A Girl, a Guy and a Gob


1h 31m 1941
A Girl, a Guy and a Gob

Brief Synopsis

A stuffy boss tries to steal his secretary from her sailor boyfriend.

Film Details

Also Known As
Three Girls and a Gob
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Mar 14, 1941
Premiere Information
World premiere in San Francisco: 5 Mar 1941
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,205ft

Synopsis

When Stephen Herrick, a sedate, mild-mannered shipping magnate, loses his opera tickets, Mrs. Grange, the aggressive mother of his fiancée Cecilia, insists upon being seated in the Herrick box anyway. Upon finding the Duncan family ensconsed in their box, Mrs. Grange incites an argument that culminates with Dot Duncan hitting Stephen with her handbag. After the Herrick party surrenders their seats to the Duncans, Dot realizes that her brother Pigeon found Stephen's lost tickets, and the embarrassed Duncans flee the theater. The next day, at the offices of Herrick and Martin, Stephen is introduced to his new secretary, Dot Duncan. Recognizing Dot as his assailant from the previous evening, he dismisses her, but after she explains the confusion over the tickets, Stephen relents. Soon after, Dot's beau, wrestler Claudius J. "Coffee Cup" Cup, returns from the Navy, promising to settle down and not re-enlist. While Dot and Coffee Cup are strolling down the street one day, Coffee Cup spots his pal Eddie, who he boasts, can grow four inches just by stretching. Eddie's aptitude for elongation draws a crowd, and soon Coffee Cup is taking bets from the skeptical onlookers. Stephen is drawn into the group when Dot borrows five dollars from him, and when the contest ends in a brawl in which Stephen is knocked unconscious, Coffee Cup takes him to the Duncan house to recover. Stephen awakens to the chaos of the Duncan household as Coffee Cup practices his wrestling technique on Pigeon, Mrs. Duncan delivers a neighbor's baby and Ivory, a sailor, tinkles the piano keys. Stephen is so delighted by Dot's boisterous family and friends that he accompanies her and Coffee Cup to a dance hall and congas the night away, forgetting all about his date with the snobbish Cecilia. The next morning, an infuriated Cecilia bursts into Stephen's office and finds Dot, who has just fallen from a stepstool, in Stephen's arms. Stephen ignores Cecilia's demand that he fire Dot because he has begun to fall in love with her. One night while working late, the pair listen to a radio broadcast of Coffee Cup's wrestling match, and when Coffee Cup is proclaimed the winner, Dot announces that his winnings will finance their wedding. Dot's matrimonial plans are postponed, however, when Pigeon admits to betting on Coffee Cup's opponent and losing all their money. The wedding plan is revived after Coffee Cup wins a piano at a raffle and plans to pawn it for an engagement ring, but the piano rolls into the street and is run over by a truck. Next, Coffee Cup decides to raise the money by employing Eddie's stretching virtuosity, but instead ends up in jail for inciting a riot. When Abel Martin, Stephen's partner, comes to work battered from Eddie's latest brawl and tells Stephen that Coffee Cup is languishing in jail, Stephen bails him out and offers to buy the sailor's goodluck ring, knowing that the proceeds will pay for Dot's engagement ring. After Dot and Coffee Cup are engaged and Cecilia breaks her engagement to Stephen, Abel, an old sailor himself, encourages Stephen to pursue Dot. Stephen, ever the gentleman, concedes Dot to Coffee Cup, who asks him to be best man at the wedding. During the wedding rehearsal at the chapel, Coffee Cup misplaces the ring, and when he leaves the room to search for it, his sailor friends suggest that Dot is marrying the wrong groom. When Dot bursts into tears as Stephen approaches to kiss her good luck, Coffee Cup realizes that his friends were right and sends Stephen to speak to Dot. Coffee Cup then flees the chapel on his motorcycle, with Stephen pursuing him by cab. After Stephen's cab runs Coffee Cup's cycle off the road and into a petshop, the two men fight over who should marry Dot. The cab then speeds back to the chapel, where Coffee Cup deposits the unconscious Stephen along with a note to Dot explaining that he is re-enlisting in the Navy and Stephen is in love with her.

