For Me and My Gal

“You'll never be big time because you're small time in your heart.”

Vaudeville: a long-lost form of entertainment that couldn’t hold its own against the rising popularity of the movies and also eventually to television sets becoming a staple in homes. Relatively short-lived, but it was a beloved art by many when it was alive, and as it says in the opening scroll of the film, For Me and My Gal pays tribute to those who paid their dues in the vaudeville circuit during its heyday – the “ the clown with the baggy pants, the man in the high hat, the lady who sang, and the rabbit who disappeared” - in hopes of one day making the big time. 

"Kelly and Garland are wonderful together, and at the very least, their performances are something to be celebrated in the new, fantastic restoration courtesy of the Warner Brothers Archive Collection"

And how does one know they’ve made it big time? Well, just ask the ambitious, young performer Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly). He’ll tell you that the place where all vaudevillians dream of performing is the Palace Theater in New York. It’s fair to say, he’ll stop at nothing to get there. But making it there on his own, he knows, will be tough. But perhaps with the captivating Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) by his side, he just might be able to get there.

As it goes, the two don’t get off on the right foot. Jo sees through his enthusiastic, charming persona. She denies him before the show, but he still approaches her after the show, only to be met with a firm (and justifiable) annoyed Jo. She didn’t like him at 7 a.m. this morning, and she certainly doesn’t like him now. And if he played his cards right, she just might end up hating him. But…we all know that’s not how this’ll play out. He gets her to accept an invitation for a cup of coffee. In the café, they sing the title song for the film – a wonderful, sweet tune of love, of course. And it is clear to us and to them: the pair must form a new duo for the vaudeville stage. In this pairing, Kelly and Garland are a song-and-dance match made in heaven.

But soon after the duo start up their act, the film redirects to what it is really about: war. Set in 1919 and released shortly after the United States entered World War II, For Me and My Gal conveys the fears and devastations of war that touched everyone and everything, including Jo and Harry. Jo’s brother gets drafted, but Harry doesn’t let her get distracted with worry. They still have their hearts set on playing the Palace, and once they do, they plan to have a date at a little chapel on the corner to celebrate their long-awaited success. 

After a couple of hiccups on the road, they finally get the invitation to perform the theater they’ve dreamed of, but Harry gets a draft notice. After working all of his life for this chance, he won’t let anything, including his duty to his country get in between him and the Palace. He smashes his hand in a suitcase trunk and dodges the draft. But Jo knows that this unpatriotic and cowardly act was nothing of an accident that Harry tried to make it seem. She leaves Harry and the act, and it seems that Harry’s dreams are over. How on earth can he come back from this?For Me and My Gal

While For Me and My Gal does pay tribute like it promises in its opening credits, it ultimately seems more concerned with the dangers of war and the dangers of un-American acts that will leave a stain on guilt on those who let those fears deter them from their patriotic duties. Jo is celebrated and reaches her dreams of playing the Palace for fulfilling her duties, and Harry just watches from the crowd, though he tries to redeem himself for his horrible act. It is not exactly a movie that screams “political agenda,” but it kind of seems that is where it ultimately ends up with a happy ending that feels tacked on.

The bouncy showtunes and performances are enjoyable and catchy, though one or two are pretty outdated and kind of odd to modern viewers (you’ll know what I mean when you see it). Perhaps none are memorable besides the title song, but Garland and Kelly are a dream to watch, showing off the masterful choreography and splendid voices (especially Garland, who, by the way, gives a powerful performance). 

Overall, For Me and My Gal has its moments, but there are quite a few missteps along the way. Regardless, Kelly and Garland are wonderful together, and at the very least, their performances are something to be celebrated in the new, fantastic restoration courtesy of the Warner Brothers Archive Collection.

3/5 stars


For Me and My Gal

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Warner Archive Collection
Available on Blu-ray
- June 7, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray DiscSingle disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Anyone up for some Judy Garland short films, a rich commentary on the film and the actress career, and perhaps some bonus songs and a radio performance of the film? These extras are definitely something many film fans with devour with an delightful glee.


Presented it its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1, the new 1080p High-Definition transfer from the Warner Brothers Archive Collection dazzles and shines just like the leads in the film. Every detail is sharp and clean. The smooth, shiny greyscale, and nice depth of the shadows and dark colors are masterfully balanced. There are virtually no scratches, debris, or other marks are visible anywhere. It is a grand restoration for this old-time Hollywood flick.


Additionally, it is quite clear that much care went into producing the best 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The age of the film proves to be a non-issue as the track is free of any pops, clicks, sizzles, or any other imperfections. The grand-sweeping accompaniments that Garland and Kelly sing over and the stars’ voices are mixed to as much perfection as a film from this era can be.



  • Commentary by Garland biographer John Fricke

Special Features:

  • 2 Vintage Musical Shorts
  • La Fiesta de Santa Barbara
  • Every Sunday
  • For Me and My Gal Deleted Finale and Three Cheers for the Yanks
  • Outtakes (Photo Re-creations)
  • Audio-Only Bonuses: March 22, 1943 Screen Guild Players Radio Production starring Garland, Kelly, and Dick Powell
  • Leo is on the Air Radio Promo
  • Theatrical Trailers

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars

Film Details

For Me and My Gal

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
104 mins
: Busby Berkeley
Richard Sherman; Fred F. Finklehoffe
Judy Garland; George Murphy; Gene Kelly
: Musical | War | Romance
She's a Yankee Doodle Girlie!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 2, 1943
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 7, 2022.
Synopsis: Delightful romp set in pre-WWI vaudeville, with naive young singer Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) being wooed away from her stage partners by debonair hoofer Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly, in his film debut). The pair struggles to make it big, and find their romance interrupted by Harrys enlistment in an entertainment troupe overseas.


For Me and My Gal