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Bette Davis is a poor working girl who is about to lose her job and is on
her lunch hour. While watching outside a church where a high society
wedding is taking place, she stands next to a drunk man who is muttering as
the preacher administers the vows. Davis realizes that he is creating a
disturbance and gets him to leave with her and the go to a nearby place
where she can get a sandwich and he can drink.
Thus starts the relationship that eventually leads to them ending up married. He was driven to drink by the girl at the church who was getting married, because even though she loved him, she was marrying a richer man.
Davis sobers him up and gets him back to his position as a society lawyer in a top firm. All the while telling him that if he wants out, he just has to say so.
Many trials and tribulations ensue before he realizes he does indeed love his wife who he married on a drunken impulse.
The 1935 "ladies who did lunch" got their monies worth from Davis, Ian Hunter, Alison Skipworth, Phillip Reed and John Eldredge, and a top production.
Go back in time to the depression years, the downtown movie palaces with double features, and ladies in their suits, gloves and hats, who went to town once a week for the family shopping and then went to see their favorite stars. This film is one they would have seen - and loved. 9/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For about the first third of the film, I wasn't unduly impressed by
this film. However, as it continued, I found myself being drawn into it
and was particularly intrigued by Bette Davis' great character. You
see, at the beginning, she played a bit of a sap--and it was hard to
care about her. But, as the film progressed, she grew in strength and
this led to some wonderful scenes. So, if you sit down to see this one,
hold on until the end--it surely gets much better as you watch.
When the film begins, Ian Hunter plays a man whose long-time girlfriend has just married another. So, he does what any reasonable man does--mope around and drink himself silly. However, with no end in sight to this self-destructive binge, a common working-class girl (Davis) comes to his rescue--keeping his from killing himself and giving him some needed stability. Now this, while interesting, also seemed highly unlikely. You see, Davis marries Hunter and agrees to make it sort of a "trial marriage". In other words, she'll leave as soon as he gets tired of her and wants to return to his high society friends. I said unlikely because Davis seemed almost too good--like a long-suffering martyr who was too perfect to be true.
Fortunately, into this odd marriage came some chaos to make it interesting. After a year of happy marriage, Hunter's old flame dumps her husband and comes panting after him like a dog chasing a pork chop! Now, is Davis to just sit back like this angel and let Hunter go or will she fight to save her man? This all leads to a few terrific scenes. I particularly loved Bette and her friend in the party-crashing scene as well as the big confrontation between her and Hunter towards the end. The emotion seemed much more real and I couldn't help but marvel at Miss Davis' talent--making this clearly one of her best early films before she skyrocketed to the top of her field.
In addition to a fine performance by Davis, the ill-fated actor Collin Clive (best known as 'Dr. Frankenstein' from the Universal films) is very good and plays a role very uncharacteristic of his usual roles.
Overall, a terrific love story that only improves the more you watch it. I just can't understand why this film isn't more famous.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bette Davis plays a shopgirl? You bet, and even in this type of role
she's more convincing than her nemesis Joan Crawford due to the fact
that Warners was less about glamour, and more about real people. Miriam
Brady is a girl who on her lunch break witnesses a man, Geoffrey
Sherwood, getting dumped by his girlfriend who has just married another
man. He is drunk, and about to be arrested when she takes him to a café
and on a lark (and drunk, too), she marries him. Their marriage moves
sort of smoothly -- Geoff starts his own business; she betters herself
with the help of her landlady and friend Mrs. Martin (Alison
Skipworth). Then out of the blue, Geoff's ex-girlfriend, Valentine
(Katherine Alexander) returns to claim Geoff. It's up to Miriam to
fight for her guy until the end.
A remake of a stage play called "Outcast", the movie has its staginess from start to finish minus the street and exterior scenes. No music is used, and there is a tinny echo in the voices of the actors that indicates the way films were recorded then, a thing that detracts a little from the external scenes. Davis has another chance to showcase her ability to take a scene and run with it: her confrontation scene with Katherine Alexander and subsequent scene with Ian Hunter prove how good she was. THE GIRL FROM TENTH AVENUE is, while being about a shopgirl, completely devoid of the glamour more akin to MGM and Davis' portrayal is less maudlin than spitfire. The camera certainly loves Davis' face as it gives her some good closeups throughout. And at a brief, 70 minutes, it makes for a light, enjoyable view, much better than her standard, mid-30s fare.
Bette Davis was 27 when she made "The Girl from Tenth Avenue" in 1935.
She's very slim and pretty, and as someone points out on this site, she
looks more realistic than Joan Crawford did in these roles because
Warners was less concerned with glamor. Davis did some roles in the
early days where she was glamored up, such as "The Man Who Played God"
and "Fashions of 1934" where she looks very pretty. Even in black and
white, those huge blue eyes of hers really pop. When I saw her in
person when she toured with John Springer, who interviewed her on
stage, that's the first thing you noticed. That and that she looked so
much better than she did in most of her roles.
"The Girl from Tenth Avenue" is about shopgirl, Miriam, who takes pity on society drunk Geoff (Ian Hunter) whose ex-girlfriend Valentine (Katharine Alexander) has just married someone else. Miriam marries him, and the two are happy, and he's sober, until Valentine tosses her husband (Colin Clive) out. Then she tears after Geoff. Since Miriam is from a different social class and self-conscious about it, she feels threatened.
Predictable class-conscious drama with nice performances. This is early Davis, before Warner Brothers realized that she was a forceful actress. It would be a couple of years yet before she hit her stride. Alison Skipworth provides the comedy as Mrs. Martin, who tries to counsel Miriam through her troubles.
