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The Go Getter

The Go Getter(1937)


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teaser The Go Getter (1937)

Visionary Hollywood filmmaker Busby Berkeley directed his first non-musical in the aftermath of a tragic 1935 road accident that had left three dead and five injured - among them, Berkeley himself, who was wheeled into Los Angeles Municipal Court on a stretcher to face charges of vehicular manslaughter. Though he was eventually acquitted, the damage to body and soul was done as Berkeley drifted into career doldrums, a dissatisfaction aggravated by what he felt was an industry-wide disregard for his talents. A degree of recognition came with a 1936 citation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his contributions to musical productions in movies but Berkeley's request for a pay raise went unanswered at Warner Brothers. Scripted by future director Delmer Daves (who had adapted The Petrified Forest [1936] for Archie Mayo the previous year), The Go Getter stars George Brent as a plucky World War I veteran who, minus a leg, attempts to make it big in the lumber industry by adhering to the motto "It shall be done." Based on a magazine story by Peter B. Kyne and a 1923 silent film of the same name, The Go Getter did little for Berkeley's career. Emigrating to MGM, he directed several pictures starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland and mentored an up and coming actor-dancer named Gene Kelly.

By Richard Harland Smith

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