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Fans of the Cast Only
Michael_Elliott11 February 2010
Me and My Gal (1932)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

A New York cop (Spencer Tracy) fights with and then falls in love with a waitress (Joan Bennett) but things take a bad turn when her father and sister get involved with a gangster (George Walsh). This is a sometimes interesting pre-code that starts off as a (bad) comedy but then turns into a romance before once again changing into a drama. I do have to question the screenplay for trying so many things as the film seems extremely uneven and in the end I had to see it as a major disappointment considering the talent involved. The biggest problem is the screenplay that is all over the place and this includes a pretty bad start where we have to follow a drunk around for a non-stop gag that just keeps going and going and going. I'm going to take stab and say that this scene with the drunk runs at least ten minutes and then he keeps coming up for the next ten minutes. The joke pretty much has him not paying for meals, asking the cops to arrest a fish for stealing his worm or just being plain annoying. I'm really not sure if Walsh was having a kick with this stuff or what but it should have ended up on the cutting room floor. The stuff dealing with the gangsters is pretty uninteresting as well because they're brought into the story due to Bennett's sister, someone we really don't care about and since it isn't actually happening to Tracy's girl, there's no added drama thrown in. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why the movie was jumping around so much and a lot of the ending just feels tacked on for no good reason other than to have some action. What makes the film worth viewing are the performances by the two leads. The two work very well together as they both come off quite charming and entertaining. The snappy dialogue they get to throw at one another is a plus as is a nice sequence where they talk to one another while their "thoughts" also get told. George Chandler and Henry B. Walthall have small roles as well.
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Ingratiating pre-Code fun
warrenk-218 July 2005
"Me and My Gal" is an ingratiating pre-Code comedy-drama enhanced by spirited banter between Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett who play two young people feeling each other out as potential mates. Bennett is surprisingly good as a wise-cracking, down-to-earth waitress who speaks her mind and can easily hold her own against Tracy's New York City cop. The pre-Code era's lack of pretense about sexuality makes their impassioned kiss in the diner -- as the two knock over items on the lunch counter -- all the more humorous. Bennett, both impressed and amused by Tracy's kiss, responds: "If you're gonna kiss me like that, you're gonna have to marry me." It's a magical little moment that caused the passage of time since 1932 to drop away and left me there with them to enjoy the fun.

A sub-plot involves Bennett's newly married sister, a good girl who nevertheless can't resist her bad boy gangster ex-boyfriend. When he needs to hide from the police, she installs him in a spare bedroom, under the nose of her disabled father-in-law who is confined to a wheelchair, can't speak a word and communicates only by blinking his eyes in Morse code. Later, when everything gets resolved, Tracy tells the father-in-law that the daughter-in-law is a good kid at heart in spite of what she did, expressing pre-Code generosity for forgiveness and tolerance, even in sexual transgressions with gangsters.
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Highly uneven...and it sure starts out slowly
planktonrules3 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Considering that the film was directed by Raoul Walsh and starred Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, you would prob assume that the film would be better than this one. However, Tracy was not yet a star and Walsh was a ways off from being a top director, so in this film they obviously were given a second-rate script. Fortunately, despite the film's many deficiencies, they were able to make the most of a relatively dull film.

Much of the movie seems virtually plot-less--with an exciting story only occurring near the end. Up until then, it seems to just meander--showing a dopey young cop (Tracy) making good again and again as well as courting a pretty young lady (Bennett). Despite the aimless direction, Tracy plays a likable dope who, after a while, really grows on you. And, fortunately, the last 10 minutes or so is interesting enough to at least let the film end on a high note.

By the way, there IS a bright moment in the film where, out of the blue, Tracy's character talks about a movie he just saw..."Strange Innertube"! This is actually referring to the Gable/Shearer film "Strange Interlude"--an odd little film made by rival studio, MGM, in which the characters act AND you can hear what they are thinking. In this cute parody of the MGM film, suddenly you can hear what Tracy and Bennett are thinking as they being making out--it's very cute and certainly the high point in an otherwise odd and slow film.

Worth watching, certainly, but far from the best work of all concerned. It's mostly a curiosity that I can only strongly recommend to Tracy fans who want to be able to say they've seen all of his work.
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Snappy Pre-Code Comedy-Drama
drednm26 November 2016
Fast-paced film filled with snappy dialog and star performances by Spencer Tracy as a not-too-swift cop and Joan Bennett as a hash-house waitress with plenty on the ball. Story centers on their unlikely romance and the colorful people around them, mostly her nitwit sister (Marion Burns) who's involved with a mobster.

