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In the Good Old Summertime

In the Good Old Summertime

4.2 4
Director: Robert Z. Leonard,

Cast: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, Buster Keaton


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In the Good Old Summertime is a musical remake of the 1940 Ernst Lubitsch comedy The Shop Around the Corner, which in turn was based on a play by Miklos Laszlo. The locale has been changed from Hungary to Chicago, but the turn-of-century time frame and the plot remain the same. Van Johnson and Judy Garland play a couple of clerks in a sheet-music store


In the Good Old Summertime is a musical remake of the 1940 Ernst Lubitsch comedy The Shop Around the Corner, which in turn was based on a play by Miklos Laszlo. The locale has been changed from Hungary to Chicago, but the turn-of-century time frame and the plot remain the same. Van Johnson and Judy Garland play a couple of clerks in a sheet-music store who detest each other on sight. Both reserve their words of affection for their respective pen pals, whom they've never met. The audience, of course, is aware that Johnson is Garland's pen pal, and she his, but it's fun to anticipate the fireworks when the characters on screen make this discovery. Buster Keaton, then employed by MGM as a "comedy consultant," is provided with one of his best parts in years as the bumbling nephew of shop owner S.Z. Sakall. The songs sung in Summertime consist of period numbers like "I Don't Care," "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie," and the title tune. This is the film in which 18-month-old Liza Minnelli (Garland's daughter) toddles into the closing number, though it is not her film debut, as has often been claimed: an even younger Minnelli popped up briefly in Garland's previous MGM musical Easter Parade.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
In the Good Old Summertime is a peppy and unassuming musical whose modest but undeniable charms will be enjoyed most by audiences unfamiliar with the movie (The Shop Around the Corner) upon which it is based. Although it has drastically changed Shop's setting, Summertime does keep a surprising amount of the movie's wonderful dialogue, even as if plays havoc with some of the plot essentials, resulting in a movie that is curiously devoid of all but the smallest dramatic tension. This, of course, places a significant burden on the talents of its cast, and Summertime is quite fortunate here. If Van Johnson cannot equal the work of Jimmy Stewart in Shop, he is still an excellent choice for the musical version. Even better is Judy Garland, who is in superb voice and delivers a knock-out "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey," a lively "I Don't Care" and a touching "Merry Christmas." She's also in peak comedic form, delivering an exceptional performance even when the script falls prey to hokeyness, as it does on occasion. The supporting cast is quite good, even if Buster Keaton is largely wasted, Robert Z. Leonard's direction is fine and the period costumes are quite colorful. If Summertime is not the perfect musicalization of Shop -- that honor belongs to the stage show, She Loves Me -- it is still an enjoyable little romp.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Archives
[Full Frame]
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Garland Veronica Fisher
Van Johnson Andrew Larkin
Buster Keaton Hickey
S.Z. Sakall Otto Oberkugen
Spring Byington Nellie Burke
Clinton Sundberg Rudy Hansen
Marcia Van Dyke Louise Parkson
Lillian Bronson Aunt Addie
Liza Minnelli Veronica and Andrew's Baby

Technical Credits
Robert Z. Leonard Director
Robert Alton Choreography
Jack Dawn Makeup
Randall Duell Art Director
Adrienne Fazan Editor
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Frances Goodrich Screenwriter
Albert Hackett Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Joe Pasternak Producer
Samson Raphaelson Screenwriter
Irene Sharaff Costumes/Costume Designer
Alfred E. Spencer Set Decoration/Design
George Stoll Score Composer
Harry Stradling Cinematographer
Ivan Tors Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design


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4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
DesiDivine More than 1 year ago
I love this movie! It is awesome. Judy Garland is an amazing singer and a great actress. Her daughter, as a baby, is shown in the final scene. This is a must see!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'In The Good Old Summertime' is a musical remake of 'The Shop Around The Corner' (also available from Warner and the preferred version of this movie). In place of the obviously poignant and tender chemistry that James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan brought to the original, on this occasion we are given shrill ineptitude, a la the usually brilliant Judy Garland, and mean spirited inclinations via the embittered Van Johnson. Really, I can't see how anyone would believe Garland and Johnson could be in love, much less have a child, by the final fade out. (Film trivia: the child in the last shot of this film is Liza Minnelli.) Garland plays Veronica Fisher, an unemployed young woman in turn of the century Chicago who unfortunately gets off on the wrong foot with Andrew Larkin (Van Johnson). He doesn¿t like her because she once sold a harp that he could not. Don¿t ask. Anyway, Larkin and Fisher have been secretly corresponding to one another through letters marked ¿dear friend.¿ Of course, neither knows that the person they dislike the most is actually the one responsible for their plutonic romance. But when Larkin discovers that Fisher is ¿the one¿ he decides to play a merciless game of deception, designed to test the depths of Veronica¿s feelings for her mystery beaux. The remake doesn¿t come anywhere near the sprite gaiety of the original, but it nevertheless has its moments. Garland - although wrong for this part, is in good voice and her songs sparkle with a vintage and professionalism that only a great artist like she could make of them in an otherwise uninspired production. In the supporting cast we have one of the cinema's great joys to watch - S.Z. Sakall, as the portly, easily flustered Mr. Otto Oberkugen - proprietor of the music shop where both Larkin and Fisher work. Buster Keaton is wasted in his role as Hickey, Mr. Oberkugen¿s easily flustered nephew. Warner gives us a very clean looking DVD. Colors are somewhat dated and in spots faded, but overall the Technicolor is rich and vibrant. Outdoor scenes seem somewhat more dated with overly pink flesh tones. Age related artifacts are present throughout but do not distract. Black levels are solid. Contrast levels tend to be just a bit too low for a picture that doesn't quite deliver as much visual punch as it should. There are several glaring examples of edge enhancement, particularly during the main title sequence. The audio is mono but nicely balanced. This is another film that die hard Garland fans will snatch up quickly. But one wonders why Warner chose 'In The Good Old Summertime' over say, 'Summer Stock' or any of the Mickey Rooney/Garland vehicles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the Good Old Summertime is a great movie! I absolutely love it! I also love the Shop Around the Corner in which this is a musical remake of but I really liked this too and found Judy Garland and Van Johnson to be very good and absolutely charming! a Very fun cute movie to watch!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago