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They Gave Him a Gun (1937)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 7 May 1937 (USA)
Jimmy is drafted and ends up in Fred's troop on his way to Europe. Jimmy becomes vicious with his gun, wins a medal, and weds Fred's nurse girlfriend, Rose. Back home years later, Rose ... See full summary »

Director:

W.S. Van Dyke (as W.S. Van Dyke II)

Writers:

William J. Cowen (book) (as William Joyce Cowen), Cyril Hume | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Fred P. Willis
Gladys George ... Rose Duffy
Franchot Tone ... James 'Jimmy' Davis
Edgar Dearing ... Sgt. Meadowlark
Mary Treen ... Saxe (as Mary Lou Treen)
Cliff Edwards ... Laro
Charles Trowbridge ... Judge
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Storyline

Jimmy is drafted and ends up in Fred's troop on his way to Europe. Jimmy becomes vicious with his gun, wins a medal, and weds Fred's nurse girlfriend, Rose. Back home years later, Rose discovers Jimmy is a gangster, has him arrested, and finds a job in Fred's circus as Jimmy escapes, determined to kill Fred. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 May 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

On lui donna un fusil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the movie, the rifle range scene was for real. The studio probably had help from the U.S. Government. See more »

Goofs

(at around 33 mins) As Saxe hands Rose a list of casualties with Fred on it, in the very next scene the list magically has disappeared from her hands. See more »

Quotes

Fred P. Willis: [to Jimmy] I just wanted to shake hands with the only guy here who looks as bad as I feel.
See more »

Soundtracks

My Grandfather's Clock
Words and music by Henry Clay Work
Sung by an inebriated Spencer Tracy at a bar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not great but miscasting makes it worse
13 October 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Franchot Tone gets into trouble when "They Gave Him a Gun" in this 1937 film, also starring Spencer Tracy and Gladys George.

Fred and Jimmy (Tracy and Tone) meet during World War I when they are both in the service. When Jimmy is injured and hospitalized and Fred visits, they both fall for Jimmy's nurse Rose (George).

Fred is captured by the enemy and presumed dead. When he returns, he realizes that Rose and Jimmy are an item, so he bows out.

Some time later, Fred meets Jimmy in New York and realizes that he's part of organized crime, but Rose is unaware of it. Jimmy winds up in prison, and, realizing that Rose tipped off the cops, his guys come after her. Fred spirits her away to work with him in the circus.

Predictable film with good performances by Tracy and Tone. Gladys George is dreadfully miscast. She was a very good actress but this was the wrong role for her. The part should have gone to a pretty ingénue with sass. They got the sass right but not the rest of it. Maureen O'Sullivan, Diana Lewis, Jean Parker, for instance, was under contract and would have been fine. How could Gladys George not know her husband was a gangster?

W.S. Van Dyke aka "One Shot Willy" directed and does a few interesting things. For the most part, this is a typical '30s film that Warner Brothers would have made. Really doesn't look like an MGM movie at all.


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