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Little Pinks is in love with a nightclub singer named Gloria. But it is a unrequited love as she does not know that he exists. Pinks is a shy busboy and Gloria only goes out with men who are loaded. When she tries to dump Case for richer Reed, Case dumps her down the stairs. After months of treatment, she will never walk, but Pinks is the only one who takes care of her. He pays all her bills and sends her flowers with unsigned cards. But to Gloria, he is nothing in her eyes. When she wants to leave New York for Florida, to be with the money set, he takes her. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Opening credits: "Loser's Lane --- the sidewalk in front of Mindy's Restaurant on Broadway-- is not as high-toned a trading center as Wall Street, but the brokers are a lot more colorful. Generally they prefer to put their money on a prizefight or horserace, but when the action slows, anything can happen and it usually does. Tonight, for example, the citizens of the Lane are discussing the latest contest in their usual quiet way --" See more »
Years before Damon Runyon got Broadway and screen immortality with Guys and Dolls, one of his short stories was adapted for the silver screen concerning the unrequited love of a bus boy for a Broadway entertainer. That story was The Big Street and the title is named for the street that Runyon chronicled, Broadway.
Though The Big Street got good reviews for its stars Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, the subject matter was way too much of a downer for mass audience appeal. The plot as it is tells the story of Little Pinks who is madly in love with this nightclub entertainer who being the mistress of gangster Barton MacLane, can't see him for beans and wouldn't look up from the table to try.
That all changes when MacLane slaps her so hard she falls down a flight of stairs and becomes paralyzed. All abandon her then and in truth she didn't exactly near and endear herself to too many. That is except for Fonda and the Broadway characters he lines up to give her a helping hand.
A movie like The Big Street could not be made today because we don't have the rich assortment of character players to entertain us. The people Damon Runyon created were made for such performers as Sam Levene, Ray Collins, Millard Mitchell, etc. And of course the two best performers who steal the film from the leads when they're on are Agnes Moorehead and Eugene Palette. Moorehead didn't do too much comedy and her gift for it would not be tapped again until she was Endora in Bewitched.
Lady for a Day and Guys and Dolls enjoyed much greater success because they were done in a comic vein. My guess is that is what people expect when they see Damon Runyon on a theater program credit.
Still The Big Street is nicely-nicely done as Eugene Palette and Stubby Kaye would say.
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