While Tracy pursue Bennett, the sister marries a sap (George Chandler) to escape a mobster boyfriend (George Walsh) who has escaped from jail. He and his gang try to pressure her into helping rob the bank she works in. The sister lives with her husband's paralyzed father (Henry B. Walthall) who plays in important part in the story.

Tracy's beat is the waterfront, where he is plagued by a comically ever-drunk fisherman (Will Stanton) and a dopey partner (Adrian Morris). There's a funny scene where Tracy intervenes on a fight where Stanton is accused of smacking customers (Billy Bevan, Bert Hanlon) with a large fish. As the argument escalates with the men sniping over what kind of fish it is, Tracy is the one who ends up with the fish in his face.

Co-stars include J. Farrell MacDonald as Bennett's father, Noel Madison as "Baby Face" the thug, Roger Imhof as the guy with the dog, Phil Tead as the radio salesman, Frank Moran as the spitter, Jesse De Vorska as the tall thug, and Russ Powell as the burper.

Not to be missed.
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One for Tracy's legion of fans!
JohnHowardReid10 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Raoul Walsh's direction is a bit jerky as far as film editing and continuity goes, but there is one marvelous bit of continuity business when the Joan Bennett character phones her sister. In fact, with its striking compositions, long takes and occasional fluid camera movements, the movie has some really good moments overall, despite some held-far-too-long slapstick scenes, such as that with the inebriated fisherman. Spencer Tracy and Miss Bennett have a grand time, the support cast is A-1, and production values are great. The Depression humor and philosophy comes across with force, and, despite its many topical allusions, the movie does not seem particularly dated. Even the running gag about flat feet is amusing in this context. Marion Burns (whatever happened to her? Maybe she got married and gave movies the flick?) makes an unforgettable impression as Bennett's sister. Incidentally, the plot device with the Morse code is wildly implausible, but who cares?
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It's a precode and a noir!
AlsExGal30 December 2021
This film covers lots of ground. It starts out being a slice of life in Depression era New York City where New York cop on the beat Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy) meets diner waitress Helen Riley (Joan Bennett) and they fall in love after a rather raucous romance. During this time, Danny gets a promotion and becomes a detective on the force. This is the precode part of the film.

The noir part of the story has to do with Helen's sister, Kate. She had been in love with gangster Duke Castenega, but when he left town she got engaged to the horse-faced but honest and steady Eddie, who is a merchant seaman. Kate gets married and Duke is captured and sent to prison but manages to escape, finding his way back to Kate while Eddie is out to sea. This is the noir part - Kate willing to blow up her life over a strong physical attraction to Duke that I think even she mistakes for love.

The two parts of the film intersect when Danny is one of a group of detectives tasked with bringing Duke in, with Helen having divided loyalty between Danny and her sister.

There are lots of interesting, poignant, and funny scenes - Danny and Helen playing out a scene from "Strange Interlude" that they remember as "Strange Innertube", Danny rescuing a dog that his homeless and hungry owner is getting ready to drown out of desperation, Kate's drunken wedding reception and her dad throwing the radio out the window. As for the dog that is rescued, I thought it was odd everybody was so interested in the dog having plenty to eat, but nobody ever bothered to help his elderly and equally hungry owner who had already said that if he had the nerve he would kill himself. Some things never change.

What took an entire star off of my rating were the tedious scenes involving a perpetual drunk who just gets annoying. Every time I think he is gone for good he comes back, ruining every scene he is in. Fortunately, he is completely gone during the second half as the action and drama part heats up.
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Two of a Kind
lugonian30 July 2017
ME AND MY GAL (Fox, 1932), produced and directed by Raoul Walsh, not to be confused with the Judy Garland and Gene Kelly musical, FOR ME AND MY GAL (MGM, 1942), is a nifty little comedy/drama that teams Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett for the second time (following their initial pairing in SHE WANTED A MILLIONAIRE (Fox, 1932)). Although Tracy reportedly didn't have much regard for the movies he did over at Fox during his five years (1930-1935) at the studio, he was said to have been proud of this production, and it's easy to see why. Under the good direction of Walsh, ME AND MY GAL has both good story and sharp dialogue to keep the pace moving at a high degree.

