Me and My Gal

Me and My Gal

Director: Raoul Walsh

Cast: Raoul Walsh, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Marion Burns

     
 

Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy) is a good-hearted, streetwise waterfront beat cop in New York City who gets promoted to detective when he saves the life of a drunk (Will Stanton) who falls into the river. He also strikes up an acquaintance with Helen Riley (Joan Bennett), a wisecracking waitress at a nearby diner, which leads to a potential romance. Each one's bravado and… See more details below

Overview

Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy) is a good-hearted, streetwise waterfront beat cop in New York City who gets promoted to detective when he saves the life of a drunk (Will Stanton) who falls into the river. He also strikes up an acquaintance with Helen Riley (Joan Bennett), a wisecracking waitress at a nearby diner, which leads to a potential romance. Each one's bravado and tough self-image, however, prevents them from admitting how they feel about each other. Also getting in the way of their romance are Detective Allen (Adrian Morris), who permitted wanted hood Duke Castenega (George Walsh -- the director's brother) to slip off of a boat and into the country while Danny was making his rescue; and Helen's dimwitted sister Kate (Marion Burns), who used to date Duke, but is now marrying dull, steady, loyal merchant seaman Eddie Collins (George Chandler). She can't quite push Duke out of her life, and when he breaks prison and turns up trying to hide out in Kate's home, she's foolish enough to hide him. It falls to Eddie's father (Henry B. Walthall), a paralyzed World War I veteran, to try and warn Danny and save his son's wife and their marriage.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
This breezy mix of romance and crime thriller had three credited writers and as many as five more uncredited scribes on hand to pull its plot together, and not surprisingly there is a lot of plot here and also a lot plot points worth noting. At the center there's the tangled romance between Spencer Tracy's Detective Danny Dolan and waitress Helen Riley (Joan Bennett), which provides a fascinating window on the world of New York City in 1932. Tracy seems to be aiming for a portrayal similar to the persona that James Cagney was perfecting at Warner Bros. during this same period, and it mostly works -- he's convincingly brash and tough, if not as energetic. And taken on those terms, just focusing on the romantic half of the story, Me And My Gal is prime entertainment, even 80 years later. But there are a brace of subtexts to this picture that are worth noting, as they provide the picture with a lot of its atmosphere, and make it doubly special as a snapshot of an important corner of the world, and the perceptions that audiences brought to the theater in 1932. Me And My Gal depicts a city whose residents are coping with economic misery; this is slice-of-life grit that was not unusual in 1932 but seldom presented with more ease and naturalism under Raoul Walsh's breezy direction. But pressed right up against that dark social-realist layer is another, equally valid topical snapshot of a city that is almost totally oblivious to Prohibition -- a major issue in the election held just a month before this picture opened, Prohibition figures by name in this script, and the attitudes toward it shape much of the action and the dialogue. Groups of drunken revelers walk the city's streets at night, and beer- and liquor-laden parties spill out onto the sidewalk in full view of the police, who mostly have better things to do with their time -- and everyone laments the failed presidential candidacy of Alfred E. Smith (an opponent of Prohibition). Interestingly, the malefactors in this story are a family of hoods from southern Europe (last name Castenega), which is also a statement of the perceived reality about crime in the big city, aimed at a national audience -- the script balances their presence with the tough, mostly Irish cops, and their families and friends, who are depicted as a match for the career criminals of Italian extraction. But accompanying these topical references to the time in which it was made, there are also some downright startling cinematic moments, as in an extended scene that parodies Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude (referred to as "Strange Innertube") and its use of internal monologue. And lest anyone doubt the spirit of the movie, or its willingness to tweak the audience, don't miss the moments in the picture where J. Farrell MacDonald's Pop Riley breaks the fouth wall, looking directly at the camera and inviting us to join the fun and "have a drink."

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/2013
UPC:
0024543885290
Original Release:
1932
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Mod
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:19:00
Sales rank:
44,813

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Spencer Tracy Dan Dolan
Joan Bennett Helen Riley
Marion Burns Kate Riley
George Walsh Duke Castege
John Farrell MacDonald Pat "Pop" Riley
Noel Madison Baby Face Castenega
Henry B. Walthall Sarge
Bert Hanlon Jake the Tailor
Adrian Morris Detective Al Allen
George Chandler Eddie Collins
Billy Bevan Ashley
Charles "Heinie" Conklin Worker
Roger Imhof Down and Outer
James Marcus Capt. Mike Ryan
Frank Moran Frank
Pat Moriarity Priest
Russell Powell Burper
Will Stanton Drunken Fisherman
Phil Tead Radio Salesman
Eleanor Wesselhoeft Wife

Technical Credits
Raoul Walsh Director
Barry Connors Original Story
William Fox Producer
Horace Hough Asst. Director
Rita Kaufman Costumes/Costume Designer
Philip Klein Original Story
Arthur Kober Screenwriter
Arthur C. Miller Cinematographer
Jack Murray Editor
Gordon Wiles Production Designer

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