963, and broadcast a few weeks later on December 22. Astute viewers will note that Garland flubs a line from Torme's The Christmas Song, earning a chuckle from its composer, and then deliberately substitutes the word "rainbow" for "reindeer" in the next line -- an allusion to her own signature tune. Torme served as a consultant for almost the entire run of Garland's show and their sometimes contentious relationship has been documented in numerous books, including Torme's own The Other Side of the Rainbow. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

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