The story revolves around Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy), a new Irish cop on the waterfront beat of New York City's Pier 13, going through his daily duties. After acquiring a dog and dealing with Joe Morgan (Will Stanton), a stumbling drunk, Dan comes to Ed's Chowder House Sea Food diner where he meets Helen Riley (Joan Bennett), a sassy, gum- chewing waitress/cashier with all the answers to Dan's questions. Helen has a sister, Katherine (Marion Burns), who's engaged to marry a nerdy buck-tooth, bespectacled Eddie Collins (George Chandler). Katherine has a shady past, having previously been involved with Duke Castenega (George Walsh), a gangster she cannot resist, especially when wanting her to go against her will by giving him a combination number list for safe deposit boxes. After saving a man's life from drowning, Dan is promoted detective working along with Al Allen (Adrian Morris), a fellow detective who earlier missed seeing Duke and his thugs departing the ship from South American on Pier 13. Duke gets arrested for a robbery and later breaks out of prison. As for Dan's courtship with Helen, he gets to meet the rest of her family, including Kate and their father, Pat (J. Farrell MacDonald). Situations become involved as Dan is assigned to locate Duke's whereabouts, unaware that he's hidden away in the attic of Kate's apartment as witnessed by Kate's war veteran father-in-law, John Collins, (Henry B. Walthall) paralyzed in a wheelchair with his only means of communication blinking code signals through his eyes. Others in the cast include of Noel Madison (Baby Face Castenega); with Eleanor Wesselhoeft, Russell Powell, Billy Bevan and Frank Moran in smaller roles. Be sure to stay tuned for J. Farrell MacDonald's full face close-up fade-out.

A very fast-paced 79 minute production with Tracy and Bennett doing their best competing with one another. Their most memorable moment is their parody to Eugene O'Neill's stage production (and later 1932 MGM drama) to STRANGE INTERLUDE where the two speak out their thoughts through their minds heard only by the movie going audience. This may be a loss to contemporary viewers, but in 1932, many understood the humor of it all.

Remade by 20th Century-Fox as PIER 13 (1940) starring Lloyd Nolan and Lynn Bari in the Tracy and Bennett roles, there's no doubt which version is better. Tracy and Bennett wouldn't work together again until many years later in the classic FATHER OF THE BRIDE (MGM, 1950) and its sequel, FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND (MGM, 1951). Never distributed to home video, ME AND MY GAL did enjoy some rare showings in revival movie houses, public television in the early 1990s, before turning up on cable television's Fox Movie Channel, Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: October 2, 2012) and then availability onto DVD. Considering how movies from the old Fox Film library have been lost or lay forgotten in the studio vaults, at least this not only is still available for viewing, but also one that can still be seen and surprisingly appreciated today. Check! (***)
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Spence rings those bells for his gal
bkoganbing1 October 2012
Spencer Tracy's Fox films are an interesting lot and one can count himself lucky if he gets to see any of his early work. For some reason the films that he did at that first studio he was contracted to are rarely seen, some I suspect are lost. Fortunately Me And My Gal was not. And it's a real Irish treat.

Me And My Gal casts Tracy in a part that either James Cagney or Pat O'Brien would have scored brilliantly with at Warner Brothers. He's a happy go lucky tough Irish cop who falls for wisecracking waitress Joan Bennett. Joan's just fine, but Joan Blondell or Barbara Stanwyck would have been perfect casting.

Bennett has a sister Marian Nixon who is married to George Chandler, but fooling around with gangster Frank Walsh. When he makes a daring prison break he takes refuge in Nixon's house while Chandler who is a merchant seaman is away. Also in the house is Chandler's father a wheelchair bound paralyzed World War veteran played by silent movie pioneer Henry B. Walthall. Walthall has an interesting way of communicating to the outside world his thoughts that prove ultimately to be Walsh's undoing.

Some nice snappy dialog banter between Tracy and Bennett is what really moves this film along. At one point these two do a really great parody of Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill. It should be seen beside the film version of same that MGM did that same year with Clark Gable and Norma Shearer and one the Marx Brothers did in Animal Crackers. It's as funny as the Marx Brothers.

Tracy's role here is very typical of the kind of roughneck parts he did in his early years for the most part. He was even doing the same roles in his first few MGM contract parts. His advancement to becoming what many consider to be the screen's greatest actor ever came when Jeanette MacDonald asked for him to be cast as Father Mullin in San Francisco. That opened a career whole new vistas for him.

Still these early films do have a lot going for them. Write to TCM and get some of these out on DVD and shown on television. Let's hope many of them still exist.
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Snappy dialogue and charming performances.
haroldg-227 March 2001
'Me and My Gal' is an entertaining romance/mystery/screwball comedy, featuring charming performances by Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, 18 years before they would pair again in the classic 'Father of the Bride.' Both stars are at their early best here, zinging wisecracks at each other at a frantic pace. Joan Bennett is the real surprise, shining in a role that would have been well suited for Myrna Loy or Claudette Colbert. Worthwhile for the two stars.
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Him and his big flat feet...
mark.waltz29 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In one of the screen's most realistic romances, Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett play a cop and a waitress during the depression and prohibition who meet, crack wise, fall in love, argue some and fall more in love, all the time still cracking wise and arguing even more. There's a story, but it really doesn't concern these lovers, only surrounding his job and her sister, a newly married woman whose gangster ex-boyfriend escapes from prison and hides in her attic. The criminal story goes with the setting, the era and the hottest trend in pre-code films, but it is the dialog you will remember, one of the juiciest screenplays of the time. Bennett will delight you, cast against type as the tough-talking but ultimately tender good girl who can't believe that she's in love with a cop, joking with him about his flat feet yet never ceasing her love for him once she realizes he's serious about them being together. The two have an adorable love scene where they coo baby talk like affections at each other while their mind tells the audiences what they are really thinking.

