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William A. Seiter
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Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move from Ohio to New York in the hopes of building their careers. Ruth wants to get a job as a writer, while Eileen hopes to succeed on the stage. The two end up living in a dismal basement apartment in Greenwich Village, where a parade of odd characters are constantly breezing in and out. The women also meet up with magazine editor Bob Baker, who takes a personal interest in helping both with their career plans. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Though this appears to have been filmed entirely on a sound stage, the feel of the original stories comes through. This is the Village as it has been as long as I've lived here.
Please note: I was not born when this movie came out. But maybe my mother, a writer, saw it and decided ti was for her. When I was a child we lived a few blocks from where the stories were set. And for the last decades, I have lived maybe three blocks from there. And how it has changed! And how much for the worse: Rich people, high rents and buying (who'd heard of buying an apartment in 1942?!) Noisy clubs ...
Janet Blair is fine as the title character. Rosalind Russell is very good as her sister Ruth. (The real Ruth, who wrote the stories, married Nathanael West and died tragically at a young age.) Russell is sort of like her Sylvia Fowler character in "The Women." But we can see hints of the broad style that was to come and was to sink her by the time of "Auntie Mame." George Tobias is fun as the girls' fast-talking artistic landlord. Without knowing it at the time, I rented my first Manhattan apartment from the man on whom this character was based. That was 30 years later.
Brian Ahern is OK as the male lead. He's a little stuffy, but he's meant to be. In fact, his character is insufferable. Why Ruth is drawn to him is not made clear.
I loved seeing the organ grinder near the end. I remember them on nearby Waverly Place a decade later when I was a small child! This gives a better view of the Village than any other commercial movie I can think of. It's fun and definitely is recommended..
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