by Douglas Messerli
Reprinted from American Cultural Treastures (December 2011).
As anyone who has seen the great Vicente Minnelli musical knows, Meet Me in St. Louis, based on Sally Benson’s beloved tales of the American belle epoch life in the Missouri river city, is a beautiful paean to American family life, as lively and enduring of a picture of Americana as any book or film before or after it. And even I, who love to point out different perspectives of cinema and literary texts, concur. For years I have loved this film for those very reasons.