There's also several scenes with an obnoxious drunk who won't go away, showing that even during prohibition, an obviously intoxicated man could roam the city streets and cops would pay him little mind except to insult him (and sometimes physically assault them). Veteran director Raoul Walsh whose credits go back to the early silent era, takes this delightful script, runs the camera man into a furious frenzy with the speediness of it all, and demands quick, non-static editing that moves along like a rat in the sewer.

There are so many fresh ideas in this film that you never feel bored, wanting to capture every delightful line that Tracy and Bennett throw at each other. It is ironic that 18 years later, these two stars would play a happily married couple in "Father of the Bride" with a beautiful daughter (someone named Elizabeth Taylor) where Tracy would also speak in character while his character remained silent.
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Snappy Pre-Code Comedy Hits the Mark
sobaok12 November 2001
This 1932 comedy casts Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy almost 20 years before they teamed in FATHER OF THE BRIDE. Here, their youthful zest and energy create sparks that fly! Bennett is a wonder as the wise-cracking dame who works in a diner -- Tracy is his usual hard-boiled self -- many comic twists and turns keep your attention -- there's a cute episode where you hear what they're really thinking during a romantic scene ( this happens after Tracy mentions he's seen a film called "Strange Innertube"). There's a great supporting part for Glenda Farrell who sings a provocative number at a burlesque hall. As always Farrell is full of spunk. As is this movie -- full of laughs,m great tempo and direction. A must see.
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Its all in the dialog
max von meyerling4 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
ME AND MY GAL is a bit run of the mill cinema except for the intrusions of several neat bits of business. Spencer Tracy plays Danny Dolen a fresh guy and wise guy cop just assigned to the docks. While the big deal on the docks is the arrival of some gangsters from Havana, Tracy and a detective assigned to tail the gangsters are sidetracked by a tiresome, vaudeville broad, drunk. Drunks, known as "pxxs acts' were an old theatrical tradition. Sydney Chaplin, Charlie's brother did a fine pxxs act (see THE BETTER 'OLE [1926]). This is just terrible.

The drunk falls in the water, Tracy saves him and is instantly promoted to detective. The local cafe on his beat has a snappy cashier played by Joan Bennett. The gangsters just admitted to the US have plans to robe the safe deposit boxes at the bank where Bennett's sister, Marion Burns works. It seems as though she once had a thing with one of the gangsters (George Walsh, director Raoul's brother) but is now just about to marry George Chandler(!). She marries him when Walsh is arrested and sent away ruining the gangster's plans. Burns moves in with Chandler and his paralyzed and mute father (Henry B. Walthall). Chandler goes to sea and Walsh breaks out of jail. Burns still has a thing for Walsh (she knows what's in which safety deposit box) and hides in her attic. Tracy is able to track down Walsh and protects Burns from her involvement in the bank robbery.

It really not much of a picture. George Chandler was given a chance at a meaty role but as he can just pull his idiot face and speak perfunctory dialog its clear why he would be used in so many pictures as a bit player, often uncredited. He didn't have enough character to be a character actor but did really great bits in literally hundreds of films. Here, if he had any presence at all, he would have been brought back for a key piece of business in locating the gunman in the attic. Instead the plot is resolved another, less likely way.

The interesting bits are the snappy dialog between Tracy and Bennett, sort of a symphony in slang as they try to out hard boil each other. Latter a similar dynamic but amongst middle class types speaking the King's English would be featured in the Thin Man series. This is an early example of verbal foreplay. This boils over at one point to where they have a go at it on the cafe's counter top scattering various solid objects. This was years before Lang and Nicholson had it off in the kitchen in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1981).

There is also a scene in which Tracy says he went to see a funny kind of a movie the other day, Strange Inner tube. There in a tight two shot without any cuts where Bennett and Tracy play a parody of STRANGE INTERLUDE (1932) complete with their inner thought heard on the soundtrack. Previously the play had been parodied by the Marx Brothers in ANIMAL CRACKERS (1930).

