6.1/10
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11 user 7 critic

Boy Meets Girl (1938)

Approved | | Comedy | 27 August 1938 (USA)
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2:46 | Trailer
Two lazy screenwriters need a story for the studio's cowboy star. A studio waitress turns out to be pregnant. This gives them the idea for a movie about a cowboy and a baby. The waitress's ... See full summary »

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(from the stage play by), (from the stage play by) (as Samuel Spewack) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Marie Wilson ...
Susie
...
C. Elliott Friday
...
Rossetti
...
Larry Toms
Bruce Lester ...
Rodney Bowman
...
Announcer
Paul Clark ...
Happy
Penny Singleton ...
Peggy
Dennie Moore ...
Miss Crews
Harry Seymour ...
Song Writer
Bert Hanlon ...
Song Writer
...
Major Thompson
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Storyline

Two lazy screenwriters need a story for the studio's cowboy star. A studio waitress turns out to be pregnant. This gives them the idea for a movie about a cowboy and a baby. The waitress's baby becomes the star. The cowboy and his agent run off with the waitress and her valuable asset. The writers retaliate by hiring an unemployed extra to impersonate the baby's father. But the extra already knows the waitress... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comprando Barulho  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson were the first choices to play the main roles. See more »

Quotes

Robert Law: Talk about scope sweep. Boy, what a set up!
J. Carlyle 'J.C.' Benson: What a love story!
Robert Law: A great love story.
J. Carlyle 'J.C.' Benson: A baby brings them together, splits them apart, brings them together again,
Robert Law: Boy meets girl.
J. Carlyle 'J.C.' Benson: Boy loses girl.
Robert Law: Boy gets girl.
C. Elliott 'C.F.' Friday: Boy, I think you got something. Let's try it out on B.K. while it's hot.
Larry Toms: Wait a minute. You can't act with a baby. They'll steal every scene.
Robert Law: Are you selling motherhood short?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on pages of a book, with someone flipping the pages. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say? (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Boy Meets Girl
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl...
4 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

That is the philosophy of J. Carlyle Benson (Pat O'Brien), fast talking screen writing hack at Monumental Pictures, a Hollywood dream creating factory run by C. Elliott Friday (Ralph Bellamy). Benson constantly insists that is the simple formula for every film script he and his partner Robert Law (James Cagney) do at Monumental. It must work because they are more than tolerated by the pretentious, "intellectual" Friday, who spends most of his time trying to salvage a movie set in Britain (at one point making the grandiloquent comment, "I'm trying to save "Young England"!"). Friday's intellectual triteness is easily shown - he so misunderstands just what a "trumpet" is, that he ends up making his sentinels blow some preposterous looking trombone while wearing beefeater costumes.

Pat O'Brien and James Cagney formed one of the most legendary friendships in Hollywood history, lasting from the 1930s until the 1980s. It was the backbone of what was called the "Irish Mafia" (O'Brien, Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Frank McHugh, Lynn Overman). They co-starred in many films, most notably ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, TORRID ZONE, THE FIGHTING 69TH, and this, their only real comedy together (the other films have comic moments, but are basically dramatic). BOY MEETS GIRL was a farce about Hollywood film making by Samuel and Bella Spivak, that was a Broadway hit. It translate well to the screen, as it follows the antics of O'Brien and Cagney as frustrated writers turned into meaningless hacks. In fact, despite the financial benefits for surrendering their talents, it takes a toll on the men. Cagney feels disgusted at the loss of his real writing talent (he almost got the Pulitzer Prize). O'Brien finds his marriage suffering due to his feelings, and his wife eventually walks out on him.

So they take their revenge on several targets, most notably Mr. Friday, but also the Dick Foran, a popular cowboy star at the lot, and his obnoxious agent Frank McHugh (one of the few McHugh - Cagney films where McHugh is not a close friend of Cagney's). Then they meet an employee of the studio (Marie Wilson), who has a baby but no living husband. Wilson's baby is quite adorable, so Benson and Law create a series of films involving the baby in the old west, and so force Foran into a co-starring position that he resents. Lest you think this is extreme, the 1930s saw many film series in which children or babies dominate. Shirley Temple is the best known example, but Jane Withers was the central figure in several movies, as was young Jackie Cooper, and even the Dionne Quintuplets. Further, there was a silent film called "Three Godfathers" that John Ford directed (he would later remake it with John Wayne, Harry Carey Jr., and Pedro Armendariz), in which the western heroes give their all for a baby that is left with them.

The speed of the farce is matched by the delivery of lines by both it's Irish-American stars. O'Brien had learned to deliver lines snappily early on, and his speed is infectious on Cagney. But they can slow down for effect, especially as they give capsule descriptions of their gooey plots (at one moment, Cagney reveals the obvious point - when badman Foran is about to hide his loot from a robbery, he looks down at the place he chose, and "What do you think he finds? A Baabee!" dramatizes Jimmy). He also tries to make up dialog to explain the missing father of the baby, by suggesting that he may not have died on the Morro Castle (burned in 1934).

If the situation seems somewhat more dated today because screen writing is recognize (when well done) as the equivalent of a good novel, short story, essay, or play, the movie's gusto and humor still work quite well. So while not a film meriting a "10" it still gets a "9".


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