Meet Me in St. Louis

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Judy Garland as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis

Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 musical film about four sisters living in St. Louis at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair in 1904.

Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Written by Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe, based on a series of short stories by Sally Benson.
A cast of favorites in the Charming ...Romantic ...Tuneful Love Story of the Early 1900s! taglines

Esther Smith

  • [singing] The moment I saw him smile
    I knew he was just my style.
    My only regret is we've never met,
    Though I dream of him all the while.
  • [singing] How can I ignore the Boy Next Door?
    I love him more than I can say.
    Doesn't try to please me, doesn't even tease me.
    And he never sees me glance his way.
    And though I'm heartsore, the Boy Next Door,
    Affection for me won't display.
    I just adore him, so I can't ignore him,
    The Boy Next Door.
  • [to Mr. Smith] Well, Papa, if losing a case depresses you so, why don't you quit practicing law and go into another line of business?
  • [to Mr. Smith, after he hangs up on a caller] You've just ruined Rose's chance to get married, that's all...That was Warren Sheffield calling long-distance to propose.
  • Well, I'll bet there isn't another girl in St. Louis who's had a Yale man call her long-distance just to inquire about her health.
  • [singing] Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,
    Ding, ding, ding went the bell.
    Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings,
    As we started for Huntingdon dell.
  • [singing] I went to lose a jolly, hour on the trolley, and lost my heart instead
    With his light brown derby and his bright green tie
    He was quite the handsomest of men
    I started to yen, then I counted to ten, then I counted to ten again.
  • John Truett. I've come here to ask you something...What do you mean hitting a five-year-old child?...The next time you want to hit somebody, pick on somebody your own size. If there's anything I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate, it's a bully.
  • [after finding out that Tootie had lied about John Truett] You're the most deceitful, horrible, sinful creature I ever saw, and I don't ever want to have anything to do with you again.
  • [to her Grandpa] You're the first human being I've danced with all evening. It's our last dance in St. Louis. I feel like I'm going to cry.
  • New York is a wonderful town. Everybody dreams about going there. But we're luckier than lots of families because we're really going. Wait until you see the fine home we're going to have and the loads and loads of friends we'll make. Wonderful friends. But the main thing, Tootie, is that we're all going to be together just like we've always been. That's what really counts. We could be happy anywhere as long as we're together.

Rose Smith

  • My dear, when you get to be my age, you'll find out there are more important things in life than boys.
  • [on having to live in an aprtment in New York] Rich people have houses. People like us live in flats, hundreds of flats in one building.

Tootie Smith

  • [singing] I was drunk last night, dear Mother;
    I was drunk the night before.
    But if you forgive me Mother,
    I'll never get drunk anymore.
  • [learning that the family must move to New York] It'll take me at least a week to dig up all my dolls in the cemetery.
  • I'd rather be poor if we could only stay here. I'd rather go with the orphalins at the orphalins home.
  • [to Esther] Did he [Santa Claus] come yet? I've been waiting such a long time. And I haven't seen a thing. How will he know how to find us next year? He's so used to coming here.
  • [smashing her snowmen] Nobody's going to have them. Not everybody's going to New York. I'd rather kill them if we can't take them with us.
  • Poor Margaretta!

Mr. Alonzo Smith

  • [to Esther and Rose, who are singing "Meet Me in St. Louis"] For heaven's sakes, stop that screeching! That song. The fair won't open for seven months. That's all everybody sings about or talks about. I wish everybody would meet at the fair and leave me alone.
  • Just when was I voted out of this family?
  • [to Mrs. Smith] Aren't you afraid to stay here alone with a criminal? That's what I'm being treated like.

Mrs. Anna Smith

  • [to Rose] If I were you, I wouldn't commit myself one way or another...after all, we know very little about him. Why, we haven't even met his folks. Not a word of this to Papa. You know how he plagues the girls about their beaus.
  • [singing] From my heart, a song of love, beseeching,
    Just for you, my longing arms are reaching,
    Time goes by, but we'll be together,
    You and I.

John Truett

  • [to Esther] You don't need any beauty sleep.
  • [to Esther] You've got a mighty strong grip for a girl.


  • Agnes Smith: Roses are red
    John's name is Truett
    Esther's in love
    And we always knew it.
  • Grandpa: They'll all be safe with me. I've got twelve guns in my room.
  • Katie: A lie's a lie, and dressed in white don't help it.


Esther: She may be loathe to say the things a girl's compelled to say to get a proposal out of a man.
Katie: Personally, I wouldn't marry a man who proposed to me over an invention.

