Released in November 1943 by MGM. Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Screenplay by Fred F. Finklehoffe, based on the 1930 Broadway musical by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Guy Bolton, and John McGowan. Directed by Norman Taurog and Busby Berkeley [“I Got Rhythm” sequence]. Produced by Arthur Freed. Cast included Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton, Robert E. Strickland, Rags Ragland, June Allyson, Nancy Walker, Guy Kibbee, and Tommy Dorsey and His Band.
Eleven years after it was filmed for RKO, MGM decided that the Gershwins’ 1930 Broadway hit, GIRL CRAZY, would make a terrific vehicle for their young musical stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, whose film pairings had become a lucrative franchise for the studio. The western locale in the screenplay, loosely based on the original play, afforded all manner of comic and musical potential for the cast, and the “I Got Rhythm” finale – staged by the film’s original director Busby Berkeley, who was dismissed shortly after the film began shooting – ends the film on a very high note.