Monday Night Movie: For Me and My Gal

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For Me and My Gal is a 1942 wartime movie about a World War I romance. The morale films made during the Second World War are some of my favorites. The optimistic, patriotic songs are still as catchy and inspiring as they were sixty years ago.

Starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, this was Kelly’s first-ever movie, although he was thirty and Garland was nineteen! Both were incredible actors, and Gene Kelly was one of the most talented dancers of all time. The theme song “For Me and My Gal” occurs several times throughout the movie, including this scene. If you don’t want to wait to watch the movie, you can watch the ending scene here. But you should really watch the movie!

Jo Hayden and Harry Palmer are a performing duo, always dreaming of bigger venues, specifically “The Palace.” Jo falls in love with Harry, even though he doesn’t realize it for a long time. World War I breaks out, and when it seems that their biggest dream is about to come true, Harry is drafted. This leads him to an act he would forever regret, which would destroy all of his dreams. Can he ever earn back the love of “his gal”?

After watching the movie, I looked it up on good ol’ Wikipedia. Surprisingly, the movie was based on a true story about actors Harry Palmer and Jo Hayden! Most of the love story and surrounding action is true as well. Even though by itself it’s a sweet story, the fact that it is true makes it even more enjoyable.

I would definitely recommend this movie. The love story, the music, the character studies: all make it a classic wartime movie. Oh yes, I did cry. And close my eyes. You’ll see why when you watch it!

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