Primarily for Davis fans.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well-heeled lawyer Geoff Sherwood (Ian Hunter) stands in a crowd waiting for the bride and groom to come out of the church. He's drunk and talking about making a scene and detectives decide to have him hauled off to Bellviewbut Miriam Brady (Bette Davis), a young woman who sews labels on clothes, takes his arm and moves him out of danger. A couple of his friends follow along and ask her to stick with him. His ex-fiancée Valentine has just gotten married. They drink, and by next morning they're somewhere in upstate New York, married too. Miriam, being an extraordinarily decent girl, tells him she'll disappear, but he asks her to stay around. They stay married, move into an apartment in a nice building owned by the redoubtable Mrs. Martin (Alison Skipworth), who sort of adopts Miriam. The Geoff-Miriam arrangement appears to be working, at least to him, but when Valentine reappears and sets out to recapture Geoff, Miriam won't stand still. She tricks Valentine into making a scenethrowing a pineapplein a tony restaurant. But Geoff is easily led and prepares to leave Miriam; she leaves first. But in the process he realizes... well, it ends happily. Hunter is somewhat self-contained, neither a loud drunk nor a loud arguer. Miriam is right when she says he hasn't thought things through very well. Davis is just the right combination of toughness and uncertainty, much more of the former than the latter, and though she's not the most beautiful actress of her day, she knows how to light up the screen and shake the definition of beauty until it collapses at her feet and she rises above it, glowing.
Based on the play "Outcast" (from 1914, no less!), The Girl From Tenth Avenue opens by showing us a wedding invitation, and two gentlemen of the wedding party driving towards the ceremony. Then we see Miriam Brady (Bette Davis) and Geoffrey Sherwood (Ian Hunter) standing on a street corner, listening to the wedding that is taking place. Sherwood is drunk, and Miriam decides to take a personal interest in getting him into a restaurant, away from the wedding scene. Although WHY she does, isn't really explained... Davis had just made "Of Human Bondage", and was about to win the Oscar for "Dangerous"... good year for her! Viewers will recognize the landlord Mrs. Martin, played by Alison Skipworth; she made FOUR films with W.C. Fields. Next thing you know, Miriam and Geoffrey are married, apparently skipping a couple of the 12 steps Sherwood SHOULD be going through. There is a lot of talking in this story, as with most plays. It starts pretty slow, but picks up about halfway through. I wonder if this would have been a little more spicy if it hadn't been made right as the Hays Code was starting to be enforced. Davis and Hunter would make five films together in the 1930s.
The Girl From 10th Avenue is one of those B programmers that the
brothers Warner were throwing Bette Davis into before they realized
what a talent they had. She had already done and got rave reviews for
Of Human Bondage, but it made not a whiff of difference. She was a few
films from her consolation Oscar for Dangerous.
When Davis got films really beneath her she just went full blown Bette with the voice and the mannerisms that impressionists made a living on for decades. In this film she's a shopgirl who lives in Hell's Kitchen on 10th Avenue who happens to aid a 5th Avenue playboy Ian Hunter when he's been out on a toot. The two wind up married. But can they make a go of it and can Bette fit in with the society just five city blocks from her roots.
This was another Depression Era plot, the shopgirl who marries well and tries to make a go of it. Joan Crawford over at MGM was well known for these roles, though the best of them was the gold digging Crystal in The Women. Davis has to deal with Katharine Alexander who Hunter had broken off with and Hunter has Alexander's ex-husband Colin Clive as a confidante.
Who really scores well is Alison Skipworth who back in the day was a Floradora girl who made a society catch of her own. Skipworth shows Davis the ropes in her own inimitable style.
The Girl From 10th Avenue gets a couple of notches higher rating simply because Davis pushes it up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On a drunken bender after witnessing his old lover Katherine Alexander coming out of a church, just having married Colin Clive, wealthy Ian Hunter impulsively marries Bette Davis, the shopgirl who rescued him from roving reporters. Her goal is to keep him on the straight and narrow, and for a while it works-until Alexander decides she wants him back. This generic women's picture is quick and to the point but extremely illogical and resolved oh so predictably. Davis gets to repeat her dramatic rants from 1934's "Of Human Bondage" (minus the cockney accent) and the same year's "Dangerous" (which won her the first of two Oscars), but this time, she's defending herself against her husband (preparing to leave her) rather than trying to humiliate him. Clive is a more convincing drunk than Hunter (who acts too sober in a few moments of some severe drunken scenes) in his one moment of intoxication. Alison Skipworth steals every scene she is in as the tipsy former Floradora Girl with a past of her own. The film never reaches 10th Avenue, taking place mostly many blocks away on Park Avenue, although the NY Public Avenue (5th Avenue) is briefly glimpsed. The one moment of spark comes at the luncheon where Skipworth and Davis show up to make Alexander (in a rather one dimensional part) cringe.
Strictly for die-hard Davis fans.
She's a shop girl from the wrong side of the tracks who meets lawyer IAN HUNTER, on a drunk bender, and decides to restore him to his better self on the spur of the moment. Once he's reformed, she has a struggle trying to keep him from former flame KATHARINE Alexander. (For some reason, my computer refuses to put "Alexander" in caps). It's not a typo.
It's a trifle, the kind of film Davis would come to detest in that it was nothing more than a routine melodrama with some comedy interludes from ALISON SKIPWORTH as a landlady who wants to spruce up Bette's ability to mix with IAN HUNTER's society friends.
Made worth a look only for Bette Davis' performance. She's trim, blonde and almost pretty with those Bette Davis eyes lined with mascara. Unfortunately, it's a weak script with a predictable ending. COLIN CLIVE has little to do but he does play a good drunk scene.
TCM is showing this as part of their Depression-era films.
She had no sex appeal and was as interesting to watch as paint drying on a winter's day. This is just the opinion of Universal International. Warner Brothers and RKO saw her differently because she garnered academy awards for them.
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