The song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

A reader of The Irish Post, in this week’s edition,  asks if anyone can tell him the title of the war film where a young soldier being led out for execution as Frank Sinatra sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. 

Yes I can; the song, written in 1943 ,with lyrics by Ralph Blane and music by Hugh Martin, and immortalised by Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St. Louis, was sung by Sinatra over the final scenes of Carl Foreman’s hughely ambitious but now largely forgotten directorial debut, The Victors, starring  George Peppard, George Hamilton, Romy Schneider , Melina Mercouri, & Eli_Wallach. This anti-war film, based on the novel The Human Kind: a Sequence by Alexander Baron, was shot entirely in England in black and white and was Formean’s largely successful attempt to put on screen his view that war degrades everybody all participants, victors and vanquished alike.     

The long standing Observer film critic Philip French, writing a rather good potted history of the song in December 2001, describes very accurately how it was used in the soundtrack of The Victors.  

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