Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Lorna Luft once famously joked that John Fricke was the illegitimate love child of her mother, Judy Garland, and Van Johnson.
I am starting to wonder if Lorna didn’t actually expose a truth there, because Judy Garland couldn’t have asked for a more devoted son than John Fricke.
For over three decades he has been Garland’s selfless champion, cheerleader, and knight in shining armor.

For the last five years of her life, and for several years following her death, Garland was brutally treated by the press and because of sensationalism, rumor, and out and out lying, a rather unfair and untrue persona was created of a star who was drunk, difficult, demanding, and out of control.
Nothing could be further from the truth and John Fricke knew it and made it his business to steer the public toward the light of reality. And that reality is that of a woman who worked professionally for forty five of her forty seven years, won the Academy Award, the Tony Award, a few Golden Globes, several Grammy’s, and was nominated for every other major entertainment award you can think of.

She was also a devoted mother, wife, and as a concerned and caring member of the world community she devoted much of her time and talent to various charitable causes here and abroad.

Largely because of Fricke’s efforts via books, commentary, documentaries, concert presentations, liner notes etc the world at large now rightfully views Judy as one the greatest voices of the 20th century, a major film actress, and the undisputed queen of the MGM musical, or, quite simply, The World's Greatest Entertainer.

Fricke’s latest book, JUDY: A LEGENDARY FILM CAREER examines all aspects of Garland’s film career, and in the most educational, entertaining, and enlightening ways possible. With something like 350 pages, countless never before seen photos and ephemera, and enough fun facts and behind the scenes gossip so that even the most jaded film buff or Garland afficianado will not only be satisfied, but wowed as well.

I was lucky enough to see the galleys and then the proofs, and finally a personal tour through this book with the author as my guide. But it wasn’t until yesterday when my very own copy of the book arrived in the mail that I fully comprehended the depth and richness and absolute joy found between the pages of this jewel box of a book.

Fricke writes the way Judy sang, with freshness and spontaneity.
He may have known some of the details he writes about for decades but his enthusiasm and joy for sharing them still seem brand new, and we his readers are all the luckier for it. Not only is this book a great resource, but it is an extremely well written and wonderfully charming read.
We don’t just get lists of Judy’s film and casts, we also get pre-production notes, casting info, post production and premiere information, synopses, song selections, complete listings of not only the films Judy didn’t complete, but the ones she was wanted for, in the running for, and rumored for, as well as extensive information on the several short subjects that Garland appeared in.

The good folks at Running Press deserve mention for hiring Fricke for this project and for producing JUDY: A LEGENDARY FILM CAREER with such care and style. Judy was first class all the way and John Fricke and Running Press treat her accordingly.

What with this new book, the upcoming Judy Garland London Recordings CD, the current Paley Center Garland television retrospective, and the recent Film Society Lincoln Center movie retrospective at the Walter Reade theater, is it any wonder this summer has been dubbed “The Sunmmer Of Judy?”
And is it any wonder that John Fricke had a hand in all of the above? Like I said, Judy couldn’t have asked for a more devoted son.

During Judy Garland’s lifetime people used to marvel at how movie audiences would burst into applause at the conclusion of a filmed Garland number, and if my recent visits to view her films at New York City’s Walter Reade theater are any indication, that tradition has never gone away. And thanks to her monumental talent and people like John Fricke, who love and respect that talent, it looks like Judy Garland will never go away either.

Go order this new book now, both and barnesandnoble,com are offering it at a truly amazing discounted price.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm always excited when a John Frike Judy book is about to be relesed. I have had this one on order at Amazon for about 2 months. It should be arriving any day now.Good Luck John I hope it will be a big success.
Gordon Stevens



The Judy Garland Experience

Web Site Counter
Free Counter

Blog Archive