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For Me and My Gal

Judy Garland , George Murphy , Busby Berkeley    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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"Say, he looks like an actor," says the platform conductor. And with that introduction, Gene Kelly steps off the train and into his film career. After starring on Broadway in Pal Joey, Kelly made his film debut in For Me and My Gal opposite Judy Garland, with the pair playing vaudeville performers who team up to find success and, of course, romance. But just when things are looking up, World War I intervenes, and Kelly has to take drastic measures to keep a promise and avoid the war, at least temporarily.

Bad move, Gene. Filmed in 1942, For Me and My Gal vigorously supports the war effort, including teaching Kelly the error of his ways. The old-time setting also allows for a basketful of nostalgic charmers, including "After You've Gone," "Oh You Beautiful Doll," and "Ballin' the Jack," and Kelly and Garland's crooning and tapping of the title tune is pure joy. --David Horiuchi

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it too June 9 2004
I greatly dislike and resent reviewers who give away plots and endings. Why do they do it? This is one of my all-time favorite musicals. It is not a flag-waver and it does not sugar-coat war (rah-rah-America!), though as one reviewer mentioned, there is a note at the ending saying that war bonds would be sold in the lobby. War is hell. Everyone in it was wonderful, Garland actually kept right up with Kelly in the dancing, and she came across strong, professional and abundantly talented, all of which she is. (Incidentally, before Pal Joey, there was a straight play by Saroyan called The Time of Your Life which I think was Kelly's first big break (he danced), and before that a part in the chorus of a Porter musical called Leave It To Me, more than that I don't know.) The movie is singing and dancing from stem to stern, all wonderful, all Garland and/or Kelly, and I loved every minute of it. The directing was also good, though I'm no judge of that kind of thing, but it struck me as inventive and original while I watched it. I totally abhored Murphy's bit in France when he makes a sap out of the poor dumb foreigner with the fake money. And then his men have a good laugh. I thought it stunk. And on the subject of George Murphy (whose career in movies was about as stellar as Ronald Reagan's), Tom Lehrer said (sang, actually), "Gee it's great! At last we've got a senator who can really sing and dance!" That's about the size of it, folks. And I didn't think he did either of those particularly well. If he'd gotten the girl, I wouldn't have watched the movie a second time. One last note. I cried during this movie when Danny left for duty. And I really cried at the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect. Charming. Perfectly Charming. April 11 2004
"For Me and My Gal" was released when Judy Garland was about to reach the pinnacle of her Hollywood career as an adult film actress/singer. Co-starring Gene Kelly, in his first film, it's a slightly more sophisticated -- and much more engaging -- version of the old Mickey-and-Judy behind the scenes musicals of the late 30s and 40s. The production values are exceptional, and were it not for the exceptional transfer to DVD (which is in beautiful black and white), you almost wish the film were in color. But the b-and-w photography is a good reminder of where the term "silver screen" came from, and it gives the film an interesting "vintage" feel that is somewhat different than the "glorious" technicolor musicals, like "Meet Me in St. Louis," that would ensure Judy Garland's status as an enduring musical legend. The commentary by John Fricke is fascinating (where does he find out all this stuff!?). The singing and dancing, and -- come to think of it -- the acting by Garland, Kelly as well as by future United States Senator George Murphy is exceptional. Interestingly, the best scene in film (in my humble opinion), the "For Me and My Gal" dance sequence with Garland and Kelly, seems to have been filmed in a complete, unedited single take. Very rare for an MGM musical number, and very impressive as well. With the DVD release of "For Me and My Gal" and "Meet Me in St. Louis," and with the earlier-released DVD versions of "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Harvey Girls," the only films missing from Garland's MGM "canon" seem to be "Easter Parade" and (perhaps) "The Pirate." I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Warner will release both on DVD sometime soon. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally Available on DVD April 7 2004
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For Me and My Gal
Another wonderful pairing of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly! I enjoyed it very much. The quality was great! I have a great love of
Musicals. Thank you.
Published 14 months ago by Winnifred Warren
4.0 out of 5 stars Gene Kelly's smashing entrance to film
He may be a little over the top by times, drifting back into the style of live theatre performance, but overall it's no surprise to me that this role brought Gene Kelly to the... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2009 by K. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars judygarland lovers
If you are a Judy fan then you will love For Me And My Gal. Now i am only 12 years and i love her and just today i ordered a judy bio called judygarland bio and i can,t wait. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2006 by judygarland
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching the Easter Parade
There is apparently a shortage of the Great Easter Parade film, one of the truly GREATEST musicals (of which not enough have been released). Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by The Professor Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars BLACK & WHITE....not color!
So many have done such a great job reviewing this movie I won't rehash....but Amazon.com taking their cue from Warners (on the DVD box) say this is color and it is NOT.... Read more
Published on April 29 2004
"For Me And My Gal" is one of those almost forgotten favorites of the silver screen that once seen, you'll wonder why it took you so long to rediscover. Read more
Published on April 6 2004 by Nix Pix
4.0 out of 5 stars For Me & My Gal: A Paen to Patriotism
When the Second World War started, Hollywood made the predictable switch to movies that would fortify America's spirit. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by Martin Asiner
4.0 out of 5 stars A True Gem of a Wartime Film
For Me and My Gal is a great film. The musical scores are fantastic and make you want to sing and dance along. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, war, Garland, and Kelly make for a powerful musical
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... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003 by Daniel Jolley
4.0 out of 5 stars The War Effort muddles this otherwise delightful musical
The prospect of having Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in a musical that involved vaudeville admittedly made me set my alarm to the movie's show time on TV. Read more
Published on June 24 2003 by ZZZZZ
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