Boy Meets Girl

Boy Meets Girl

James Cagney
Director: Lloyd Bacon Cast: James Cagney
James Cagney
, Pat O'Brien
Pat O'Brien
, Marie Wilson
Marie Wilson
Lloyd Bacon


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Once a staple of summer stock and community theatres, Bella and Samuel Spewack's Broadway farce Boy Meets Girl dates rather badly when seen today. The 1938 movie version is also a bit mildewed, though it is saved by the dynamo-like energy of James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. The stars are cast as Robert Law and J.C. Benson, a pair of iconoclastic Hollywood screenwriters based upon Ben Hecht and Charlie McArthur. Cynically declaring that every film can be boiled down to "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl," Law and Benson drive their studio-executive bosses crazy with their zany irreverence. Their pet target is bigwig C. Elliot Friday (Ralph Bellamy), a delicious take-off of 20th Century-Fox prexy Darryl F. Zanuck. Friday orders the boys to concoct a screenplay for cowboy star Larry Toms (Dick Foran), whose popularity is on the wane. Upon making the acquaintance of pregnant, unmaried waitress Susie (Marie Wilson), Law and Benson hit upon a brilliant scheme: they'll transform Susie's baby into a child star and team the kid with Toms in his latest epic ("based on an original story by William Shakespeare"). Complication piles upon complication, reaching a high point of hilarity when the baby gives Larry Toms the measles. Ronald Reagan appears briefly as a radio announcer covering the Hollywood premiere of Law and Bensen's newest masterpiece. Boy Meets Girl was originally conceived as a Marion Davies vehicle, with the comedy team of Olsen & Johnson playing the screenwriters, but things changed radically (and for the better) when Davies' sponsor William Randolph Hearst huffily pulled his Cosmopolitan Pictures unit off the Warner Bros. lot.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/14/2014
UPC: 0888574092801
Original Release: 1938
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:27:00
Sales rank: 27,392

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Cagney Robert Law
Pat O'Brien J. Carlyle Benson
Marie Wilson Susie
Ralph Bellamy E. Elliott Friday
Frank McHugh Rosetti
Dick Foran Larry Toms
Ronald Reagan Announcer
Paulie Clark Happy
Penny Singleton Peggy
Harry Seymour Songwriter
Bert Hanlon Songwriter
James Stephenson Maj. Thompson
Eddie Conrad Jascha
Elliott C. Friday Ralph Bellamy
Jan Holm Actor
Bert Howard Director
Hal K. Dawson Wardrobe attendant
William Haade Actor
John Harron Extra
George Hickman Office boy
Nanette Lafayette Paris operator
Carole Landis Commissary Cashier
Vera Lewis Cleaning woman
Peggy Moran New York Operator
John Ridgely Cutter
Cliff Saum Smitty
Janet Shaw Los Angeles Operator
Bill Telaak Bruiser
Rosella Towne Nurse
Dorothy Vaughan Nurse
Pierre Watkin B.K.
Clem Bevans Actor
Curt Bois Dance Director
Sidney Bracey Actor
Loia Cheaney Nurse
Otto H. Fries Olaf
Bruce Lister Rodney Bevan
Dennie Moore Miss Crews
James Nolan Young Man

Technical Credits
Lloyd Bacon Director
George Abbott Producer
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Sam Bischoff Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Esdras Hartley Art Director
William Holmes Editor
M. K. Jerome Songwriter
Sol Polito Cinematographer
Jack Scholl Songwriter
Bella Spewack Screenwriter
Samuel Spewack Screenwriter
Dolph Thomas Sound/Sound Designer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup

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