J. Farrell MacDonald has a few big scenes. His major traits here seem to be getting drunk and tell pejorative Irish jokes. Bert Hanlon, as a dumb flatfoot detective whose act here recalls that of Ditto (Edward Brophy) who followed Tracy around repeating what he just said in THE LAST HURRAH (1958).

In all, merely acceptable as entertainment on a rainy night's double bill in 1932, remarkable only for the sharply played repartee between the leads. A repartee which crackles because of the ease and naturalness that people could express their feelings in this pre-code picture.
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Fairly good early Raoul Walsh picture but has too disjointed storytelling.
Boba_Fett113821 June 2008
Raoul Walsh was one of the greatest directors of the '30's and '40s, mainly because of the reason that his movies were always such of a high quality and so entertaining to watch. This is a movie from before the real glory days of Walsh and it seemed like he was still having difficulties with this movie to find its proper style and approach.

The different story lines with the different characters just don't always connect with each other. The movie also takes too long with its story to set up things and introduce its characters. The movie is already a real short one and it wastes too much time with its set up. It doesn't even become fully clear what this movie is truly going to be about until like half an hour before the end.

At first this movie even seems as if its going to be a comedy but not a really funny one though. It then picks a romantic approach and after that it turns more into a thriller/drama. This of course also makes the movie a fairly disjointed one and also works out bad for the movie its story, as well as its style.

It's mostly the last halve hour that still makes this movie a perfectly watchable enough movie. It's also then that the story becomes truly solid and the movie also turns into a more original one to watch. Before that the movie was mostly just being formulaic.

It really isn't Raoul Walsh best movie, also in terms of directing, editing and camera-work. It's a cheap and simple looking movie that lacks in style and a good main clear approach of the story. I can see and understand what Raoul Walsh tried to achieve and tried to blend some of the most successful genres of its time into one movie. It's an approach he much better executed in his later movie "The Strawberry Blond" and I'm sure that there are a couple of more better examples to mention but I haven't seen all Raoul Walsh movies obviously. It's not as if this movie is an horrible attempt and is one bad movie but it nevertheless can't be seen as a successful attempt either.

The movie also features Spencer Tracy in one of his earliest roles. His acting seemed modern for its time and he did a great job in this movie.

A movie that luckily gets better toward its end.

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Me and My Gal
jboothmillard2 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I found this film in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, it became a habit for me to find these films I otherwise never would have, and I hoped it was deserving of this listing, directed by Raoul Walsh (The Thief of Bagdad, High Sierra, White Heat). Basically, in New York, Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy) is a good-natured cop whose beat is on the waterfront. Almost nothing happens there, until Danny saves the life of a Drunk (Will Stanton) who falls into the river. He is promoted to detective, while the drunk makes frequent appearances, continuing to drink heavily and cause mishaps to the local businesses. Danny makes acquaintance with wisecracking diner waitress Helen Riley (Joan Bennett). The potential romance is held back however by each of them trying to maintain their tough self-image and not admitting their true feelings. Meanwhile, Helen's hair-brained sister Kate (Marion Burns) used to date dull seaman Eddie Collins (George Chandler). But she finds herself being drawn to Duke Castage (George Walsh, Raoul's brother), a sleazy low-level gangster, despite his horrid attitude towards her. Danny and Helen know Duke is bad news, and Danny wants to put the mobster in prison before he can hurt Kate. Duke is arrested, but manages to break out of prison, and Kate is foolish to allow him to hide at her home. Eddie's father Pat "Pop" (J. Farrell MacDonald), a paralyzed World War I veteran, manages to warn Danny and Helen when they visit about Duke, using eye movements to communicate in Morse code. Duke tries to escape and shoots Danny in the arm, but he gets his own gun out and kills the gangster. In the end, Kate is safe and returns to Eddie, and Danny and Helen finally admit their feelings for each other. Also starring Noel Madison as Baby Face Castenega, Henry B. Walthall as Sergeant "Sarge" John Collins, Bert Hanlon as Jake and Adrian Morris Detective "Al" Allen. Tracy and Bennett give naturalistic performances, they went onto much bigger success later. There are maybe one or two small titters to be had, the sort-of love story is alright, and the gangster stuff is nonsense, overall, this is a slow-paced, clunky, almost forgettable but not terrible classic romantic comedy drama. Okay!
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Cute wise-cracking banter
HotToastyRag16 October 2019
Me and My Gal is a typical 1930s wise-guy romance. Spencer Tracy is a hard-boiled cop, and Joan Bennett is a tough-talking waitress. She drinks bootleg booze, and Spence looks the other way, but when her sister gets involved with a big-time crook, he's got to follow the law.

