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In 1943, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney teamed for their final “backyard musical.” As in Babes in Arms and Babes on Broadway, the duo would need to band together to save their community before everything they loved was lost.
1. June Allyson and Judy Garland became friends.
Though not thanks to the studio. June Allyson only had one song in the film, and Judy Garland isn't even on screen when it happens. Additionally, the studio was actually trying to use the women against each other, stating that if either gave a hard time, they could be replaced in the film with the other. Despite the drama, the two ladies hit it off. Allyson said of Garland, “She had more talent in one little finger than all of us put together.”
2. Judy was honored with a stamp.
The United States Post Office honored Judy Garland by placing her picture on a stamp as part of the Legends of Hollywood series in June 2006. Ironically, in Girl Crazy, Judy played a postmistress for the college. In the film, after learning about her job, Rooney says, “Government’s making a big mistake. They ought to put your picture on the postage stamps.” Little did he know that about sixty years later they would!
3. They filmed in Palm Springs.
Mickey wanted a working vacation, so they filmed in Palm Springs. However, it was anything but a vacation. The heat reached 112 degrees, a sandstorm was so bad it ruined some of the equipment, and Army planes made too much noise flying overhead. As a result, some of the scenes had to be reshot at MGM’s studio.
4. Judy had a hidden talent.
In Girl Crazy, Judy Garland plays the piano while singing “Embraceable You.” In real life, she could actually play the piano – unlike when she pretends to play the guitar in “Bidding My Time.” Garland’s mother taught her, and during nights when she couldn’t sleep, she would play. However, she intentionally didn’t advertise her ability, wanting to enjoy the instrument for her own pleasure.
5. Originally there was a different ending.
The original ending had Mickey crowning Judy the most beautiful co-ed after proposing marriage. Then, they broke out into a reprise of “Embraceable You.” Director Busby Berkeley, however, saw “I Got Rhythm” as the big finale, and the script was rearranged. Unfortunately, the studio felt Berkeley spent too much time and money on the sequence, and he was fired after only directing that one song. Director Norman Taurog replaced him and finished up the film.