"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 2, 1946 with Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien and Tom Drake reprising their film roles.
"The Trolley Song" was inspired by a caption in a book about the history of St. Louis. The book had a page with a picture of a turn-of-the-century trolley car, captioned "Clang! Clang! Clang! went the jolly little trolley."
"The Trolley Song" was ranked #26 and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was ranked #72 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.
Margaret O'Brien was awarded a Special Oscar for Best Child Actor.
Margaret O'Brien's mother wanted more money for her to play "Tootie" in the film. The studio then cast the young daughter of a lighting man working on the film, going so far as to even fit her with costumes. They then changed their minds and decided to go ahead and cast Margaret O'Brien. O'Brien was playing a scene when that lighting man intentionally dropped a heavy spotlight to the sound stage, narrowly missing the young actress. He was taken away and actually admitted to a mental institution for a time for his deed.
Judy Garland missed 13 days of work causing the production taking 70 days to complete from the original budgeted 58 days.
Judy Garland recorded "The Trolley Song" in a single take.
Judy Garland scoffed at the idea of portraying yet another teenager (she was 21 when filming began) and wanted nothing to do with the film. Her mother even went to MGM chief Louis B. Mayer on her behalf. However, Vincente Minnelli convinced her to play the part of Esther Smith, and Judy later fell in love with the story. In her later years she considered it one of her favorite roles.
Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland met on this movie, and married soon afterwards. Minnelli was the director for the film. Garland claimed she married him because she felt extremely beautiful during the film.
Buddy Gorman is in studio records/casting call lists for this movie for the role of "Clinton Badger", but that role was played by someone else.
A flustered Alonzo Smith (Leon Ames) makes a sarcastic remark about embarking on a new career as a baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles. The major league team known as the Baltimore Orioles from 1901-1902 moved to New York City in 1903 and would eventually become known as the New York Yankees. (The scene in this film takes place in 1903, when the Baltimore Orioles was the name of a minor league team.) Oddly, the St. Louis Browns, a major league club from St. Louis at both the time the movie is set and the time it was made, would relocate in 1954 and become the modern-day Baltimore Orioles.
After Tootie crashes Lon's going-away party, Esther asks her if she would like to recite "Did You Ever See a Rabbit Climb a Tree" for the company. This is a nonsense poem from "Father Goose: His Book" (1899) by L. Frank Baum, author of Judy Garland's most famous film, The Wizard of Oz.
Also going on at the time of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition were the Third Summer Olympic Games. They were the first Olympic Games to be held in the United States. Originally awarded to Chicago, President Theodore Roosevelt had the Games switched to St. Louis so that they would run at the same time as the World's Fair. This turned out to be a huge mistake. The Games merely became a side attraction to the fair's other events and turned out to be a first class disaster. They took nearly six months to complete and were very poorly run. Many competitors went to their graves without knowing that they had competed in the Olympics. As a result of these Games, the Olympic movement almost came to an end.
Composer Hugh Martin did not enjoy his experience writing the film's score. Although Martin greatly admired Judy Garland and the talent of those he was working with, he did not appreciate Producer Arthur Freed's volatile temperament, or the one-upsmanship and self important attitudes shared by the MGM hierarchy. He has said that he found all that showing off and competing for attention "depressing". A devout Christian, in later years he adapted "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" into "Have Yourself a "Blessed" Little Christmas" for several popular gospel singers, including Mahalia Jackson.
Director Vincente Minnelli worked hard to make the movie as accurate to the times as possible. Not only did its novelist, Sally Benson, give explicit directions as to the decor of her home down to the last detail, but the movie's costume designer took inspiration for many of the movies costumes right out of the Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and Marshall Fields catalogs from the time period.
First intended as a duet for Alfred Drake and Joan Roberts in the Broadway production of "Oklahoma!", the Rodgers & Hammerstein song "Boys and Girls Like You and Me" had been discarded from that 1943 Broadway triumph and replaced with "People Will Say We're in Love". MGM producer Arthur Freed then purchased screen rights to the song, planning to interpolate it into the film score as a Judy Garland solo, but her rendition was cut from the picture. Miss Garland's Decca album of songs from the film included the song in an arrangement similar to her MGM prerecording. Later, the ballad was chosen to be crooned by Frank Sinatra to Betty Garrett in another Arthur Freed production, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, but again the tune was deleted. The footage of Judy singing the song to Tom Drake no longer exists, but on the Warner Home Video special-edition DVD, the original audio recording is played over Garland-Drake production stills. Only about two or three seconds of footage from this sequence may be seen on t
French censorship visa # 4877.
In "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", Judy Garland refused to sing the grim original line, "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last" to little Margaret O'Brien. The line was dropped from the final version of the song.