It's always fun to see familiar faces, like Joan Bennett in her blonde years, and Adrian Morris, whom I affectionally call the black-and-white John Candy, who plays Spencer Tracy's policeman partner. Joan's wise-cracks are absolutely hilarious, and her tone as she rattles them off make me think she was probably really upset Jean Harlow took over for the rest of the 1930s. "Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" Spence asks. "I've been somewhere before," she quips. He insults her attitude, he'd like to take her to the cemetary to improve her mood. "Let me know when you're making your last trip," she suggests. She's such a doll! The only problem is that since she's sparring with Spence, it's pretty obvious they're going to start liking each other-and why would she ever start liking him? He's a creep who insults her! She's an adorable Jean Harlow knock-off!

Like many typical 1930s flicks, there's a bit of over-the-top included in the humor. Will Stanton plays a perpetual drunk whose scenes go on for far too long. The gangsters, George Walsh and Noel Madison, are simple villains, and the romance consists of banter with no substance. But sometimes banter like that can be really fun, so if you like Spencer Tracy and you're in the mood for something really light, rent this cute flick
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Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett in Good Raoul Walsh Production!
JLRMovieReviews24 April 2015
Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, years before making Minnelli's "Father of the Bride" together, here are "Me and My Gal," a story of a policeman and this flirtatious young thing working in a diner near the wharf. When Spencer, along with another lawman, saves a drunk from drowning, he is promoted to detective. A gang of wise-guys robs a bank, one of which just so happens to love Joan's sister. They are caught and thrown in the clink, but, when he escapes, Joan's sister takes him in to their place, in their attic. (She lives with her father.) Joan's father is a war veteran who can't speak, but can communicate in an unusual way. Although Joan spars a lot with Spencer, she grows very fond of him, even going so far as to on a few dates with him. They do make a very enticing couple, with his witty one-liners and her zesty replies. There's a minor subplot of the drunk, who's seen almost throughout the whole film, and while his antics wear a little thin, the actor's very good at being "crocked." He can barely stand up in all of his scenes. This is a very diverting, fun and exciting movie with Spencer Tracy, who always knew how to draw the viewer into his world. "Me and My Gal" is a good way to spend time relaxing with good actors and an entertaining movie.
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Movie goes from comedy to drama
CCsito13 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This 1932 pre-code movie moved from being a comedy to a drama over the course of the movie. It has Spencer Tracy as a policeman who meets a waitress in a diner played by a very young Joan Bennett. The beginning of the movie appears to focus on a drunkard who keeps loitering in the diner and causing havoc there. The plot then changes to a former boyfriend of Joan Bennett's sister character who is arrested and imprisoned and then escapes. Joan's sister still harbors a torch for the bad guy even though she marries a somewhat nerdish man. Spencer tries to romance Joan and they have a date in her house which featured a scene where their internal thoughts in their minds are expressed when they are verbally talking to each other. Joan also "shakes" her bottom in a scene when she is listening to music from a phonograph. Joan's sister escaped convict guy later hides in a room in Joan's house and his whereabouts are exposed by a dog and a paralyzed mute veteran who lives in the house. Spencer and Joan are able to decipher the paralyzed mute veteran's Morse code message and Spencer shoots and kills the convict. Spencer decides not to press charges against Joan's sister for helping out the convict. There is a bit of a mating dance made between Spencer and Joan throughout the movie and they get married at the end. Not a great movie, but an interesting one to see how more liberal movies were before the Code was instituted.
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An unexpected flop
aberlour3625 June 2000
Given the stars and the director, one would think this is an early classic. Instead, it's a bomb. Joan Bennett is beautiful and Tracy can act. That's it. The film is embarrassing. The script is terrible, being both witless, and humorless. It features one of Hollywood's longest and least funny drunk acts. Poor Tracy just has to stand there and watch. This belongs in the Golden Turkey book.
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Entertaining pre-Code fare
gbill-7487718 January 2023
This pre-Code film gets off to a rough start, relying as it does on the repeated shtick of a drunk character that quickly gets tedious. If you can bear with it, it eventually develops into a nice little combination of the romance and heist genres, 1932-style. It also gets in a nice little dose of cynicism about the economic system that had failed, something that was so topical during the Depression, which had completed its third full year when the film was released.

Whenever Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett are on the screen together, flirting and bantering, this film is on the right track. She's so cute as the typical 1930's smart-talking woman who knows the score, giving him a wink, strutting across the room in his hat before bending over and shaking her booty to a song on the radio, or striking a match for him on her behind. He's of the same mold, a cop who openly pinches fruit in the market and lets two kids fight it out instead of separating them, but at the same time, clearly a decent guy, saving a dog from being drowned because its owner can no longer feed it, and jumping into the water himself to save the drunk from drowning.

