Girl Crazy

The eighth and last MGM feature to pair Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, this black-and-white let’s put on a show musical (1943) from the Arthur Freed unit is set at a western men’s college where a rich kid (Rooney) falls for the dean’s granddaughter (Garland). The stars sing familiar Gershwin tunes, backed by the Tommy Dorsey band, and when Busby Berkeley takes over from the pedestrian Norman Taurog to direct the climactic I Got Rhythm, the difference is palpable. Rooney’s brashness and energy are boundless throughoutincluding one swell scene in which he pretends to be a piano virtuoso. With June Allyson and Guy Kibbee. 99 min. (JR)

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