Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows
Based on the best-selling memoir by Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft, this poignant drama looks at singer Judy Garland’s scintillating and tumultuous life. The film covers her life from her first stage performance at age two to her untimely death at age 47. The made-for-TV docudrama premieres on ABC, Sunday, 2/25/01 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) and concludes the following night.
This film haunted me for days. Ms. Garland was an exceptional talent, yet she was controlled by an overbearing mother, several self-serving lovers, including a husband who turned out to be gay, and a domineering studio head who got her hooked on prescription drugs. Her life became a living nightmare. Powerfully acted by Ms. Davis, and Tammy Blanchard (as young Judy), with Judy Garland’s actual recordings, and it is tightly directed by Robert Allan Ackerman (“David’s Mother,” “Safe Passage”).
Hard to view at times due to the abuse given the temperamental star and the abuse she gave herself, but an important reminder that wealth, success, and fame will still leave a person empty if they are not soundly based in a spiritual awareness. According to the film, Judy was not brought up with a spiritual guidance, nor did she attempt to develop a spiritual life. In a particularly harrowing scene, while about to give a premature birth, Garland asks her friend if she knows any prayers. The confidant begins quoting a Hail Mary. Later, however, when asked if she would like to pray again, she states, “Why, I survived, didn’t I?” The scene indicates that she paid no attention to spiritual matters.