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My Gal Sal [Rita Hayworth]

My Gal Sal (1942) starring Rita Hayworth, Victor Mature

A gorgeous movie musical, My Gal Sal is a musical biography of Gay Nineties-era songwriter Paul Dresser. The ever-lovely Rita Hayworth is the eponymous Sal, a stage star who helps Dresser to become the toast of Tin Pan Alley.

Review

As is typical with Hollywood biographies, My Gal Sal is a very entertaining musical — with little to no connection to historical accuracy. Having said that, it’s a very fun, quick paced, enjoyable comedy. With the typical romantic triangle thrown in for good measure.

Editorial review of My Gal Sal courtesy of Amazon.com

In 1890s Indiana, young Paul Dresser runs away from home and, after painful misadventures, joins Colonel Truckee’s medicine show where he meets beautiful Mae Collins and has his first taste of songwriting. When the show is visited by derisive stage star Sally Elliott, he finds her unforgettably alluring; exit Mae. Paul’s songs, popularized by Sally, become hits, and we follow Sally and Paul’s roller-coaster love-hate relationship between atmospheric period production numbers.

Cast of characters

  • Rita Hayworth (Separate Tables) as Sally Elliott (singing voice dubbed by Nan Wynn). The lovely songbird who brings fame to the previously unknown composer. She goes on to have an ongoing love/hate relationship with Paul.
  • Victor Mature (Demetrius and the Gladiators) as Paul Dresser (singing voice dubbed by Ben Gage). The gifted composer, who tends to put his foot in his mouth at every opportunity …. As far as Sally is concerned. A talented young man, with an ego to match.
  • John Sutton (The Invisible Man Returns) as Fred Haviland. Sally’s boyfriend, and agent. The third leg of the romantic triangle.
  • Carole Landis as Mae Collins. Paul’s original love interest.
  • James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan) as Pat Hawley. Paul’s musical publisher, friend, and occasional voice of reason.
  • Phil Silvers (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) as Wiley.

Songs

  • Come Tell Me What’s Your Answer, Yes or No, Written by Paul Dresser
  • The Convict and the Bird, Written by Paul Dresser
  • Daisy Bell, Written by Harry Dacre
  • Here You Are, Music by Ralph Rainger, Lyrics by Leo Robin
  • I’se Your Honey If You Wants Me, Liza Jane, Written by Paul Dresser
  • Oh, the Pity of it All, Music by Ralph Rainger, Lyrics by Leo Robin
  • On the Banks of the Wabash, Written by Paul Dresser
  • Me and My Fella and a Big Umbrella, Music by Ralph Rainger, Lyrics by Leo Robin
  • Mr. Volunteer, Written by Paul Dresser, Sung by Phil Silvers
  • My Gal Sal, Written by Paul Dresser, Sung by Phil Silvers, Rita Hayworth (dubbed by Nan Wynn) & ‘Victor Mature’ (dubbed by Ben Gage)

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