Here’s the title card I’ve designed and lettered for the next film in my Judy Garland film-title series, Ziegfeld Girl, where a teen vaudevillian, an elevator operator, and a faithful wife face personal repercussions when selected to perform in the legendary Ziegfeld Follies. For this piece, I referenced the dimensional type from the theatrical trailer and played around with a sexy satiny background.
After finishing Little Nellie Kelly, Judy went straight into rehearsals for this picture which had actually been intended for Eleanor Powell, Joan Crawford, Margaret Sullavan, and Virginia Bruce in 1938. The leading ladies ended up being Garland, Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr, and Eve Arden for this 1941 musical.
Although Judy was not heralded as the glamor girl she wished to be, like her co-stars, she could sing gigantic circles around all of them. The powerful and dynamic performances she gave in this film are the reason it is still remembered and referenced today.
The main titles use a really lovely serif type solution with a sexy “Z” accompanied by some portraits of Ziegfeld girls in fantastic fashions.
The theatrical trailer titles are dimensional, shiny, and super sexy with a gorgeous voluptuous woman illuminated in marquee lights.
I love the opening frame for the film that showcases the bulb-lighted scripts and sans serif typography of Broadway!
These two images are the closing shots of the film showcasing Judy Garland in a blonde wig! This is the only time she got to don the color she thought would make her glamorous and a true bombshell. You can really see how happy she is to look like a Lana Turner-type girl. She was briefly blonde in the The Wizard of Oz and was thrilled about it but quickly made very disappointed when she was asked to be herself and more plain with auburn pigtails. One of the things that is so heartbreaking is that she never knew how truly beautiful she was by just being herself.
Here she is in a very rare color screen test wearing a dreadful blonde wig for The Wizard of Oz. The image comes from a fabulous book I had the pleasure of working on a few years ago available on Amazon here. Take note that even the yellow brick road and scarecrow set is different!
This is an article from the June 1941 Motion Picture magazine I have in my collection that talks about her filming Ziegfeld Girl. The article is called, Old Enough to Know What She Wants, by Carol Craig, and it’s a truly fascinating read and look into the making of films back in a time when completing a scene in one take wasn’t just a feat of will but necessary and it truly proves the existence and caliber of talent that reigned in Hollywood at this time.
This is Judy’s co-star Hedy Lamarr. If you have a moment, I would recommend reading her fascinating life story or even just her wikipedia page. She left Hollywood to become a successful inventor. She even aided in the invention of the wifi you may be using right now. As you can see, her unusual beauty was unrivaled.
I love this brush script I found in a print ad for the film in Screenland magazine from my collection.
Here’s the theatrical trailer for the film! It’s over-the-top in true MGM style but it’s worth the watch enjoy the bold deco typography.