Cast

George Murphy

Claudius J. "Coffee Cup" Cup

Lucille Ball

Dot Duncan

Edmond O'brien

Stephen Herrick

Henry Travers

Abel Martin

Franklin Pangborn

Pet shop owner

George Cleveland

Pokey Duncan

Kathleen Howard

Jawme

Marguerite Chapman

Cecilia Grange

Lloyd Corrigan

Pigeon Duncan

Mady Correll

Cora

Frank Mcglynn

Pankington

Doodles Weaver

Eddie

Frank Sully

Salty

Nella Walker

Mrs. Grange

Richard Lane

Recruiting officer

Irving Bacon

Mr. Merney

Rube Demarest

Ivory

Charles Smith

Messenger

Nora Cecil

Charwoman

Bob Mckenzie

Porter

Vince Barnett

Pedestrian

Bert Moorhouse

Pedestrian

George Mckay

Joe

James Bush

Sailor

Jack Lescoulie

Sailor

Art Rowlands

Sailor

Chuck Flynn

Thin sailor

Joe Bernard

Tattoo artist

Wade Boteler

Uniformed attendant

Fern Emmett

Middle-aged woman

Earl Hodgins

Urple

Effie Anderson

Clerk in marriage bureau

Henry Roquemore

Middle aged man

Joseph "corky" Geil

Boy

Carol Hughes

Dance hall girl

Charles Irwin

Dance hall emcee

Gaylord Pendleton

Usher

Warren Ashe

Ticket taker at opera

Eddie Arden

Page boy

Jimmy Cleary

Program boy

Blue Washington

Doorman

George Lollier

Chauffeur

Frank O'connor

Chauffeur

Ralph Brooks

Hustler

Cy Ring

Hustler

Tommy Quinn

Hustler

Ed Peil

Assistant manager

Tom Costello

Head usher

Alex Pollard

Butler

Dewey Robinson

Bouncer

Jack Dorrance

Ticket seller

Ronnie Rondell

Ticket taker at dance hall

Eddie Hart

Second ticket taker

Hal K. Dawson

Photographer

Snub Pollard

Attendant

Homer Dickinson

Attendant

Harry Depp

Minister

Ed Dearing

Police officer

Gertrude Short

Mother

Leon Belasco

Taxi driver

Andrew Tombes

Conductor

Geraldine Fisette

Native dancer

Jim Spencer

Native

Sam Appel

Native

Harry Kema

Claudius J. "Coffee Cup" Cup

Frank Mills

Street laborer

Lloyd Ingraham

Business man

Walter Byron

Irene Colman

Mary Field

George Lloyd

George Chandler

Vic Potel

Bud Jamison

Film Details

Also Known As
Three Girls and a Gob
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Mar 14, 1941
Premiere Information
World premiere in San Francisco: 5 Mar 1941
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,205ft

Articles

A Girl, A Guy and a Gob - A Girl, a Guy and a Gob


Lucille Ball made nearly forty films in her eight years at RKO. Over the course of these films, she went from bit player to leading lady. Ball's first RKO picture was Roberta (1935); she had a non-speaking role as a French fashion model. Her final film for the studio was Seven Days' Leave (1942) and she, along with co-star Victor Mature, received top billing. A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob (1941) came towards the end of Ball's RKO days. She had already achieved leading lady status and would only make four more films for RKO before stepping up to MGM.

As for A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob, the girl in question is, of course, Lucille Ball. She plays a secretary named Dot. The guy is Edmond O'Brien, Ball's boss at a shipping firm. And the gob is George Murphy, a sailor called "Coffee Cup." (A gob, for those not up on their military slang, is a term for a sailor in the U.S. Navy.) "Coffee Cup" is set to marry Dot when her boss comes into the picture and romantic complications ensue.

According to a pre-production item in The Hollywood Reporter, the film's original cinematographer was Merritt Gerstad, who was hired to photograph the production's first two weeks. After that, Russell Metty, the credited cinematographer, took over, having finished up work on No, No Nanette (1940). Also of note was the film's producer who was none other than silent comedian Harold Lloyd. A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob was the first of two films produced by Lloyd for RKO and the first film he produced but did not star in. Lloyd's second RKO production was the Kay Kyser vehicle My Favorite Spy (1942). Reportedly Lloyd was a hands-on producer, who dropped by the set of A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob and offered comedic advice. Edmond O'Brien's handkerchief bit, for example, had been used previously in Lloyd's Welcome Danger (1929).

RKO borrowed George Murphy from MGM for A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob. Murphy was well established in his career by this time, having appeared in films like Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) and Little Nellie Kelly (1940) with Judy Garland, as well as dancing with Shirley Temple in Little Miss Broadway (1938). Edmond O'Brien, on the other hand, was just beginning his career when he made A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob. It was only his third film but lacked the prestige of his previous part in the classic 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Also starring in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob is Henry Travers, whose impressive screen credits include High Sierra (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) and perhaps his most memorable role as angel Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Character actor Franklin Pangborn also pops up in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob as the pet store owner. Pangborn appeared in hundreds of films, beginning in silent pictures. He made his mark in The Bank Dick (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) with W.C. Fields, and played a memorable role in Sullivan's Travels (1941).

