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Thursday, December 15, 2011

It Happened On Fifth Avenue (1947)

Each winter, a transient (Victor Moore) moves into the boarded up mansion of a billionaire (Charles Ruggles) along with his dog. He vacates in the spring when the billionaire returns. However, this winter, several other homeless families move in with him. Little does he know that one of them are the billionaire and his daughter (Gale Storm). Originally set to be directed by Frank Capra before director Roy Del Ruth took over, this is a heartwarming film. Normally, when I hear a film described as heartwarming, it chills my blood because I just know it's going to be some hideous and sentimental schmaltz like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Sentimental this film may be but one would be a Scrooge indeed not to get watery eyed. The film is a tad overlong and has far too many musical segments and a good 20 minutes could easily have been shorn and not missed. It's not really a Christmas movie but it gets shown a lot around the Christmas season but the film does invoke the true Christmas spirit without the overly obvious calculation of many of its brethren like THE BISHOP'S WIFE. With Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Gale Storm and Alan Hale Jr.

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