|Gene Kelly and Judy Garland teamed for the primary time in “For Me and My Gal.”|
For Me and My Gal boasts two firsts:
This was Gene Kelly’s movie debut and Judy Garland’s bow in getting billed above
the title. The 1942 musical drama is probably not as well-remembered as a few of Gene
and Judy’s greatest efforts. For Me and My
Gal was an enormous hit on a modest funds, which is at all times the very best backside line
in Hollywood’s e-book. Gene was given the lead over George Murphy on the final
minute, and when Kelly scored, he started an extended affiliation with MGM. For Judy, to
carry this movie meant that Metro’s religion in her was justified.
|Judy Garland & Gene Kelly rehearsing in “For Me and My Gal.”|
Kelly and Judy Garland had been on the cusp of 30 and 20 once they filmed For Me and My Gal. Male stars loved a
longer shelf life in Hollywood than their feminine counterparts. Think about if Metro
starred Judy in her first movie at age 30—no means. Kelly had finished some work on
stage, together with Pal Joey. Gene’s
Irish beauty, athletic construct, appeal, respectable performing potential, and nice
dancing—all made him a flexible and valued performer. Personally, my solely pet
peeve with Gene Kelly was his tendency to preen, as if “Take a look at me!” He didn’t
|Judy Garland spars romantically with Gene Kelly in “For Me and My Gal.”|
Garland really warrants her identify above the title as Jo Hayden. Judy is in youthful
voice and good humor, a nimble dancer and a pure in her dramatic scenes. The
star is so robust in all the main classes of performing, it’s no surprise MGM
thought-about her their biggest asset. Although some Judy Garland’s movies could seem
slight by at this time’s requirements, wanting over her filmography, Judy’s field workplace
was mighty robust. Only some of Garland’s first and final movies did not
carry out, the remaining made mountains of cash for MGM. This goes an extended strategy to
clarify why they put up together with her issues for thus lengthy.
|Judy Garland received her identify above the title for the primary time in “For Me and My Gal.”|
For Me and My Gal
has a significant flaw: the story is a clichéd cleaning soap opera, set to music. Each time
one thing good occurs to Gene and Judy’s vaudeville performers, you simply know
heartbreak lurks within the subsequent scene. However the two stars ably deal with the
tear-jerking in addition to the track and dance numbers.
|Judy Garland, flanked by George Murphy & Gene Kelly in “For Me & My Gal.”|
story makes Ziegfeld Woman appear to be a
hard-hitting documentary. Since For Me
and My Gal was filmed within the first half of ’42, it appears like this musical morphed
right into a wartime story, as nicely. The movie’s characters all go off to WWI in
gung-ho vogue, to advertise patriotic spirit in audiences for the U.S. entry
into WWII. The climactic scenes, when Gene’s Harry Palmer redeems himself on
the battle entrance, feels particularly tacked on. The latter half of the movie has
loads of nostalgic WWI-era songs, superbly sung by Garland and firm. MGM
was now in full battle time propaganda mode, on the behest of FDR. When Judy
seems within the finale in uniform, it’s a distinctly World Battle Two uniform! There’s even a tagline at
the finale to purchase battle bonds.
|Judy Garland’s “WWI” uniform in “For Me and My Gal.”|
most necessary facet of For Me and My
Gal is to simply take pleasure in nice skills Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, on the
top of their youthful vitality and enchantment. Watching “Ballin’ The Jack,” I used to be
amazed by Gene’s high-energy performing, but additionally admired how nimble Judy was
as a dancer, as nicely. Judy’s nice quantity “After You’re Gone,” is simply gorgeous
for this younger star.
|Gene Kelly & Judy Garland make stunning music collectively in “For Me & My Gal.”|
two present biz up and comers have important however unbilled performances: future
director Richard Quine as Judy’s child brother and Keenan Wynn because the couple’s
robust agent. Wynn would quickly develop into one in every of MGM’s nice character actors.
|Richard Quine is unbilled as Judy’s child brother who goes off to battle.
Quine later grew to become a director with a knack for love and comedy.
Berkeley was a fairly odd alternative as director. He often helmed splashy
musicals, filmed in ‘40s Technicolor. Right here, Busby is directing a modestly
budgeted dramatic musical in black and white. The dance numbers, which he
didn’t even direct, are filmed in easy vaudeville type. No busy Busby
stunts right here!
supporting solid is okay, save for a really annoying opera singer, who’s Judy’s
love rival. Why, you ask? MGM honcho L.B. Mayer was obsessive about “class” and
was eternally overcompensating together with his Anglophile fantasies. This opera singer
is shrill and appears sufficiently old to be Judy’s mom! It’s the identical mentality
that gave us Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones disrupting A Evening on the Opera or the semi-operatic ingénues in Mickey and
Judy films. Metro additionally created the short-termed opera craze with Jeannette
MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
|George Murphy, Judy Garland, and Gene Kelly in 1942’s “For Me and My Gal.”|
you possibly can droop disbelief with the ‘40s MGM sentiment, you’ll take pleasure in Gene and
Judy, in all their youthful exuberance and proficient glory in For Me and My Gal.
a way more elaborate musical starring Judy Garland, with Lana Turner and Hedy
Lamarr! My take a look at 1941’s Ziegfeld Woman:
FYI: I put my film overflow on my FB film web page. Examine
it out & be a part of!
|Is that this the key MGM handshake? Joan visits Judy on the “For Me and My Gal” set.|
What do you think?