I loved the reference to the film Strange Interlude, released five months earlier, which Tracy's character humorously thinks might have been titled Strange Innertube followed by us hearing each of their thoughts, which was that film's gimmick.

Tracy: "I bet you don't even take a drink, do ya?" Bennett (aloud): "Only when I have a cold." Bennett (thinking): "Hope he didn't get a whiff of my breath at Kate's wedding." Tracy: "Hey, uh, I bet you never been kissed either, have ya?" Bennett (aloud): "'Course not." Bennett (thinking): "Hope he didn't hear about the fireman's picnic."

When he tries to put the moves on her it's a little creepy, but he leaves when she says no, and then her character is allowed to say this when they reconcile: "Girl don't know how to treat a fella either. If she lets him maul her, he thinks she's no good. And if she doesn't, he thinks she's old-fashioned." Overall Bennett's character is strong, non-traditional, and empowered, an aspect of pre-Code films I love to see.

The crime story is not the best, but it had its moments. It was fascinating to see a convict escaping prison by attaching himself to the bottom of a car (what a nice stunt!), and I liked the touch of the quadriplegic character signaling danger by using Morse code with his eyes. It was even nicer to see the way Tracy's character talked to him at the end, acknowledging him as person like anyone else, something not often scene in films from this period, or any other for that matter.

The film is by no means a masterpiece but the Depression references pushed it over the top for me. There are some obvious things like the man who's beside himself with grief because he can no longer feed his dog and thinks it's better to drown him, or the wedding scene which is emblematic of the era's food porn, with people literally scarfing down their food and alcohol. There were also two exchanges based on people reading the newspaper in front of Tracy's character.

The first is this: (reading newspaper): "Mr. Brisbane says that the capitalistic Depression spasm is only a slight chill." "He does, huh? Ah, those politicians are all alike. They're all of them crooks." It's perhaps a reference to Arthur Brisbane, who, while not a politician, was a well-known newspaper editor and orator who worked for William Randolph Hearst.

And the second is this, which must have perfectly summarized the feelings of Americans who had lost their life savings when banks failed: (reading newspaper) "This is a hot one. Another bank robbery." "Yeah, who'd the bank rob this time?" "No one. This time the bank was robbed." "Ah, they were double-crossed, huh? Gettin' a little dose of their own medicine."

...and that's the cop, the guy upholding the law, saying that.
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Me and my Gal - For No-One
krocheav14 January 2021
Pathetic pre-code rubbish, terrible script and situations. Looked like it was sponsored by the booze manufacturing industry - for drunks and people with nothing in their lives to do, other than waste it. Shocking waste of talent and film-making. Pleased to hear it flopped big time - it deserved it! Why bother to preserve this trash when there are so many better films to save?
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Love on the Waterfront.
st-shot10 February 2023
Waterfront beat cop Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy) meets Helen Riley (Joan Bennett) at a local greasy spoon and after trading a few barbs falls for her. When a drunk falls in the river Dolan saves him and gets promoted. When Helen's sister runs into problems however with a mobster, Dolan, use to bending the law (he takes fruit at will from vendors) does so Helen's sis and they live happily ever after.

A crime, comedy, romance hybrid, director Raoul Walsh's direction is haphazard and sloppy as he spends an inordinate amount of time on the dock drunk played by Will Stanton. J. Farrell also adds to the demeaning Irish buffoonery as the Riley daughters old man intent on getting inebriated at every gathering.

Tracy was still in his young wise guy period and underbilled to Bennett at this point but 32 would be a turning point when Fox loaned him to Warners to make 20,0000 Years in Sing Sing. Here he simply is not and never would be Cagney and perhaps it is the hindsight now that showed he was more at home with a roman collar and as fatherly advisor a little further down the road. A heavy handed, snarky comedy with some pre code touches.
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interesting classic
cynthiahost21 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this the first time the other day on the fox movie channel.It'a an early Spenser Tracy classic.He plays an honest cop who work on a pier.He meets Joan Bennet who works at a café as a cash register. Her sister is getting married to a sailor. The wedding is being planned but she still in love with her old boa who a crook He tries to persuade her to help him in the crime.during the wedding party every one get drunk with illegal booze.Joans father throws the radio out of the window after his daughter husband has listen to a song about a gigolo. some body complains and Spenser shows up to stop the noise but lets the party go on any way. She and him get even more smitten There's a drunk joke in the picture for humor but its not funny the actor who plays Spensers assistant .I though it the actor who would play jack Benny's announcer, Don something, It looks like him. but it's not. Well Spenser gets promoted as detective. Joans sisters ex boa is now in prison.But he breaks out. and gets her sister to hide him at her house . But her paralyzed husband father on a wheel chair.played by Henry B. Walthal. Knows what going on and communicates with his eyes through Morse code. As Joan and Spenser are leaving his dog at her sister house. she takes the notes and the next day studies it and finds out whats going on. she flies out of the café the go to her sister house to get the crook to leave before Spenser finds out and throws her sister in jail for helping criminal. but tract finds out and get the criminal but makes up to the police chief that he was chasing him and not Joan's sister. this is a fair classic and the few ones made in the early thirties that fox movie channel shows occasionally since most of their movie they show are late dates.
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Spencer Tracey and Joan Bennett Classic Pre-Code
springfieldrental28 December 2022
"After a kiss like that, you're going to have to marry me!" With dialogue such as this throughout the movie, Fox Films felt it had a sure-fire hit in December 1932's "Me and My Gal." The studio was getting good use of relatively newcomer Spencer Tracy. Appearing in eight movies in 1932 alone, the actor was finding his footing still tough in getting the American movie-going public to embrace him.

