Vittles, songs and dance are amply ladled out when Judy Garland headlines The Harvey Girls, a joyous musical slice of Americana celebrating the restaurants that brought extra helpings of civilization to Old West rail passengers. Highlights include Garland holding saloon patrons at jittery gunpoint to retrieve stolen beefsteaks, Ray Bolger’s loose-limbed comic hoofing, Virginia O’Brien’s sure-shot comic timing, Angela Lansbury’s stylish wickedness as a saloon singer and the “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” romp (nabbing it the 1946 Best Song Academy Award) that’s “deservedly famous, one of the most triumphant sequences in screen-musical history” (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker). All aboard!
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