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I Could Go On Singing is a 1963 British-American musical drama film directed by Ronald Neame, starring Judy Garland (in her final film role) and Dirk Bogarde. Originally titled The Lonely Stage, it was renamed so that audiences would know Garland sang in it, the first such movie since A Star Is Born in 1954.

I Could Go On Singing
Directed byRonald Neame
Produced byStuart Millar
Lawrence Turman
Written byMayo Simon
Dirk Bogarde (uncredited)
Story byRobert Dozier
StarringJudy Garland
Dirk Bogarde
Jack Klugman
Gregory Phillips
Music byMort Lindsey
CinematographyArthur Ibbetson
Edited byJohn Shirley
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • March 7, 1963 (1963-03-07) (World Premiere, London)
  • March 20, 1963 (1963-03-20) (Miami, Florida)
  • May 15, 1963 (1963-05-15) (New York, New York)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States

Although not a huge box office success on release, it won Garland much praise for her performance. In Bogarde's autobiographies and in the 2004 biography, it is recounted that Judy Garland's lines were substantially rewritten by Bogarde (with Garland's consent).[1]

The film had its world premiere at the Plaza Theatre in London's West End on 6 March 1963.[2]



Jenny Bowman (Judy Garland) is a successful concert singer who regularly tours the world. During a stay in London, she visits recently widowed David Donne (Dirk Bogarde), a prominent ENT surgeon. It is revealed that over a decade ago the two had an affair that led to the birth of Matt, who is raised alone now by David and has been told he was adopted. Although Jenny and David agreed that Matt would never know the truth, David takes Jenny to Matt's boarding school in Buckinghamshire so she may meet him just once. Jenny and Matt hit it off and the three spend the whole day together. Jenny invites the two to her concert at the London Palladium, but David is unable to make it due to work in Rome.

With David absent and under the impression that Matt is back at school, Jenny and Matt spend a few days together exploring London. Jenny's manager and assistant try to cover for Matt by calling his school, but word about his absence gets back to David in Rome, who is furious. When David returns to London, he and Jenny have a row during which Matt overhears that they are his birth parents. David implores Matt to remain in England and finish his schooling, while Jenny insists Matt should accompany her on her world tour. Confused, Matt rejects Jenny's invitations and the two agree to see each other again sometime in the future.

Jenny turns to a night of drinking on the town to cope with the heartbreak and ends up twisting her ankle. At a clinic, she demands that David come to treat her. When he arrives, she claims to be quitting singing as she is "stretched too thin and everyone wants a bite", but David insists she cannot let herself down this way and tells her he loves her. At her concert that night, Jenny sings marvelously to the crowd. David leaves mid-way through her first number.



All songs performed by Judy Garland:

Film reviewsEdit

"Either you are or you aren't - a Judy Garland fan that is. And if you aren't, forget about her new movie, I Could Go On Singing, and leave the discussion to us devotees. You'll see her in beautiful, glowing Technicolor and striking staging in a vibrant, vital performance that gets to the essence of her mystique as a superb entertainer. Miss Garland is - as always - real, the voice throbbing, the eyes aglow, the delicate features yielding to the demands of the years - the legs still long and lovely. Certainly the role of a top-rank singer beset by the loneliness and emotional hungers of her personal life is not an alien one to her..."[This quote needs a citation] - Judith Crist, The New York Herald Tribune

"3 stars...Judy Garland is back on screen in a role that might have been custom-tailored for her particular talents. A new song, I Could Go On Singing, provides her with a little clowning, a chance to be gay, a time for wistfulness, an occasion for tears. She and Dirk Bogarde play wonderfully well together, even though the script itself insists on their being mismatched..."[This quote needs a citation] - Dorothy Masters, The New York Daily News


The soundtrack album was released at the time of the original movie release, and appeared on CD in 2002 along with the Garland album That's Entertainment!

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS in 1989, and on DVD in 2004. In 2016, it was released on Blu-ray from Twilight Time.


  1. ^ John Coldstream, Dirk Bogarde, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2004, p. 287
  2. ^ The Times, 6 March 1963, Page 2

External linksEdit