Producer: Harold Lloyd
Director: Richard Wallace
Screenplay: Gerald Drayson Adams (story), Grover Jones (story), Bert Granet, Frank Ryan
Cinematography: Russell Metty
Film Editing: George Crone
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase
Music: Roy Webb
Cast: George Murphy (Claudius J. Cup), Lucille Ball (Dorothy Duncan), Edmond O'Brien (Stephen Herrick), Henry Travers (Abel Martin), Franklin Pangborn (Pet shop owner).
BW-90m.

by Stephanie Thames
A Girl, A Guy And A Gob - A Girl, A Guy And A Gob

A Girl, A Guy and a Gob - A Girl, a Guy and a Gob

Lucille Ball made nearly forty films in her eight years at RKO. Over the course of these films, she went from bit player to leading lady. Ball's first RKO picture was Roberta (1935); she had a non-speaking role as a French fashion model. Her final film for the studio was Seven Days' Leave (1942) and she, along with co-star Victor Mature, received top billing. A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob (1941) came towards the end of Ball's RKO days. She had already achieved leading lady status and would only make four more films for RKO before stepping up to MGM. As for A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob, the girl in question is, of course, Lucille Ball. She plays a secretary named Dot. The guy is Edmond O'Brien, Ball's boss at a shipping firm. And the gob is George Murphy, a sailor called "Coffee Cup." (A gob, for those not up on their military slang, is a term for a sailor in the U.S. Navy.) "Coffee Cup" is set to marry Dot when her boss comes into the picture and romantic complications ensue. According to a pre-production item in The Hollywood Reporter, the film's original cinematographer was Merritt Gerstad, who was hired to photograph the production's first two weeks. After that, Russell Metty, the credited cinematographer, took over, having finished up work on No, No Nanette (1940). Also of note was the film's producer who was none other than silent comedian Harold Lloyd. A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob was the first of two films produced by Lloyd for RKO and the first film he produced but did not star in. Lloyd's second RKO production was the Kay Kyser vehicle My Favorite Spy (1942). Reportedly Lloyd was a hands-on producer, who dropped by the set of A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob and offered comedic advice. Edmond O'Brien's handkerchief bit, for example, had been used previously in Lloyd's Welcome Danger (1929). RKO borrowed George Murphy from MGM for A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob. Murphy was well established in his career by this time, having appeared in films like Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) and Little Nellie Kelly (1940) with Judy Garland, as well as dancing with Shirley Temple in Little Miss Broadway (1938). Edmond O'Brien, on the other hand, was just beginning his career when he made A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob. It was only his third film but lacked the prestige of his previous part in the classic 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Also starring in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob is Henry Travers, whose impressive screen credits include High Sierra (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) and perhaps his most memorable role as angel Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Character actor Franklin Pangborn also pops up in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob as the pet store owner. Pangborn appeared in hundreds of films, beginning in silent pictures. He made his mark in The Bank Dick (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) with W.C. Fields, and played a memorable role in Sullivan's Travels (1941). Producer: Harold Lloyd Director: Richard Wallace Screenplay: Gerald Drayson Adams (story), Grover Jones (story), Bert Granet, Frank Ryan Cinematography: Russell Metty Film Editing: George Crone Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase Music: Roy Webb Cast: George Murphy (Claudius J. Cup), Lucille Ball (Dorothy Duncan), Edmond O'Brien (Stephen Herrick), Henry Travers (Abel Martin), Franklin Pangborn (Pet shop owner). BW-90m. by Stephanie Thames

Quotes

Trivia

Merritt B. Gerstad was director of photography for the first two weeks of production, while Russell Metty completed filming No, No, Nanette (1940).

Notes

The working title of this film was Three Girls and a Gob. According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, John Howard was originally slated for the role of a "rich boy," but prior commitments prevented his appearance. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that Merritt Gerstad was assigned to photograph the first two weeks of production while Russell Metty, the photographer credited on screen, completed the filming of No, No Nanette (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1931-40; F3.3161). The Film Daily review mistakenly identified Richard Jones as director. This was the first film produced by Harold Lloyd in which he did not star. George Murphy was borrowed from M-G-M for this picture.