A meek Belgian soldier (Harry Langdon) fighting in World War I receives penpal letters and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. He becomes infatuated with her by ... See full summary »
Fan dancer Alabam Lee is convicted of breaching the morals code with her racy shows. Her agent has her adopt a "mother" from an old ladies home as a publicity ploy to improve her image. ... See full summary »
Fultah Fisher runs a boarding house catering to seamen passing through the port. A girl known as Anne of Austria has had many lovers amongst the sailors, but presently she's known to be the... See full summary »
Apple Annie is an indigent woman who has always written to her daughter in Spain that she is a member of New York's high society. With her daughter suddenly en route to America with her new fiancé and his father, a member of Spain's aristocracy, Annie must continue her pretense of wealth or the count will not give his blessing. She gets unexpected help from Dave the Dude, a well-known figure in underground circles who considers Annie his good luck charm, and who obtains for her a luxury apartment to entertain the visitors - but this uncharacteristic act of kindness from a man with a disreputable reputation arouses suspicions, leading to complications which further cause things to not always go quite as planned. Written by
In the scenes where the Dude interacts with the police, Ned Sparks whistles 'The Prisoner's Song", a popular recording by Vernon Dalhart in the 1920s. See more »
While Dave the Dude's gang waits inside Missouri Martin's nightclub, Happy McGuire and Dave stand outside and are informed of the presence of the cops. Behind them on the left side of the double doors there is a "Closed" sign but the sign is gone when the interior shot has the two entering the club. See more »
[about working in a hotel]
People don't leave things in their rooms anymore. Do you know it's got so bad I gotta buy me own toothpaste?
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It's not often (especially these days) that a character actor or actress pulls a leading role. This movie rates my 8/10 vote mostly on the strength of the marvelous character performance of May Robson in the central role as Apple Annie, an elderly down-and-out who must somehow preserve the imaginary persona she has built for herself to her daughter, soon to arrive from Paris with a prospective husband in tow. Robson was nominated for an Oscar, as lead, and richly deserved it for her tragicomic characterization.
Frank Capra's excellent direction (also nominated for an Oscar) keeps the plot unfolding with the speed and apparently effortless fluidity so characteristic of the comedies of this period. Capra did not win the Oscar that year, but this film launched his series of feel-good dramas and sparkling comedies that netted him three subsequent Oscars.
But this is far more than a feel-good comedy/drama. It's an excellent movie that stands on its merits outside the genre, with a solid supporting cast. Capra's own remake (Pocketful of Miracles), doesn't meet the standard he himself set here. And although I have tremendous respect for Bette Davis, who played the lead in the remake, it is the difference between a good performance and an exceptional portrayal. Now that I've seen this version, May Robson simply IS Apple Annie.
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