The title of the project was then switched to "Applause". In his book "The World of Entertainment!
Hollywood's Greatest Musicals" Hugh Fordin quotes producer Arthur Freed: "I was trying to find a title from a song and I could have picked half a dozen songs as titles, but Edgar Leslie and George Mayer [co-writers of the title song with E. It was planned that the film would have two female leads alongside the two male leads, one a singer and the other a dancer, but MGM assistant producer and former Broadway actress Stella Adler read the script and suggested that in light of Judy's all encompassing talents, that the two female roles be combined into one thereby making a convenient love triangle.
Eleanor Powell supposedly tested for the role of the dancer although that's subject to debate because at this point in her career, Powell wouldn't have needed to test or audition for any role as a dancer , and Dan Dailey was slated to play opposite her Dailey later said that he did test with Powell, but that he lost out on the role when he was drafted into the Army.
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George Murphy was then cast in the male lead of "Harry Palmer". Prior to the start of the production Gene Kelly was brought in to play the lead and Murphy was relegated to, in his words, "the schnook who never gets the gal. Selznick had planned to use Kelly as a dramatic actor go figure! Mayer after the studio reneged on their promise to give him a proper screen test in Los Angeles, and instead gave him an inferior test in New York City.
For Me and My Gal – Larsen On Film
In spite of this, and on the strength of the urgings of Freed, Finklehoffe, Adler, and Judy herself, Kelly got the role and a long term contract with MGM. Judy and Gene are perfectly matched in For Me And My Gal , and filming went along smoothly after an initial tension filled start with Murphy unhappy about being "the schnook" and director Busby Berkeley unhappy with Kelly in the lead. Judy helped bring everyone together, and was especially helpful to Kelly. Kelly has been quoted many times in his appraisal of Judy's help and talents: "Without her, my first few weeks would have been even more miserable than they were.
She pulled me through.
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She was very kind and helpful, more than she even realized, because I watched her to find out what I had to do. I was amazed at her skill; she knew every mark and every move. All I could do for her was help with the dancing. She wasn't a dancer, but she could pick up a step instantly, and as a singer she was incredible - she had only to hear a melody once, and it was locked in her mind; we used to call her 'Ol' Tin Ear.
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She was a very relaxed, marvelous person The film was a huge success, effectively launching Gene Kelly's screen career while nudging Judy to more adult roles, not the easiest of transitions for most child actors. Busby Berkeley later stated that of all of the films he directed, For Me And My Gal was his 1 favorite, which is notable considering that the film isn't filled with his trademark kaleidoscopic production numbers but is instead a more intimate and accurate representation of life "on the circuit" in the Vaudeville era.
Judy would live out the dream of Jo Hayden in For Me And My Gal on the night of October 16, when she successfully brought back the "two-a-day" vaudeville to The Palace Theater, broke all the theater's box office records, and stepped into ever lasting legend as "The World's Greatest Entertainer".
Judy also won a special Tony Award in for this concert run. Adler also suggested Gene Kelly for the lead.
Kelly was 29 years old at the time, and had made a mark on Broadway as the star of Pal Joey and the choreographer of Best Foot Forward. Selznick signed him to a film contract, Kelly's intention was to return to Broadway after fulfilling his contractual obligation, but he ended up staying in Hollywood for a year because Selznick didn't have a role for him.
Gene Kelly and Judy Garland got along well — she had been in favor of his getting the part, and during shooting she helped Kelly adjust his stage acting for films, and backed him in disagreements with director Busby Berkeley , whom she did not like. Kelly and Garland went on to star together in two other films, The Pirate and Summer Stock The film was also the American motion picture debut of Hungarian singer Martha Eggerth , who had appeared in over thirty films in Germany.
Her career in Hollywood did not last long: she appeared in only two other American films. When the film was initially previewed , the audience was dissatisfied with the ending: they thought that Jo Garland should end up with Jimmy Murphy rather than Harry Kelly.
This prompted Louis B.
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Mayer to order three weeks of additional shooting to give Kelly's character more of a conscience and to reduce Murphy's presence in the film. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Me and My Gal theatrical release poster. The Hollywood Musical 2nd ed. New York: Portland House.
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