When "Me and My Gal" with Joan Bennett was released, the movie set a new all-time low record for attendance at New York City's Roxy Theatre. Film critics gave a big yawn at the movie which combined romantic comedy with dramatic hysterics. In retrospect, "Me and My Gal" has proven to be one of Tracy's most energetic performances on the screen, and is an endearing testimony to the brilliant scripted dialogue taking place during the Pre-Code cinema era. The screenplay was written by Arthur Kober, who had just obtained a divorce from wife playwright Lillian Hellman whom he caught having an affair with novelist Dashiell Hammett. Film historian Glenn Erickson noted, "Tracy is more charismatic here than he is as the middle-aged, middle class everyman in most of his later MGM pictures."

Tracy plays Danny Dolan, a street cop-turned-detective who falls for waitress Helen Riley (Joan Bennett). The wise-cracking between the pair is one of the standouts performances in cinema. There's one frequently-mentioned scene where, similar to Woody Allen and Diane Keaton's date after their tennis match in 1977's "Annie Hall," Danny and Helen, in a parody of Eugene O'Neill's 'Strange Interlude,' are on her father's couch deciding to kiss for the first time. The pair's voice-overs reflecting their thoughts are directly opposite on what they're saying. Here, Danny plants a quick peck on her lips. Helen's thoughts are, "Oh, he kissed me. I'm so thrilled, but I'll pretend I'm mad."

"Me and My Gal" is a movie rarely spoken about today but has film historians citing it as one of Raoul Walsh's best early 1930s film after his disastrous bomb in 1930 "The Big Trail" with John Wayne. Film reviewer Stuart Galbraith praised the movie, "Everything about the picture works: it's funny, romantic, suspenseful, and sentimental in the good sense, the dialog is sharp and sassy, and the two leads are terrific." The '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" reference books has included this gem in its listings.
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When Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett Were Young!
malvernp15 February 2023
It is probably no exaggeration to state that Me and My Gal (MAMG) is an important film with historical significance. MAMG is also a charming and entertaining movie-----one that the eminent British film scholar Leslie Halliwell characterized as a "Pleasant little programmer, very evocative of its period.". In addition, it contains a cinematic record of 32 year old SpencerTracy delivering an appealing natural performance that compares quite favorably with his later acting style-----one which has led many critics and filmgoers to regard him as the greatest cinematic actor of all time. Finally, MAMG captures lovely 22 year old Joan Bennett in all of her youthful spirited beauty-----when she was still a natural blond and before becoming a less interesting brunette Hedy Lamarr look-alike in 1938.

MAMG was made for the Fox Film Corporation before its merger with.20th Century. Both Tracy and director Raoul Walsh worked extensively for Fox during this time. A number of Fox films from the early 1930s ended up as lost (either temporarily or sometimes forever), including Tracy's most notable Fox film------The Power and the Glory (1933).

When we see Bennett and Tracy convincingly playing youthful and romantic characters, it is easy to believe in them and their story. Tracy's command of his part in the complex narrative is astonishing in its realism. And Bennett is sexy and sassy in an engaging and lovable way that will remind many of Joan Blondell at her best. We are so fortunate that MAMG managed to survive for us to enjoy this record of these two great stars at the dawn of their significant careers. In just 79 minutes, we can see a film that is funny, dramatic, romantic, annoying (the extended drunk scenes tended to slow down the narrative), thrilling, violent, charming and even abstract (with its cinematic nod to Eugene O'Neill's stream of consciousness play and film Strange Interlude).

Don't miss MAMG the next time TCM shows it. MAMG might not have been a classic. But even with whatever shortcomings it may have had, MAMG is still a delight!
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