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Sometimes simplicity can be heartbreaking. So it is with The Clock, a wonderfully simple love story that stands as one of the gems of the MGM golden years. It should be noted right off that this 1945 film is not a musical, despite a talent roster led by the maestro of MGM musicals, producer Arthur Freed. Rather, it's a straight, black and white romance about a soldier (Robert Walker) with a two-day pass in unfamiliar, overwhelming New York City. He meets an office worker (Judy Garland), and in the glow of the city and each other, they fall in love. Underlying the sweetness of the romance is the time limit of the soldier's leave, after which he will be sent overseas; the clock brings an urgency to the action, especially after the lovers lose each other in the crush of a subway. Veteran character actor James Gleason provides lovely support, as does his real-life wife, Lucile. Director Vincente Minnelli brought his designer's eye to the film, turning (by his own avowed intention) New York City itself into the third main character in the drama. It's not difficult to guess the reason for the film's strong emotional tug, or for Judy Garland's radiance; Minnelli had fallen in love with Garland during the making of Meet Me in St. Louis a year earlier, and they would marry after filming The Clock. She was never lovelier than in these two pictures.

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Special Features * Vintage Pete Smith Specialty short: "Hollywood Scout" * Classic cartoon: "The Screwy Truant" * Audio-only bonus: Radio-show adaptation with Judy Garland and John Hodiak * Original theatrical trailer

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WA79502 Clock DVD (1945/Judy Garland) $19.98 $17.99