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Boy Meets Girl

(1938 b 86')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Bella and Samuel Spewack adapted their own play in this satire of two fast-talking Hollywood writers, a slow cowboy star, and an intellectual producer.

Agent Rossetti (Frank McHugh) assures cowboy star Larry Toms (Dick Foran) that writers Carlyle Benson (Pat O'Brien) and Robert Law (James Cagney) are working for him; but they say all stories are "Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl." Producer C. Elliott Friday (Ralph Bellamy) tells them the studio is shaky but listens to their ideas while he gets a massage. Extra Rodney Bevan (Bruce Lester) tells Friday about British uniforms and is fired. Benson and Law clown around. Susie (Marie Wilson) brings in lunch and faints, saying she is going to have a baby. Law and Benson create a story about a baby for Larry. They go out to tell the boss, and Susie gives food to Rodney, who says she is sincere. Friday tells Rodney to get out. Benson gets Susie to sign a contract for her baby Happy, who becomes a star.

Benson asks Friday for $3500 a week for Happy. Larry invites Susie to his ranch and proposes; but Susie wants to find Rodney. Susie asks Law if she should marry Larry, and Law says no. Rossetti tells Benson and Law that he got a joint contract for Larry and Happy for $300. Law gets Rodney to play Happy's father and tells him what to say. At a movie premiere Susie comes with Larry and speaks on radio. Law pushes Rodney forward to say that he is Happy's father. Larry goes to Friday and quits because of the scandal. Law has Rodney in an office but learns he got free in the studio. Susie says that Happy has the measles. Rodney admits that he is not the father. Friday tells the studio boss what Law and Benson did, and they are fired. Larry says that he got the measles.

At the hospital Benson tells Susie he lost his home, and she says Happy hasn't been paid lately. Law says that he is going back to Vermont to write a book. Benson tells Law that his wife left him, and they ask Rossetti to help Benson get a job. Susie gets a letter from Friday that Happy's contract is terminated. Law calls Paris on Larry's telephone and has Jascha offer five million dollars for the studio if Happy is included. Friday gets a telegram of the offer and tells Larry he is through. Friday welcomes Susie and goes out. Rodney gives flowers to Susie and asks her to marry. She says that Happy's father was a bigamist and was killed by his first wife. Susie announces she is going to marry Rodney and go to England. Larry brings a man from England to prove the telegram was phony, but he verifies Rodney is the son of a lord. Friday asks Benson and Law who perpetrated the fraud. Susie leaves with Rodney. Friday learns that his wife is going to have a baby, and Benson and Law create a new story.

This farcical look at how movie scripts are created indicates why so many Hollywood films are rather superficial.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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