Friday, December 23, 2016

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

When a rich businessman (Charles Ruggles) moves south for the winter, a bum moves into his fifth avenue mansion. He doesn’t eat much or cause harm so that the owner never suspects. A serviceman loses his apartment when a rich businessman (Charles Ruggles) decides to build a monstrous building on the same spot. He has a chance encounter with the a bum, who has moved into a rich businessman’s (Charles Ruggles) house while he’s away. When the daughter of a rich businessman (Charles Ruggles) returns home, the others think she too is homeless. Reluctantly they allow her to stay, and enthusiastically she agrees to play along.

Wow, what a cute little film! No real big names here (excepting Charles Ruggles, of course), just good performances supporting a delightful story. Hey, look! It’s a young Jonas Grumby (Alan Hale Jr)! The others were unknown to me. There was something particularly charming about Victor Moore’s portrayal of the first bum, feeling both noble and authentic.

Romantic comedies are seldom ensemble pieces. Yes, the story does revolve heavily around our prospective love birds, but there is more to the story. It Happened on Fifth Avenue is charming, heartwarming, and satisfying. It had a lot of nice moments. A good holiday find. AMRU 3.5.
“Well, it happened at the movies. Gregory Peck and this blonde were getting married. So I said to Whitey, I said, "Gee, I sure wish that was us." And Whitey said, "Uh-huh." And then I said, "Ain't marriage wonderful?" And Whitey said, "Uh-huh." And then I said, "Why don't we get married?" And Whitey said, "Uh-huh." And, oh, after all, how can you say no to a guy who coaxes you like that.”

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