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Me and My Gal

Me and My Gal(1932)

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The working title of this film was Pier 13. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the story was based in part on an episode in the 1920 Fox film entitled While New York Sleeps, original story by Charles J. Brabin and Thomas F. Fallon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.4915). The episode, entitled "A Tragedy of the East Side," is about a married woman who hides her lover, a gangster, in the attic of her home as her father-in-law, a paralytic who cannot speak, watches. The legal files and news items indicate that William K. Howard, Alfred Werker and Marcel Varnel were set to direct Me and My Gal at various times before it went into production and that director Raoul Walsh completed the film in nineteen shooting days. The Hollywood Reporter review noted, "The rowdy, ribald humor in which Raoul Walsh specializes ... marks his direction." The film includes a parody of Strange Interlude, the film version of Eugene O'Neill's play, produced by M-G-M also in 1932, in which the thoughts of the characters were spoken aloud. On Danny's date with Helen, he mentions that he saw "a swell picture" last night called "Strange Inner Tube or something." In the following scene, the thoughts of both Danny and Helen are spoken in addition to their dialogue. Variety notes that the actor playing the drunk, whom they could not identify, did "one of the best stews of late on the screen." The actor, Will Stanton, soon became well-known for his portrayals of drunks. Actor George Walsh was the brother of the director. In her autobiography, Joan Bennett remarks that this was the only film of the six she made at Fox in 1932 that was not "unmemorable." A biography of Spencer Tracy notes that Tracy liked the story, which apparently was being developed for James Dunn and Sally Eilers, and requested that he and Bennett play the leads.
       Included in the files for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library is a letter from the Cincinnati Better Motion Picture Council which complained of a number of scenes in the film, including the bank robbery scene, which they called "a facsimile of a recent outrage perpetrated in Chicago, in which occupants of an apartment building were terrorized by bandits in order to effect entry into the vaults below." No information has been located concerning the Chicago bank robbery. On October 30, 1935, after corresponding with the Hays Office, Twentieth Century-Fox withdrew their application for PCA certification for a reissue of the film. Twentieth Century-Fox produced a remake of this film in 1940 entitled Pier 13, which was directed by Eugene Forde and starred Lynn Bari and Lloyd Nolan (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.3460).