Best Judy Garland Movies

Selecting the top 10 Judy Garland movies of all time is no simple feat. The immense talent of this trailblazing actress has endured through the decades, inspiring generations with a brilliant array of captivating musicals and thought-provoking dramas. While opinions may vary, we’ve narrowed down our picks to ten can’t-miss films that best showcase the exceptional range of Garland’s moving performances.

From inspiring coming-of-age adventures in The Wizard of Oz to the emotionally charged classic A Star Is Born, these ten films are sure to satisfy any appreciation for the craft of acting and provide a lasting reminder of why Judy Garland is one of Hollywood’s greatest stars. From laugh-out-loud comedy to tear-wrenching tragedy, this selection of Garland’s best provides something for every viewer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of cinema’s best offerings – courtesy of the incomparable Judy Garland.

The Top 10 Best Judy Garland Movies, Ranked

10. The Pirate (1948)

  • Genre: Musical / Adventure / Comedy
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak, Gladys Cooper
  • Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

The Pirate is a Garland underrated classic — and something of a cult classic for Garland fans today. This musical starring the lovely and energetic Gene Kelly definitely deserves a bit more acclaim today! It’s one of my favorite musicals!

In The Pirate, Garland plays a young woman in the Caribbean who becomes unhappily engaged to the older mayor of town. She dreams of pirates and adventure and romance — and when a dashing young actor (Kelly) comes to town and sets his sights on her, she may indeed get everything she’s ever wished for. This film is so funny, so fun, and truly a must-watch.

9. The Harvey Girls (1946)

  • Genre: Western / Musical / Comedy
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, John Hodiak, Angela Lansbury
  • Directed by: George Sidney

The Harvey Girls is definitely one of the best Judy Garland movies of all time. A highly watchable musical set back in the day in the West, Garland plays a mail-order bride who arrives in New Mexico — and then realizes she does not want to marry the man who placed the mail-order bride ad.

But she does stay in town and gets a job at the Harvey House restaurant, where she then battles saloon girls while looking for new love. This musical really is a joy to watch!

8. In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, S.Z. Sakall, Spring Byington
  • Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard

Love enemies to lovers stories? I’m in love with my secret pen pal who also happens to be my worst enemy in real life trope? Then In the Good Old Summertime is for you!

Made after the wonderful The Shop Around the Corner but before the iconic You’ve Got Mail, In the Good Old Summertime follows two feuding coworkers (Garland and Johnson) who work in a music shop together and absolutely hate each other. They aren’t aware they’re each other’s secret pen pals — pen pals that have grown quite smitten with one another!

7. The Clock (1945)

  • Genre: Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason, Keenan Wynn
  • Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

The Clock was Judy Garland’s first dramatic role, as well as the first movie she starred in where she did not sing. It’s a wonderful romantic drama and definitely one of the very best Judy Garland movies ever. This film, along with another devastating drama later on this list, reveals Garland’s wonderful acting talent.

In The Clock, Garland plays a young secretary in New York City who falls in love with a soldier (Walker) on leave who is on his way to Europe. Their two-day romance blossoms, even though they knew that he will soon leave for Europe. Definitely a must-watch!

6. Summer Stock (1950)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven
  • Directed by: Charles Walters

Summer Stock was Judy Garland’s last movie collaboration with Gene Kelly, as well as her final MGM film. Garland plays a farmer in this highly enjoyable musical — a farmer who wants nothing to do with her musically inclined sister, or her sister’s boyfriend (Kelly). Obviously, as the movie progresses, things change for her. And it’s so fun to watch!

Related —The Best Gene Kelly Musicals of All Time

5. Easter Parade (1948)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller
  • Directed by: Charles Walters

It’s always fun to watch two legends do what they do best. Judy Garland and Fred Astaire together in one film? Wonderful! Easter Parade was the second highest-grossing MGM musical in the 1940s, after Meet Me in St. Louis!

Easter Parade follows a vaudeville star (Astaire) who, after his partner (Miller) leaves him, is convinced he can train anyone to become a star. Enter an inexperienced performer (Garland) who he takes under his wing. Trust us, this movie is so good.

4. A Star Is Born (1954)

  • Genre: Musical / Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford
  • Directed by: George Cukor

A Star Is Born is definitely one of the best Judy Garland movies of all time. How could it not be? Garland and James Mason are heartbreaking dynamite together here. While everyone has their own personal A Star Is Born adaption favorite, the 1954 one is clearly one of the better adaptions because of Garland and Mason’s beautiful and dynamic performances.

In A Star Is Born, Garland plays a talented young lady who falls in love with and marries a failing star (Mason) who helps her reach the top. However, as she rises, he falls. If you haven’t seen A Star Is Born yet, you really should watch it!

Related —11 Popular James Mason Movies Today

3. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

  • Genre: Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer
  • Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

Meet Me in St. Louis would be the absolute best Judy Garland musical ever made — if one of the most iconic musicals ever made didn’t currently reside at that #1 spot. This 1944 film is so enjoyable! The film follows a year in the life of a family at the turn of the century, set around the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, as they grow, learn, fall in love, and more.

2. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

  • Genre: War / Drama
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift
  • Directed by: Stanley Kramer

While Garland doesn’t star in Judgment at Nuremberg in a leading role, her character is pivotal to the entire film. This devastating, tense drama is one of the best movies ever made. Garland’s performance cannot be overstated. She’s absolutely phenomenal here, and her performance is so different from what she’s known for (light romantic musicals) that it’s almost jarring. Truly a superb performance and a superb movie.

Judgment at Nuremberg follows the Nuremberg trials of German judges who worked during the Nazi regime throughout World War II and sent many innocents to concentration camps and death. An American judge (Tracy) presides over the proceedings and hears from victims (Garland, Clift, and more).

Related —The Top 10 Best Montgomery Clift Movies of All Time

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

  • Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
  • Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr
  • Directed by: Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz is the best Judy Garland movie of all time. Hands down. How could it not be? This iconic film has stood the test of time and is still so enjoyable for people of all ages to watch. How many of us watched this film growing up and still love it today?

The Wizard of Oz follows a young girl (Garland) from Kansas who finds herself in a magical new world after being caught in a tornado. With a wicked witch seeking her out, the young lady makes her way on the yellow brick road with new friends — on her quest to find the Wizard of Oz.

What’s Your Favorite Judy Garland Movie?

Alright, now that we’ve listed our own personal favorite Garland movies, we want to hear from you. Which films are your absolute favorites? Which Garland films do you wish got a lot of love, or ones that you feel are underrated? Hit the comments below with all your thoughts and comments!

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