20 January 2000 | Calysta
A great musical
The classic plot of girl refuses guy only to fall in love with him later is at work again. When the girl happens to be Judy Garland, one of the top box office draws and the MGM triple threat of extraordinarily talented singer, actress and dancer, it kind of changes the whole perspective. In the MGM heavens there are no leading men who can match her on screen stature.
To solve that problem, she gets two leading men. Before World War 1, the vaudeville girl has to choose between two partners. George Murphy and Gene Kelly. Fresh from Broadway success with "Pal Joey", Mr Kelly makes his movie debut in "For Me and My Gal" and it is nothing short of memorable. It was time the world saw that Hollywood dancers wore something other than white tails and top hat, like Mr Astaire.
The screenplay is slight. It hardly matters, because World War 1 is enough of a threat to forward the story anyway. All elements of drama and tear jerking romance are there. For a routine musical at MGM, we expect our happy 40s story, all complete with happy ending, plus the usual congenial mix of complications along the way. And with direction from Busby Berkley, great 1915s songs and two of the greatest musical stars in the mix, we certainly get our happy ending.
Today it stands out because of its musical quality and excellent conception of production. They certainly don't make 'em like this anymore.