Parents' Guide to

Meet Me in St. Louis

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

One of the most loving of all movie families.

Movie NR 1944 113 minutes
Meet Me in St. Louis Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 11+

While there's nothing inappropriate for children, I'm not sure younger than 11 would enjoy it

I certainly disagree that the song sung by two sisters at a party that another reader referred to is racist. A dialect is used in the song, but so what? People use an Irish, or a southern or a "New Yawk" dialect or accent in a film sometimes, but is that to be considered racist? Not in my world. Otherwise, this movie shows a family that truly love one another without being maudlin about it. That it's funny, poignant, and exciting is icing on the cake. As are the songs, each of which is like one of those tiny silver balls that placed on a cake's icing.
age 10+

Some issues in an otherwise forgettable musical

Overall, a nice, if slightly boring and contrived, musical. Two scenes gave me some pause: at a party scene early in the film Judy Garland's character and her younger sister perform a dance with racist overtones and, as other reviewers have mentioned, the Halloween scene is bizarre and promotes bratty and downright brutish behavior from children (references are made to "killing" and "torturing" people on Halloween by throwing flour at them). I would only watch this with children mature enough to understand the concept of outdated racial stereotypes and inappropriate behavior from other children.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (10 ):

The movie's pleasures are in the period detail, the glorious songs and the loving and nostalgic look at a time of innocence and optimism. It was a time where a long-distance call was almost as thrilling as having the World's Fair come to your very own city. We see the family over the course of a year, celebrating Halloween and Christmas, riding the ice truck in the summer and building snowmen in the winter. They face the prospect of having to leave St. Louis so that Mr. Smith can accept a promotion. They wonder whether the older girl's two boyfriends will propose. They treat each other with great loyalty and affectionate tolerance. And then they live happily ever after.

In a cast that includes Mary Astor as Smith's wife, Lucille Bremer as another Smith daughter, and Marjorie Main as the housekeeper, the most fascinating character is played by 6-year-old Margaret O'Brien, who won a special Oscar for her remarkable performance. Its songs are a heady combination of period tunes and newly minted numbers by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin, the best of which are The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Movie Details

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