One of my favorite films directed by William Wellman is the 1949 MGM movie about men in war, BATTLEGROUND. We follow a group of soldiers in Belgium in the snow and fog during the Battle of the Bulge. I watched this movie on TV when I was a kid because my dad loved it. As I grew up, I watched it again a number of times and realized why dad, a World War Two veteran, loved it. BATTLEGROUND is a mighty fine film. A good, tough war drama. A good, tough war drama that could also be called SIX DEGREES OF JUDY GARLAND. Have you ever noticed how many guys in this movie worked opposite Judy in other MGM movies? Van Johnson, giving one of his best movie performances, stars as Holley.
Thursday, August 25th, is Van Johnson Day in the TCM "Summer Under the Stars" line-up. You can see Van with Judy for IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME in the morning. Then you can see Van in William Wellman's excellent BATTLEGROUND at 8p ET. It got Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. If you have time to catch BATTLEGROUND, enjoy its SIX DEGREES OF JUDY GARLAND.