The Big Street (1942)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  4 September 1942 (USA)
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Reviews: 38 user | 13 critic

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 ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (from the Collier's Magazine story "Little Pinks")
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Complete credited cast:
Gloria Lyons
Case Ables
Violette Shumberg
Sam Levene ...
Professor B
Mimi Venus
Decatur Reed (as William Orr)
George Cleveland ...
Colonel Samuel Venus
Mrs. Lefkowitz
Ozzie Nelson and Orchestra ...
Ozzie Nelson ...
Orchestra Leader


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"I LOVE LUCILLE"...That's what everybody says! (re-release print ad) See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 September 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Damon Runyon's The Big Street  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lucille Ball's favorite of her films. She felt her performance was unjustly ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). See more »


Gloria Lyons: You know something, Pinks?
Agustus 'Little Pinks' Pinkerton, II: What?
Gloria Lyons: A lot of people can't walk... they knit something. I'd be a lousy knitter, but I could sure try.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Lucy (2003) See more »


Who Knows?
Lyrics by Mort Greene
Music by Harry Revel
Performed by Lucille Ball at the New York nightclub (uncredited)
Reprised by her with Ozzie Nelson and Orchestra at the Florida nightclub (Vocals for Miss Ball by Martha Mears) (uncredited)
Played often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Lucille Ball is excellent, and in top-form.
22 August 1999 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

This interesting story failed to make it big with audiences in its initial release, but is actually a noteworthy picture, nonetheless. This unlikely story has Henry Fonda as Little Pinks, a shy, timid busboy, who's obsessed with Lucille Ball's self-absorbed, mean-spirited torch singer. Despite her poor treatment of him, he continues to worship her. During an argument with her louse of a boyfriend, he (the boyfriend) pushes her down a flight of stairs. Paralyzed and desperate, Gloria moves in with Pinks. The wheelchair-bound diva alienates everyone around her with her anger and venomous commentary. But Pinks doesn't let it bother him. Instead the "odd couple" go on an unusual roadtrip together. He pushes her in her wheelchair all the way to Miami - pretty dumb, really !

Ball is excellent, and in top form. It's great to see her in such an unusual role (see also 1947's "Lured"). Fonda is great, too, as the innocent and smitten young man. And the rest of the cast is good; especially, the always fabulous Agnes Moorehead. Despite a good story and an excellent cast, the plot limps along at points, and the shoddy production value is unignorable. Plus, the whole "Let's push Lucy to Florida in her wheelchair" thing is utterly nuts! However, the final scene is an unforgettable melodramatic moment that is fascinating just for the fact that Ball is the center of it. It makes it worth sitting through the many drawbacks of this film just to see the ending scene.

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