Open main menu

A Date with Judy is a 1948 MGM musical film starring Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, and Elizabeth Taylor.[3][4] Directed by Richard Thorpe, the movie was based on the radio series of the same name.

A Date with Judy
A Date With Judy film poster.jpg
A Date with Judy film poster
Directed byRichard Thorpe
Produced byJoe Pasternak
Screenplay byDorothy Cooper
Dorothy Kingsley
Based onCharacters created by
Aleen Leslie
StarringWallace Beery
Jane Powell
Elizabeth Taylor
Carmen Miranda
Xavier Cugat
Robert Stack
Music byErnesto Lecuona
CinematographyRobert Surtees
Edited byHarold F. Kress
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • July 29, 1948 (1948-07-29)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,586,000[1]

The film was photographed in Technicolor and largely served to showcase the former child star Elizabeth Taylor, age 16 at the time. Taylor was given the full MGM glamor treatment, including specially designed gowns.

Robert Stack appears in a prominent supporting part. Many others in the MGM stock company appear in their customary roles, including Leon Ames as a dignified father figure, the same role he played in the Judy Garland film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and top-billed Wallace Beery in his penultimate role as a contrasting "rough and ready" father figure.

The film features the soprano singing voice of young Jane Powell, and is also a showcase for the musical performances of the Latin American singer Carmen Miranda and bandleader Xavier Cugat. In this film, she is given to humorous malapropisms such as "His bite is worse than his bark" and "Now I'm cooking with grass". The songs "Judaline" and "It's a Most Unusual Day" also debuted in this film.



The big high school dance in Santa Barbara is coming up. Judy Foster (Jane Powell) expects boyfriend "Oogie" Pringle (Scotty Beckett) to be her escort, but he sends young Jo Jo in his place, angering Judy. Meanwhile, Oogie's sister, sophisticated senior Carol Pringle (Elizabeth Taylor), has booked famous bandleader Xavier Cugat and his orchestra for the dance.

Cugat's lady friend, Rosita Cochellas (Carmen Miranda), is a dance instructor. She is secretly giving rumba lessons to Judy's dad, Melvin Foster (Wallace Beery), who wants to surprise his wife with a dance for their upcoming wedding anniversary.

Soda shop owner Pop Scully (Lloyd Corrigan) introduces a disappointed Judy to his handsome nephew Stephen I. Andrews (Robert Stack), who volunteers to take Judy to the dance, even though he's considerably older. Judy finds him dreamy, and having Stephen as her date definitely makes Oogie jealous.

Stephen, however, falls for the beautiful Carol instead. This is annoying to Judy, as is her discovery that her dad is seeing Rosita behind her mother's back, presumably carrying on a romantic affair. Misunderstandings abound, including Rosita trying to explain the situation to her boyfriend, Cugat.

During the dance scene in which Mrs. Foster dances with Xavier Cugat, the song is the instrumental version of "The Walter Winchell Rumba", which Cugat and his band played during their normal gigs. The words, can be heard during a PBS Lawrence Welk show called, "The New York Show" by Gail, Sandy, and Marylou.




Original theatrical trailer.

Although Xavier Cugat is credited in the opening credits as "Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra," the end credits simply bill Cugat as "Himself." The A Date with Judy radio show ran from 1941 to 1949 on the NBC network, and from 1949 to 1950 on the ABC network. The character of "Judy Foster" was portrayed on the radio by Dellie Ellis (later known as Joan Lorring), Louise Erickson and Ann Gillis.

Thomas E. Breen was originally set to co-star in the film with Jane Powell, and Leslie Kardos was set to direct. Selena Royle replaced Mary Astor, who withdrew from the film due to illness.[5]

A biography of director Vincente Minnelli notes that a musical number entitled Mulligatawny, which was created by Stanley Donen, was cut from the film before its release. Actress Patricia Crowley portrayed "Judy Foster" in the ABC television series A Date with Judy, which ran from 1951 to 1953.[6]


The film was a hit, earning $3,431,000 in the US and Canada and $1,155,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $1,495,000.[1][7]

Critical receptionEdit

The New York Times reviewer pointed out that "the picture's gaiest moments" were provided by Carmen Miranda, "whose singing remains a source of delighted amazement to this observer."[8]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ Another source puts the cost at $2 million Variety February 1948
  3. ^ Variety film review; June 23, 1948, page 6.
  4. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; June 19, 1948, page 99.
  5. ^ (December 1947) The Hollywood Reporter
  6. ^ DetailView: A Date with Judy
  7. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  8. ^ Brazilian Bombshell: The Biography of Carmen Miranda - p.205

External linksEdit