A Date with Judy (1948)

One of the loveliest surprises in watching vintage movies is picking something at mostly-random–a poster, or an actor, or a general feeling–and having it turn out to contain something much deeper than your original shallow intentions.

That’s what happened to me and A Date with Judy, a choice I plucked somewhat randomly from the Netflix queue–mostly because I recognized the title from scouring the That’s Entertainment list, and when I saw that it combined the forces of Elizbaeth Taylor and Jane Powell, my subconscious lizard brain took over, and the next thing I knew, I was inserting the disc into my DVD player.

High Society (1956)

Well, that’ll teach me to actually read the synopses before seeing the movie: I got about 5 minutes into High Society thinking, “Hmm, this is awfully similar to The Philadelphia Story before realizing that–well, yes, that’s because it IS The Philadelphia Story.

I tend to avoid synopses and trailers and so on before seeing movies if I can… I figure if I’ve already got enough to convince me to see the movie another way, I don’t need to do any further research. The last time this happened was with The Matchmaker, which had seemed awfully similar to Hello, Dolly–though really, in that case, it was the other way around since Matchmaker was out first.

The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

In case it’s not obvious, I’m sort of cheating on my That’s Entertainment watchlist, because I’m starting with all the movies that have multiple entries first, so it’s more satisfying to check off. This will catch up to me later, but for now it works.

The Barkleys on Broadway was kind of a delightful surprise, as I’d mistakenly assumed it was related to Babes on Broadway (because… words, I guess), so I was expecting a pleasant, frothy comedy with a few dances in it. But I was wrong! It’s actually a heady, emotional dramatic piece with some great character moments. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of these options–it was just a pleasant surprise.