- For Me and My Gal (film)
name = For Me and My Gal
image_size = 215px
caption = theatrical poster
writer = Story:
Howard Emmett Rogers
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Judy Garland Gene Kelly George Murphy
William H. Daniels
editing = Ben Lewis
runtime = 104 minutes
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = $803,000 "(est)"
imdb_id = 0034746
"For Me and My Gal" is a 1942 American
musical filmdirected by Busby Berkeleyand starring Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, in his screen debut, and George Murphy. The movie 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 Haydenwhen Palmer was drafted into World War I.
"For Me and My Gal" was a production of the
Arthur Freedunit at MGM.
In the heyday of
vaudeville, just before World War I, two talented performers, Jo Hayden ( Judy Garland) and Harry Palmer ( Gene Kelly), set their sights on playing the Palace Theatreon Broadway, the epitome of vaudeville success. Just when it seems their ambition will be realized, Harry gets his draft notice and to obtain a deferment, he smashes his hand in a trunk. When Jo, who has just found out that her brother has died "over there", finds out what Harry has done, she leaves the act and rejects him totally. Harry tries desperately to undo what he has done, but his frantic efforts to enlist are rejected because of his injured hand. Finally, he helps out in the only way open to him, entertaining the troops just behind the front lines for the YMCA. When he and his partner get too close to the front, Harry heroically acts to stop a convoy of ambulances heading into an artillery bombardment, and destroys the German machine gun nest which is shooting at them. Jo and Harry are reunited when she spots him in the audience at a performance at the Palace Theatre, and brings him onstage to perform "For Me and My Gal," the very first song they performed together.
Judy Garlandas "Jo Hayden"
Gene Kellyas "Harry Palmer"
George Murphyas "Jimmy K. Metcalf"
Martha Eggerthas "Eve Minard, singer"
Ben Blueas "Sid Simms, Jimmy's second banana"
Stephen McNallyas "Mr. Waring, manager of the Palace Theatre"
Richard Quineas "Danny Hayden, Jo's brother" (uncredited)
Keenan Wynnas "Eddie Milton, theatrical agent" (uncredited)
Lucille Normanas "Lily Duncan" (uncredited)
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.
*"For Me and My Gal," music and lyrics by George W. Meyer,
Edgar Leslieand E. Ray Goetz, performed by Gene Kelly and Judy Garland
*"Oh, You Beautiful Doll," music by
Nat D. Ayer, lyrics by A. Seymour Brown, additional lyrics by Roger Edensperformed by George Murphy, Judy Garland and others
*"When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose," music by
Percy Wenrich, lyrics by Jack Mahoney, performed by Gene Kelly and Judy Garland
*The film also contains portions of a number of songs popular during World War I, including "By the Beautiful Sea," "After You've Gone," "
Ballin' the Jack," "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)," "There's a Long, Long Trail" and "Where Do We Go from Here, Boys."
*Two additional songs were intended to be included, "Spell of the Waltz," which was to be performed by Marta Eggerth and a male chorus and "Three Cheers for the Yanks," written by
Ralph Blaneand Hugh Martin. [TCM [http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=660&category=Music Music] ]
"For Me and My Gal" marked the first real "adult" role for Judy Garland, who had played juvenile parts until then, many of them opposite
Mickey Rooney. [All Movie [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:18138~T1 Review] ] 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 Stella Adler, who was an advisor to MGM at the time, suggested to producer Arthur Freedthat the two roles be combined, and that Garland be given the part. Adler also suggested Gene Kelly for the lead.
Kelly was 30 years old at the time, and had made a mark on Broadway as the star of "
Pal Joey" and the choreographer of " Best Foot Forward". [IBDB [http://ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=15285 Gene Kelly] ] . David O. Selznicksigned him to a film contract. Kelly's intention was to return to Broadway after fulfilling his contractual obligation, but he ended up staying in Hollywood for a year because Selznick didn't have a role for him. When Arthur Freed inquired about getting Kelly for "For Me and My Gal", Selznick handed over the contract, and Kelly got the part, over the objections of Freed's bosses at MGM. [IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000037/bio Biography for Gene Kelly] ] The casting of Kelly meant that George Murphy, who was originally going to play "Harry Palmer", be switched to playing "Jimmy Metcalf".
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 up in disagreements with director Busby Berkeley, who she did not like. Kelly and Garland went on to star together in two other films,
The Pirate(1948) and Summer Stock (1950). (They both appeared in 1946's Ziegfeld Follies, but not together.)
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. [IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250964/ Martha Eggerth] ]
"For Me and My Gal" had an estimated budget of $803,000, and was in production at MGM's Culver City studios from
3 Apriluntil 23 May1942, with additional scenes shot in June. Working titles for the film while it was in production were "My and My Gal" and "The Big Time".
When the film was initially previewed, the audience was dissatisfied with the ending: they thought that Garland's character should have ended up with George Murphy's character instead of Kelly's. This prompted
Louis B. Mayerto order three weeks of additional shooting to give Kelly's character more of a conscience and to reduce Murphy's presence in the film.
"For Me and My Gal" premiered in New York on
21 October1942, and opened in Los Angeles on 26 November1942. It grossed $4,371,000, making it one of the big hits of the year. [IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034746/business Business Data] ] [TCM [http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=660 Overview] ] Frank Miller [http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=660&category=Articles "For Me and My Gal" TCM article] ] The film received an Academy Awardnomination for Best Score for Roger Edens(musical adaptation) and Georgie Stoll(musical direction). In addition, Gene Kelly received a "Best Actor" award from the National Board of Review for his performance. [All Movie [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:18138~T4 Awards 
"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.
*imdb title|id=0034746|title=For Me and My Gal
*tcmdb title|id=660|title=For Me and My Gal
*amg movie|1:18138|For Me and My Gal
*rotten-tomatoes|id=for_me_and_my_gal|title=For Me and My Gal
* [http://www.thejudyroom.com/discography/soundtracks/gallp.html The Judy Garland Online Discography "For Me And My Gal" pages.]
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