Tootie: [about her doll] I expect she won't live through the night. She has four fatal diseases.
Mr. Neely: And it only takes one.
Tootie: But she's gonna have a beautiful funeral in a cigar box my Papa gave me, all wrapped in silver paper.
Mr. Neely: That's the way to go if you have to go.
Tootie: Oh, she has to go.

Mr. Neely: [about St. Louis] It's a grand old town.
Tootie: It isn't a town, Mr. Neely. It's a city. It's the only city that has a world's fair. My favorite. Wasn't I lucky to be born in my favorite city?

Esther: I'm going to let John Truett kiss me tonight.
Rose: Esther Smith!
Esther: Well, if we're going to get married, I may as well start it.
Rose: Nice girls don't let men kiss them until after they're engaged. Men don't want the bloom rubbed off.
Esther: Personally, I think I have too much bloom. Maybe that's the trouble with me.

Tootie: [after tossing flour in Mr. Braukoff's face] I killed him.
Agnes: She killed him all alone. Hey, wait a minute. Listen, listen. Quiet. Quiet. Tootie killed the Braukoffs single-handed. She's the bravest of them all!
Another child: Yeah, Tootie's the most horrible!
Tootie: I'm the most horrible. I'm the most horrible.

John: [after Esther apologizes] If you're not busy tomorrow night, could you beat me up again?
[John kisses Esther]
Esther: You've got a mighty strong grip for a boy.

Tootie: Here comes the invalid. I have to have two kinds of ice cream. I'm recuperating.
Mrs. Smith: If I ever catch you fibbing again like you did about John Truett, I'll give you something to recuperate about.

Mr. Smith: I've got the future to think about. A future for all of us. I've got to worry about where's the money coming from. Lon in Princeton, and Rose going to college...
Rose: Money! I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate money!
Mr. Smith: You also spend it.

Rose: If there ever was a time we definitely needed every ounce of allure, it's tonight. If we're going to wreck Lucille Ballard's evening, we've simply got to be a sensation.
Esther: Rose, don't you think I could be a sensation without the corset?
Rose: You're competing with an Eastern girl. I'll wager Lucille Ballard doesn't make a move without a corset.
Esther: Well, I certainly don't relish wearing this thing. But pride has come to the rescue. For tonight, I'll do anything.
Rose: It'll be worth it. If we can create a breathtaking effect, it'll be simple to monopolize all the worthwhile men.
Esther: Exactly. There are only going to be about twenty boys worth looking at anyway. We can certainly handle twenty men. I should hope! Can you handle ten?
Rose: Seven or eight.
Esther: If you'll guarantee eight, I can handle the rest of them.
Rose: What about John Truett?
Esther: Oh, I'll devote myself to John. But in between times, I'm going to make my presence felt amongst the others.

John: [after proposing to Esther] I wouldn't have said it, Esther, if I'd thought it would make you cry.
Esther: [crying] I've imagined you saying it thousands of times. And I always planned exactly how I'd act. I never planned to cry.
John: Well, at least you didn't laugh...I never asked a girl to marry me before...
Esther: John, nobody could have done it more beautifully. I'm very proud.
John: Esther, will you? Will you, Esther?
Esther: Of course I will, John.

Esther: I kept telling myself that even if I did go away, we'd find some way to be together. Well, I never really believed it.
John: When you go to New York, it will be with your husband. Your folks can show us the town, meet us at the station. Let's go in and tell them now.
Esther: Oh no, not tonight. I mean, I'd rather that just the two of us knew about it tonight. Even if I did go to New York, we could still work something out somehow, couldn't we?

Mr. Smith: We're not moving to New York and I don't want to hear a word about it. We're going to stay right here. We're going to stay here till we rot.
Mrs. Smith: We haven't rotted yet, Lonnie.

Warren Sheffield: [rushes in] Rose Smith. We can't go on like this any longer. I've positively decided we're going to get married at the earliest opportunity. And I don't want to hear any arguments. That's final. I love you. [rushes out]
Mr. Smith: I'd like to meet that boy sometime.

Esther: [about the Palace of Electricity at the World's Fair] Oh, isn't it breathtaking, John! I never dreamed anything could be so beautiful.
Mrs. Smith: There's never been anything like it in the whole world.
Rose: We don't have to come here on a train or stay in a hotel. It's right in our own home town.
Tootie: Grandpa? They'll never tear it down, will they?
Grandpa: Well, they'd better not.
Esther: I can't believe it. Right here where we live. Right here in St. Louis.


  • A cast of favorites in the Charming ...Romantic ...Tuneful Love Story of the Early 1900s!
  • M·G·M's glorious love story with music.
  • The "Trolley Song" Picture!



See also

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