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For Me and My Gal (film)

For Me and My Gal
theatrical poster
Directed by Busby Berkeley
Produced by Arthur Freed
Written by Story:
Howard Emmett Rogers
Screenplay:
Richard Sherman
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Sid Silvers
Starring Judy Garland
Gene Kelly
George Murphy
Music by Roger Edens
(adaptation)
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Edited by Ben Lewis
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
October 21, 1942 (US)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $841,000[1]
Box office $4,371,000[1]

For Me and My Gal is a 1942 American Martha Eggerth and Ben Blue. The film was written by Richard Sherman, Fred F. Finklehoffe and Sid Silvers, based on a story by Howard Emmett Rogers inspired by a true story about vaudeville actors Harry Palmer and Jo Hayden, when Palmer was drafted into World War I. It was a production of the Arthur Freed unit at MGM.

Contents

  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Songs 3
  • Production 4
  • Release and reception 5
  • Awards and honors 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Plot

In the heyday of vaudeville, on the verge of America's entrance into World War I, two talented performers, Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) and Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly), set their sights on playing the Palace Theatre on Broadway, the epitome of vaudeville success, and marrying immediately after.

Just weeks before their plans are to be realized Harry gets a draft notice. Intending to obtain a short delay before reporting for duty, he intentionally smashes his hand in a trunk. That same day Jo is notified that her brother, who had been studying to be a doctor, has died in the war.

When she realizes what Harry has done, she rejects him and leaves the act. Harry then tries to undo his rash act and enlist, but none of the armed services will take him as his hand has been permanently crippled. Eventually he resigns himself to participating in the war effort the only way left open to him, entertaining front line troops for the YMCA.

When he and his partner find themselves dangerously close to the front, Harry heroically sets out to warn off an ambulance convoy heading into an artillery bombardment. He is wounded while destroying an enemy machine gun emplacement ambushing the convoy and is apparently commended for his bravery.

After the war, during a victory performance at the Palace Theatre, Jo sees Harry in the audience and runs to him. The two reunite on stage to sing "For Me and My Gal", the first song they ever performed together.

Cast

Songs

Although directed by Busby Berkeley, For Me and My Gal does not have any of Berkeley's signature large-scale production numbers in it. The songs included in the film are performed as they might have been on the vaudeville stage, choreographed by Bobby Connolly.[2]

Production

For Me and My Gal marked the first real "adult" role for the nineteen-year-old Judy Garland, who had played juvenile parts until then, many of them opposite Mickey Rooney.[4] The original script had called for Harry Palmer to be involved with two women, a singer, which was to be Garland's role, and a dancer, who would have most of the dramatic scenes, but acting coach Stella Adler, who was an advisor to MGM at the time, suggested to producer Arthur Freed that the two roles be combined, and that Garland be given the part. Adler also suggested Gene Kelly for the lead.[5]

Kelly was 29 years old at the time, and had made a mark on

Gene Kelly and Judy Garland got along well – she had been in favor of his getting the part, and during shooting she helped Kelly adjust his stage acting for films, and backed him in disagreements with director Busby Berkeley, whom she did not like. Kelly and Garland went on to star together in two other films, The Pirate (1948) and Summer Stock (1950).[8]

The film was also the American motion picture debut of Hungarian singer Martha Eggerth, who had appeared in over thirty films in Germany. Her career in Hollywood did not last long: she appeared in only two other American films.[9]

For Me and My Gal had an estimated budget of $803,000, and was in production at MGM's Culver City studios from 3 April until 23 May 1942, with additional scenes shot in June. Working titles for the film while it was in production were "Me and My Gal" and "The Big Time".

When the film was initially previewed, the audience was dissatisfied with the ending: they thought that Jo (Garland) should end up with Jimmy (Murphy) rather than Harry (Kelly). This prompted Louis B. Mayer to order three weeks of additional shooting to give Kelly's character more of a conscience and to reduce Murphy's presence in the film.[5]

Release and reception

For Me and My Gal premiered in New York on 21 October 1942, and opened in Los Angeles on 26 November 1942. It grossed $4,371,000 (consisting of $2,894,000 in the US and Canada and $1,477,000 elsewhere), making it one of the big hits of the year.[5][10][11] The studio earned a profit of $2,098,000.[1]

For Me and My Gal was released on VHS in the US on August 1988 by MGM/UA Home Video (#M201379) and on DVD on April 6, 2004 by Warner Home Video.

Awards and honors

The film received an [12]

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b c .
  2. ^
  3. ^ TCM Music
  4. ^ All Movie Review
  5. ^ a b c d Frank Miller "For Me and My Gal" TCM article
  6. ^ IBDB Gene Kelly
  7. ^ IMDb Biography for Gene Kelly
  8. ^ Garland and Kelly both also appeared in 1946's Ziegfeld Follies, but not together.
  9. ^ IMDb Martha Eggerth
  10. ^ IMDb Business Data
  11. ^ TCM Overview
  12. ^ All Movie Awards

External links

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