Me and My Gal (1932)

When police officer Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy) and his partner have to jump into the water to save a man, unfortunately they let gang leader Duke Castenega (George Walsh) get away in the process.  Duke is the ex-boyfriend of Kate Riley (Marion Burns), who works at the bank in town.  Kate is about to get married, but she still carries a torch for Duke and he plans to use her to get the combinations to all of the bank’s safety deposit boxes.  But Kate goes ahead with her wedding and before long, Duke finds himself in prison, but he doesn’t stay there for long.  He makes a daring escape and instantly becomes the most wanted man in town.

It just so happens that Kate is the sister of Helen Riley (Joan Bennett), a waitress that Danny has been flirting with.  Once they finally start dating, it doesn’t take long for them to realize where Duke is hiding — in Kate’s attic.  Even though they don’t realize it before Duke’s gang pulls off a huge bank robbery, Danny is able to nab Duke, make sure that Kate’s name is kept clear, and have a happy ending with Helen.

Me and My Gal is a nice blend of romance, comedy, and gangster film highlighted by the outstanding chemistry between Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett.  It took me a little while to really get into the movie since I didn’t particularly care for the all the focus on the drunk guy in the beginning. But once the movie found its footing, I really did enjoy it.  The teaming of Tracy and Bennett completely made the movie.  Spencer has said that he considered Father of the Bride to be something of an unofficial follow-up to Me and My Gal.  He and Joan played off of each other so well and Bennett absolutely nailed it with all of her witty lines.  Overall, perhaps not one of the best of either of their careers, but still a very nice gem nonetheless.

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