Monday, April 9, 2012

Peter and Judy and Fred, Oh, My!

April 9, 2012. Yesterday was Easter, and Turner Classic Movies appropriately aired Peter's 1948 musical Easter Parade. It was a lavish MGM production featuring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller along with Peter. In the film's first five minutes, we see an Easter fashion show and a full song and dance number by Astaire. Peter was charming as Fred's best friend who's in love with Judy. (Judy's in love with Astaire, who's in love with Miller, who's in love with Peter.)

The film was a huge success, but it was most memorable for Peter as the picture that brought him together with Judy, who remained a lifelong friend. They bonded when Peter would drive Judy to her psychiatric sessions. "She unleashed on me the torrents of emotion that built up in her relationship with the studio and the men in her life. She grew up with a mother thing and every man tried to be her father. I really went all the way 'round the mulberry bush with her."

Peter had a similar relationship with his friend Robert Walker. "It's funny, Judy and Bob were both very disturbed peple, and they were my best friends. They always would seek me out. I ws probably the level-headed one."

But Peter had demons of his own, which I'll go into next post.