Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|For Me and My Gal |
Actors: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly, Mártha Eggerth, Ben Blue
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Musicals & Performing Arts
Gene Kelly makes his film debut in this WWI musical playing a man who deliberately injures his hand to avoid being drafted into the army. He starts a vaudeville act with a young woman and they become determined to play The... more »
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Love, war, Garland, and Kelly make for a powerful musical
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Three years after she rocketed to superstardom in The Wizard of Oz, Little Judy Garland was all grown up and more than ready to assume her first truly adult leading role; for his part, Gene Kelly, having just wowed audiences on Broadway in Pal Joey, was ready to make his feature film debut. Garland and Kelly made a natural match, demonstrating great chemistry together from the very start. For Me and My Gal is just a wonderful film, featuring dancing, singing, romance, heartache, joy, pain, and just about every emotion under the sun, oftentimes swinging in mood at the drop of a hat from euphoria to misery. A nervous Gene Kelly credited Judy for pulling him through the production of this his first film, and in all truth Judy turns in an outstanding performance here. The movie, released in 1942, is in many ways tied to the contemporary war effort at home, and while it may be a definite product of its era, its themes and unforgettable performances make it a film that will live and be watched and certainly enjoyed forever. For Me and My Gal is also a tribute to the great vaudeville tradition, a tradition Judy Garland knew quite well first-hand from her childhood spent on the stage. Garland plays Jo Hayden, a vaudevillian singer/dancer working to pay for her brother's education. Teamed up with Jimmy Metcalf and his gang, she is successful enough but far removed from the dream of every vaudeville performer of playing The Palace. As the movie opens, she meets up with Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly), an entertainer so vain that Jo dislikes him immediately, even saying at one point, "I bet he takes a bow every time he hears a clap of thunder." Palmer wants nothing more than to get ahead, to get to The Palace, and he sees potential in the young Jo Hayden. When his initial business proposals to her go nowhere fast, he turns on the charm and, before you know it, they are singing and dancing beautifully together to the tune of For Me and My Gal. Jimmy Metcalf loves Jo, but he breaks up his own act in order to make Jo take Harry's offer. The new duo of Palmer and Hayden find success, but not the kind they are yearning for, as we watch them perform a number of great song and dance routines on stage, the most familiar of which is probably When You Wore a Tulip (And I Wore A Big Red Rose). Whenever things start going well, though, something bad happens. Jo is all torn up when Palmer starts spending all his free time with the famous singer Eve Minard, as Palmer has yet to figure out that he loves Jo as much as Jo loves him. When this hurdle is passed, the road ahead for the duo only gets rougher as war intervenes. Having finally secured a spot at The Palace, Palmer takes drastic action to avoid being drafted, but his rash act backfires on him in the worst way possible. The ending of the film concentrates as much on helping the war effort and patriotism as it does restoring, in quite a tender manner, the love and commitment of two people who belong together. Harry Palmer surely was meant to represent a lot of American men in wartime. Caught up in his own hopes and dreams, he ignores what is going on in Europe, then tries to find a way out of answering his draft summons when it inevitably comes. He learns that there are much more important things in life than performing at The Palace and that a man has a duty to serve his country when called upon, in whatever capacity he is capable of serving. Judy Garland's patriotic song and dance sequences and the real-life armed service radio broadcasts she appeared on throughout the early 1940s made her a pin-up girl of World War II. Definitely, this film carried a message to movie audiences to do what they could to support the troops going to war yet again, but its greatest power is wrung from the soul of Judy Garland in the form of many touching, dramatically powerful scenes of loss and heartache. For Me and My Gal, despite a great measure of comedy and delightful song and dance, follows a dark road at times, making it a movie that truly spans the entire spectrum of human emotion. It's impossible not to love this movie, and the fact that it delivers Gene Kelly's film debut and Judy's first truly adult dramatic role makes it all the more important and special."
Finally Available on DVD
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 04/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FOR ME AND MY GAL could easily be categorized as promotion for supporting World War II. It was released in 1942 when the United States entered the war and support was strong, but still needed some help from outside sources. FOR ME AND MY GAL more than does its part for the war effort. It tells the story of two hopeful Vaudeville stars who want to reach the big time. Harry (played by Gene Kelly) will do anything to get to the top. The only thing that seems to stop him is his love for his dancing partner Jo (played by Judy Garland). Jo looses her brother in battle. Within minutes of hearing the news she learns that Harry injured himself on purpose to avoid World War I. She gets so angry at Harry's selfishness she vows never to see him again. Harry realizes both the error of his ways and his love for Jo and vows to be a hero. In true Hollywood fashion, Harry becomes a hero and he and Jo are reunited. At the end of the movie, people are encouraged to buy war bonds. The film is predictable, but so are most Hollywood musicals. Kelly and Garland are excellent partners, and both are believable in their roles and add a depth to the film that lesser stars would be unable to do. We love the sweetness of Jo and Kelly is a believable semi-scoundrel, a role that he seems to master in this film and others. The dancing sequences are excellent and Busby Berkeley's direction captures interesting angles that highlight Kelley's talent. As predictable as the story may be, both Kelly and Garland give wonderful performances and make the movie come to life.Movie buffs will love the fact that this film is now on DVD. Garland fans will enjoy John Fricke's commentary on the film as well as the shots that were not included in the final cut of the film. The Fricke commentary speaks not only of Garland, but Kelly, Berkeley, Fried, and others involved in MGM musicals of the time. This feature alone is worth the price."
Classic musical catapults Garland to new heights
J. Stearns | San Francisco, CA | 12/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In her first adult role, yet still filled with girlish charm, Judy Garland captures the audiences eyes and ears with her moving portrayal of a young vaudevillian trying to keep her goals and love in check. Gene Kelly, in his film debut, show signs of being a novice. Yet, the dancing capabilities he possessed still are just amazing. Filled with drama, candor and realism, "For Me and My Gal" is an absorbing musical melodrama set during the WWI era. Musical highlights include "For Me and My Gal," "Ballin' the Jack," and "After You've Gone.""
Luminous Garland and Kelly's Debut
Starfire | Austin, TX | 06/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A touching wartime musical with some great tunes and the ever-incomparable Judy Garland as the lead, what more could you want? Maybe the historical value of Gene Kelly's screen debut? Maybe. Garland, in her first "grown-up" role, looks absolutely fantastic onscreen, glowing and lighting up every shot.
On second viewing, I found myself wishing the dialogue scenes would hurry along and make way for the musical numbers, for 19-year-old Judy Garland electrifies in scenes such as "After You've Gone" and "How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down On The Farm." You can see exactly why she's often named the world's best entertainer; her stage presence, discernable even in a black and white transfer, is brilliant. And while Garland didn't prove her true acting chops until "A Star Is Born", in which she gave an obviously Oscar-worthy performance, she still tugs appropriately at the heart-strings when called upon to do so.
Gene Kelly's acting is clearly amateur at this stage, but who can blame him, it is his first picture after all. We'll forgive him for the brilliant work he did later on (and that magnificent dancing talent, of course, which was sadly under-used in this film).
Sure it's sappy, sentimental, predictable, but who cares?! It's pure escapist fun with Judy, Gene, and wonderful music along for the ride! So sit back and enjoy yourself. I had the most ridiculous grin on my face the whole time."