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Judy Garland Database

Film Review: I Could Go On Singing


I Could Go On Singing

Barbican / United Artists, 1963 (Color, 99 minutes)

Judy Garland lights up the screen in her final motion picture. Filmed on location in London, Judy portrays a character very much like herself, Jenny Bowman, an American superstar in town for a series of sell-out concerts at the Palladium. But perhaps more than the audiences who eagerly await her, Jenny's real concern is to rekindle her love affair with an ex-flame (marvelously portrayed by Dirk Bogarde), and to see their illegitimate child that she gave up years earlier in favor of her career.

The story skillfully interweaves two aspects of the legendary Garland talent. Behind the scenes we have Judy the powerful dramatic actress. On the concert stage, we are treated to Judy at her electrifying, show-stopping best.

Deftly directed by Ronald Neame (The Poseidon Adventure), I Could Go On Singing has become one of Garland's most treasured performances, an unforgettable screen triumph from one of the world's greatest entertainers.

[from MGM/UA videotape sleeve]


Produced by: Stuart Millar and Lawrence Turman
Directed by: Ronald Neame
Assistant Director: Colin Brewer
Screenplay by: Mayo Simon
Story by: Robert Dozier
Title Song: "I Could Go On Singing," Music by Harold Arlen, Lyrics by E. Y. Harburg
Music by: Mort Lindsey
Musical Supervisor: Saul Chaplin
Music Director: Mort Lindsey
Production Designer: Wilfred Shingleton
Set Decorator: John Hoesli
Miss Garland's Costumes: Edith Head
Additional Costumes: Beatrice Dawson
Makeup: Harold Fletcher
Hair Stylist: Pearl Tipaldi
Sound: Buster Ambler, Red Law
Director of Photography: Arthur Ibbetson
Filmed in Panavision, Color by Technicolor
Editor: John Shirley

Filmed: April 1962 - May 1962 (Judy was 39 years old)
USA Release: March 1963


Judy Garland ... Jenny Bowman
Dirk Bogarde ... David Donne
Jack Klugman ... George Kogan
Gregory Phillips ... Matt
Aline MacMahon ... Ida
Pauline Jameson ... Miss Plimpton
Jeremy Burnham ... Hospital surgeon
and guests:
Russell Waters
Leon Cortez
Gerald Sim
Joey Luft ... extra on boat
Lorna Luft ... extra on boat

Musical Program

[0:00] I Could Go On Singing (sung by Judy Garland behind titles)
[0:24] excerpt from "H.M.S. Pinafore" (sung by Boys performing the opera)
[0:26] "God Save the Queen" (sung by Boys and Audience)
[0:29] I Am the Monarch of the Sea (sung by Judy Garland and Boys)
[0:37] Hello Bluebird (sung by Judy Garland in concert)
[0:47] It Never Was You (sung by Judy Garland in concert)
[1:07] By Myself (sung by Judy Garland in concert)
[1:33] I Could Go On Singing (sung by Judy Garland in concert)

See soundtrack anthology CD review

Judy Garland and Boys sing "I Am the Monarch of the Sea"
Judy and Boys singing "I Am the Monarch of the Sea"


The British title of the film is The Lonely Stage; the German title is Die Bretter, die die Welt Bedeuten.

Ironically, this was Judy's last film, and the final number in the film - the last song she performed in a movie - was "I Could Go On Singing."

The film was made in England. This was the only picture Judy was in that was made outside of the United States.

See Judy Garland Movies on Video for information about the latest releases of home video and sountrack.

See Class Act for more information on this and other classic films.

Critical Response

"Either you are or you aren't - a Judy Garland fan that is. And if you aren't, forget about her new movie, I Could Go On Singing, and leave the discussion to us devotees. You'll see her in close-up...in beautiful, glowing Technicolor and striking staging in a vibrant, vital performance that gets to the essence of her mystique as a superb entertainer. Miss Garland is - as always - real, the voice throbbing, the eyes aglow, the delicate features yielding to the demands of the years - the legs still long and lovely. Certainly the role of a top-rank singer beset by the loneliness and emotional hungers of her personal life is not an alien one to her..."

- Judith Crist, The New York Herald Tribune

"3 stars...Judy Garland is back on screen in a role that might have been custom-tailored for her particular talents. A new song, "I Could Go On Singing," provides her with a little clowning, a chance to be gay, a time for wistfulness, an occasion for tears. She and Dirk Bogarde play wonderfully well together, even though the script itself insists on their being mismatched..."

- Dorothy Masters, The New York Daily News

Visitor Reviews

Judy's last film is one that people either love or dislike, with very little middle ground. I happen to be among the former and this is why. First of all there is too much to enjoy in this film to give it an unequivical thumbs down. Others have pointed out the Hospital scene, the powerful rendition of By Myself and the touching lovely IT Never Was You as highlights. I also happen to find delight in the lesser known aspects such as the boat ride. When Matt is showing Jenny the sights, she becomes motherly "Are you cold?" When Jenny is trying to rekindle a relationship with David in the Dr.'s office notice her expression while he examines her neck, and her realization that he is being totally professional and detached. When they later argue over Matt in Jenny's suite he gets upset, puts hand to head and cries "For God's sake Jenny". She copies him with the same gesture. The Hospital scene is fantastic, but so is the telephone call scene, also done in one fluid take. There are loads of other little bits that make this highly re-watchable ("I'm More familar with Grey's Anatomy"). Images of Dorothy crop up when Garland opens up those vulnarable veins of hers, as she does when told in the cathedral that she will be dropped at her hotel-thus ending the visit. Don't you think it's for the best she is asked. "No I don't." As she looks up to him it's Dorothy. Watch it for By Myself, watch it for Bluebird or the hospital scene, but go back for the little details. They're little gems of delight.

- Review by JAS

I Could Go On Singing DVD

I Could Go On Singing VHS

I Could Go On Singing Soundtrack CD
Buy Soundtrack CD

Judy's songs incuded on this soundtrack anthology
Buy soundtrack anthology

Buy posters and lobbycards
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Jenny and David visit the bell tower
Jenny and David at the bell tower

Matt learns Jenny is his mother
Matt learns Jenny is his mother

German VHS sleeve
German VHS sleeve

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