For Me and My Gal (1942)

103-104 mins | Drama | 21 October 1942

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Producer:

Arthur Freed

Cinematographer:

William Daniels

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Working titles of the film were Me and My Gal and The Big Time . A written prologue reads: "There is a chapter in American history which has never been amply recorded. It embraces one of America's greatest loves--that part of show business called 'Vaudeville'...The clown with the baggy pants, the man in the high hat, the lady who sang and the rabbit who disappeared--to them this picture is fondly dedicated." At several points within the film the passage of time is indicated by inclusion of actual World War I-era newsreel footage.
       In addition to the songs credited above, the film contained portions of a number of popular World War I era songs, among them, "By the Beautiful Sea," "After You've Gone," "Ballin' the Jack," "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm," "There's a Long, Long Trail" and "Where Do We Go from Here." According to news items, two additional songs were recorded or written for the production but were not included in the released film, "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 Blane and Hugh Martin. A HR news item also mentioned that George Murphy was going to perform a combined jitterbug and soft-shoe dance, but that was not in the picture.
       For Me and My Gal marked the motion picture debut of Broadway musical comedy performer Gene Kelly (1912--1996). A HR news items noted that Murphy was initially cast in the role of "Harry Palmer," but was switched to the role of ... More Less

Working titles of the film were Me and My Gal and The Big Time . A written prologue reads: "There is a chapter in American history which has never been amply recorded. It embraces one of America's greatest loves--that part of show business called 'Vaudeville'...The clown with the baggy pants, the man in the high hat, the lady who sang and the rabbit who disappeared--to them this picture is fondly dedicated." At several points within the film the passage of time is indicated by inclusion of actual World War I-era newsreel footage.
       In addition to the songs credited above, the film contained portions of a number of popular World War I era songs, among them, "By the Beautiful Sea," "After You've Gone," "Ballin' the Jack," "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm," "There's a Long, Long Trail" and "Where Do We Go from Here." According to news items, two additional songs were recorded or written for the production but were not included in the released film, "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 Blane and Hugh Martin. A HR news item also mentioned that George Murphy was going to perform a combined jitterbug and soft-shoe dance, but that was not in the picture.
       For Me and My Gal marked the motion picture debut of Broadway musical comedy performer Gene Kelly (1912--1996). A HR news items noted that Murphy was initially cast in the role of "Harry Palmer," but was switched to the role of "Jimmy Metcalfe" because the Harry Palmer role was so similar to the lead role that Kelly had played in the Broadway hit Pal Joey . The NYT review also pointed out the similarities between the two roles, although the reviewer did not appreciate the similarities, writing: "...Mr. Kelly, who has a dancer's talents, has been pressed a bit too far in his first film role. He has been forced to act brassy like Pal Joey during the early part...and play a modest imitation Sergeant York at the end. The transition is both written and played badly. Mr. Kelly gets embarrassingly balled up." Kelly made films in a variety of genres over the next few years but became best known for his energetic dancing style in M-G-M hits such as Anchors Aweigh (1945, see above), On the Town (1950, see below) and An American in Paris (1951). Kelly, who was a choreographer and director as well as a dancer and singer, received a special Academy Award in 1951 in recognition of his outstanding achievement as an actor, dancer, singer and director. He also received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1985. The song "For Me and My Gal" became one of Kelly's signature songs. The film marked the American motion picture debut of Eggerth. A HR news item included Bryant Washburn in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The film received Academy Award nominations for Roger Edens for Musical Adaptation and for Georgie Stoll for Musical Direction.
       The film was in release: Sep-Nov 1942. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Sep 1942.
---
Daily Variety
29 May 1942.
---
Daily Variety
9 Sep 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Sep 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 42
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 43
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Sep 42
p. 897.
New York Times
22 Oct 42
p. 25.
Variety
9 Sep 42
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Mus presentation
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus adpt
Vocals and orch
Vocals and orch
Vocals and orch
Orch cond
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
SOURCES
SONGS
"For Me and My Gal," music and lyrics by George W. Meyer, Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz
"Oh, You Beautiful Doll," music by Nat D. Ayer, lyrics by A. Seymour Brown, additional lyrics by Roger Edens
"When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose," music by Percy Wenrich, lyrics by Jack Mahoney.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Big Time
Me and My Gal
Release Date:
21 October 1942
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 October 1942
Los Angeles opening: 26 November 1942
Production Date:
mid April--late May 1942
addl scenes late June 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 September 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11585
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
103-104
Length(in feet):
9,320
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
8464
SYNOPSIS

