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DVD: For Me and My Gal (1942)
    Film Music Masters: Jerry Goldsmith    
Review Rating:   Good  
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Warner Bros
Catalog #:


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1 (NTSC)

April 6, 2004



Genre: Musical  

Judy Garland and Gene Kelly sing and dance their way across America , town by town, trying to reach the big time before WWI changes everything.




Directed by:

Busby Berkeley
Screenplay by:

Richard Sherman, Fred Finklehoffe and Sid Silvers

Music by: George E. Stoll
Produced by: Arthur Freed
Cast: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly, Marta Eccerth, Ben Blue, and Horace McNally.
Film Length: 104 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.33 :1
Black & White
Anamorphic DVD: No
Languages:   English Mono
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish
Special Features :  

Audio Commentary by Garland Biographer John Fricke / Musical Shorts: “La Fiesta De Santa Barbara” (18:37, Colour) + “Every Sunday” (10:31, B&W) / Audio Vault: “Three Cheers For The Yanks Outtake” + “For Me And My Gal Deleted Finale” /Radio Show: “3/22/1943 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater ” and “Leo Is On The Air Radio Promo” / Theatrical Trailer

Comments :

Director Busby Berkley was a dancer's nightmare. He might be the only Artillery Lieutenant in history who became a choreographer, drilling his cast with ruthless military discipline. By all accounts he was perfectionist, merciless, and absolutely brilliant.

‘Me and My Gal' is a backstage musical set in the old Vaudeville days before WWI, with all the clichés- wanting to play the Palace, the noble sacrifice, the train tracks dissolving into different town names. But the film feels remarkably fresh because the clichés were born here, and the musical numbers manage to propel the story, rather than being dropped into the story (a common problem in later musicals).

This was Kelly's first film, and he manages a delicate balance between the soft-pedaled cad and a genuine, aw-shucks trooper. Judy Garland is, well, Judy Garland, managing to play everything with sort of a hyper-sincerity that almost makes you forget its melodrama. Both sing and dance to perfection. Garland biographer John Fricke offers a sprightly commentary to match the action, and there are recreations of two cut numbers using a restored soundtrack and still frames.

The transfer is outstanding (crisp black and white) and the extras are exhaustive. There are two shorts- ‘La Fiesta de Santa Barbara', a Technicolor collection of MGM talent acting wacky with a few songs thrown in (Garland appears with her sisters to serenade a B-list star), and the tabloid musical ‘Every Sunday' with a young Garland and an even younger Deanna Durbin. The package is rounded out with a trailer and two audio bonuses- an MGM Screen Guild Players radio show, and a Leo On the Air special.

Garland aficionados (and they are legion) have been waiting for a package like this. It presents a perfect time capsule of her early career and offers a snapshot of Judy in her prime. It's a big glossy black and white musical, and is not for all tastes. But for Garland fans, it's perfection. Highly recommended.

This title is available separately or as part of the Judy Garland Signature Collection that includes: “For Me And My Gal,” “The Harvey Girls,” “In The Good Old Summertime,” “Love Finds Andy Hardy,” “A Star Is Born,” “The Wizard Of Oz” and “Ziegfeld Girl.”


© 2004 Michael John Derbecker

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