An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.
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Mr. Morris, the owner of a large metropolitan department store, gives jobs to paroled ex-convicts in an effort to help them reform and go straight. Among his 'employed-prison-graduates' are Helen Roberts and Joe Dennis, working as sales clerks. Joe is in love with Helen and asks her to marry him, but she is forbidden to marry as she is still on parole, but she says yes and they are married. In spite of their poverty-level life, their marriage is a happy one until Joe discovers she has lied about her past, in order to marry him. Disillusioned, he leaves, goes back to his old gang and plans to rob the department store. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
They don't make 'em like this any more (more's the pity)
As a fan of both Sylvia Sidney and Kurt Weill, I have wanted to see this film ever since I read Leonard Maltin's description of it. It is apparently not available for home viewing, so Heaven bless the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which screened 'You and Me' a couple of weeks ago as part of its Kurt Weill centennial celebration (which continues as I write this).
According to an edition of Stagebill that was made available to audiences at the screening, Weill composed 23 music cues for 'You and Me,' but the Paramount brass did not care for his work and used only nine of them. (This was typical of Weill's experience in Hollywood.) That's a genuine tragedy, and there's no question that it does diminish the film. 'You and Me' still rates a 10 in my book, however, for the outstanding performances from the entire cast and its anti-naturalistic approach to gritty, "realist" subject matter.
The line between anti-naturalism and implausibility is a fine one, and the film crosses that line during its last 15 minutes or so. Still, I wonder if audiences in 1938 didn't understand that ending as a joke. They may have been more sophisticated than we are today.
In any case, if you get a chance to see this film, grab it.
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