6.9/10
1,188
21 user 22 critic

You and Me (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance | 10 June 1938 (USA)
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.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Virginia Van Upp (screen play by), Norman Krasna (based on a story by)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvia Sidney ... Helen Roberts
George Raft ... Joe Dennis
Barton MacLane ... Mickey
Harry Carey ... Mr. Morris
Roscoe Karns ... Cuffy
George E. Stone ... Patsy
Warren Hymer ... Gimpy Carter
Robert Cummings ... Jim
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... Knucks
Roger Gray ... Bath House
Cecil Cunningham ... Mrs. Morris
Vera Gordon ... Mrs. Levine
Egon Brecher Egon Brecher ... Mr. Levine
Willard Robertson ... Dayton
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Taxi (as Guinn Williams)
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"I've done my time...now I want my man!" (original print ad) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Ray Middleton. See more »

Quotes

Jerome Morris: Most people think if they pay a few dollars to a community chest and good will agencies and so on, they've done their duty and they can shrug aside all responsibility. But you've got to do more than that.
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Connections

Referenced in The Phantom (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Cash Register
Music by Kurt Weill
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
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User Reviews

 
German expressionism?
1 November 2006 | by ROCKY-19See all my reviews

What a fascinating little film, on a variety of levels. There is an expressionism that would have made Elmer Rice proud as well as a distinctly European approach. It feels as if it could be either a German product or from much earlier in the '30s when Hollywood was still in an experimental phase of self-discovery. There is nothing quite like it out there.

This is pure Fritz Lang, coupled perfectly with Charles Lang Jr.'s photography, with Kurt Weill's music jumping in abruptly to make you catch your breath. The blend of comedy and drama is smooth.

The plot line is familiar to this cast. A businessman makes a point of hiring parolees at his department store, where some are clearly having trouble adjusting. Joe has abided by the strict demands of his parole and his time is at last up, freeing him to marry Helen. But she has never told him that she too is an ex-con and still has several months of parole to serve. She has to tell lie upon lie to cover up the secret. Meanwhile, his old gang is nipping at him to join up again in another heist scheme.

Not for the last time, the film exposes the difficulties of staying straight, difficulties arising both from the system itself as well as peer pressure.

Some plot points are similar to Pick-up, a George Raft-Sylvia Sidney film of a few years earlier, but this story is much stronger. At this time Raft was in the middle of a five-year era when he was at his best - relaxed and in character, willingly joining in the sometimes unusual proceedings. Sidney is beautifully sympathetic as a criminal, always hoping two wrongs will make a right. What a one-of-a-kind screen presence she was. Her work with Raft always seems like two pals getting together again. That makes the wedding night sequence and the around-the-world honeymoon all the more entertaining.

The rest of the cast, from wonderful Harry Carey to cynical Roscoe Karns, turns in strong, imaginative performances. As odd as some moments might be, everyone is clearly "in on" Lang's vision.

There is a great scene of the gang reminiscing about their prison days that displays that vision full force. This is what the film is all about.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

You and Me See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$789,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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