In 1916, song-and-dance man Harry Palmer meets Jo Hayden and Jimmy K. Metcalfe, partners in a vaudeville act playing at the same small-town theater. Jimmy and Harry, who both have ambitions to make it on "the big time" circuit, quickly become rivals. One night, Harry invites Jo for coffee, plotting to get her to leave Jimmy and become his new partner. After they playfully perform a new arrangement of "For Me and My Gal," Jo, too, feels that she and Harry are great together, but does not want to hurt Jimmy. Realizing how loyal Jo is, Harry is remorseful and confesses his scheme to her. When Jo returns to her hotel, Jimmy, who is secretly in love with Jo, asks if Harry has suggested that she be his new partner. Jimmy then says that he has been planning to break up their act and insists to the suspicious Jo that he is not just making a noble sacrifice. As America prepares for war, Harry and Jo go on the road together, playing at small-time vaudeville houses. One day, while on a train to Chicago, Jo reads that Harry and his partner, comic Sid Simms, are now playing on the prestigious Orpheum circuit. Harry is embittered that he and Jo have not been so successful, and when he accidentally wanders into the private car of vaudeville headliner Eve Minard, he is dazzled. In Chicago, while Harry spends time with Eve, Jo is visited by Jimmy, who sympathizes with the unrequited love she feels for Harry. That night, Jo goes to Eve's hotel suite and tells her that she loves Harry. Eve gently ... +


In 1916, song-and-dance man Harry Palmer meets Jo Hayden and Jimmy K. Metcalfe, partners in a vaudeville act playing at the same small-town theater. Jimmy and Harry, who both have ambitions to make it on "the big time" circuit, quickly become rivals. One night, Harry invites Jo for coffee, plotting to get her to leave Jimmy and become his new partner. After they playfully perform a new arrangement of "For Me and My Gal," Jo, too, feels that she and Harry are great together, but does not want to hurt Jimmy. Realizing how loyal Jo is, Harry is remorseful and confesses his scheme to her. When Jo returns to her hotel, Jimmy, who is secretly in love with Jo, asks if Harry has suggested that she be his new partner. Jimmy then says that he has been planning to break up their act and insists to the suspicious Jo that he is not just making a noble sacrifice. As America prepares for war, Harry and Jo go on the road together, playing at small-time vaudeville houses. One day, while on a train to Chicago, Jo reads that Harry and his partner, comic Sid Simms, are now playing on the prestigious Orpheum circuit. Harry is embittered that he and Jo have not been so successful, and when he accidentally wanders into the private car of vaudeville headliner Eve Minard, he is dazzled. In Chicago, while Harry spends time with Eve, Jo is visited by Jimmy, who sympathizes with the unrequited love she feels for Harry. That night, Jo goes to Eve's hotel suite and tells her that she loves Harry. Eve gently tells Jo that Harry is an opportunist and not worthy of her, then, to prove her point, asks Jo to hide when Harry arrives. Eve makes Harry an offer to join her act, and when Harry realizes that Jo will not be part of the deal, he only hesitates for a moment. Back at their hotel, Harry tries to break the news to Jo, unaware that she already knows, and she pretends that she wants to go back with Jimmy. When she starts to cry, though, he realizes that he is in love with her and decides to turn Eve down. As they are about to leave for their next job, they get a telegram from their agent, Eddie Milton, saying that they are booked for the Palace in New York, and Harry proposes that they marry after their first matinee. In New York, when they discover that the telegram was suppposed to read "the Palace in Newark," they are shattered, especially as Jimmy and Sid actually are opening at the Palace, New York. Harry still wants to get married that day, but Jo insists on waiting until they really play the Palace. A short time later, Bert Waring, manager of the Palace, sees their act in Newark and offers them a booking. They are ecstatic until Harry receives a draft notice. Despite Jo's feelings that he, like her kid brother Danny, must do his duty, Harry bitterly determines that he will not lose his big chance. A few weeks later, after receiving several postponements, Harry must report for his physical the day before they open at the Palace and, in desperation, slams the lid of a heavy trunk down on his hand. The next day, after he receives a six-week deferment, he returns to his hotel to find Jimmy there, in uniform. When Jo receives a telegram informing her that Danny has been killed in action, Harry tries to comfort her, but when she sees his hand, she realizes what he has done and says that she never wants to see him again. After six weeks, Harry learns that his hand is permanently crippled and he will never be admitted to the Army. He then tries to enlist in other branches of the service, but is turned down. Some time later, Harry goes to a bond rally and runs into Sid, who suggests that Harry go with him to France as a YMCA entertainer. In Paris, Jo, who is entertaining troops, sees Jimmy and arranges to meet him after her show. Jimmy then runs into Harry, who has joined Sid. Harry admits his bitterness over not being in a real uniform, but Jimmy makes him realize that he is not such a bad person after all. Knowing that Jo is about to arrive, Jimmy leaves. Although Jo is happy to see Harry, he quickly leaves after asking for her forgiveness. One rainy night, Harry and Sid arrive in a small French town, where a desperate army doctor asks Harry to contact a convoy of ambulances that is unwittingly heading toward heavy German fire. Because Harry cannot get through on the field telephone, he jumps into his car and rides ahead. When the car breaks down, he walks on to meet the convoy and, though wounded, Harry throws a grenade to destroy the machine gun that is firing on the ambulances. At the end of the war, Jo is appearing at the Palace theater in Paris. When she sees Jimmy, Sid and Harry in the audience, she runs down to embrace Harry, and Jimmy and Sid push them onstage to do their big number, "For Me and My Gal." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.