Sep 30, 2018
We conclude our acclaimed "Ronald-Reagan-appears-for-two-minutes-as-a-radio-announcer" series with Boy Meets Girl (1938), a Hollywood satire/"crazy comedy" adapted from the smash Sam and Bella Spewack play. Directed by Warner comedy ace Lloyd Bacon, the film certainly has its charms, but James Cagney and Pat O'Brien are playing roles originally intended for Olsen and Johnson - 'nuff said. The star duo's destabilizing antics are cribbed from the career-limiting capers of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, opening up a fertile discussion of Hollywood labour practices during the second half of the Great Depression. We also get to spend a little more time with Dick Foran in a parody cowboy role (this time, a highly paid one) and meet the magnificent Marie Wilson (Judy Holliday avant la lettre). Don't forget Ralph Bellamy! He's in the mix too, as a line producer with delusions of intellectual sensibility.