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A Call to Action: The Films of Raoul Walsh

Friday, July 5, 2013
8:40 p.m. Me and My Gal
Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1932)

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On New York's Pier 13, a dockside philosopher discusses the news of the day with beat cop Danny Dolan (Spencer Tracy). "Nuts to social economy, what's on the sportin' page?" Dolan asks impatiently, setting the tone for this comedy that makes the stuff of sociology into slangy, breezy sport. Into a ramshackle plot that somehow entangles the romance between Danny and Helen (Joan Bennett), a gum-chewing hash slinger at a chowder house, with the crimes of a mobster hiding out in the attic of a paralyzed war veteran who can only communicate by blinking in Morse code, Raoul Walsh crams innumerable bits of casual comic business, keeping the visual gags running while the characters crack wise. From rowdy slapstick to movie parody (Tracy and Bennett rework Strange Interlude as Strange Inner Tube), here all kinds of jokes are jake. Oh, and there's a moral, too: "Married women don't cheat—much."



—Juliet Clark

• Written by Arthur Kober, from a story by Philip Klein, Barry Conners. Photographed by Arthur Miller. With Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Marion Burns, George Walsh. (79 mins, B&W, 35mm, From Criterion Pictures/20th Century Fox)