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Big City (1948)

An abandoned baby is raised by three men: the Rev. Andrews, cantor Feldman, and Officer O'Donnell. When Feldman and O'Donnell each find a woman to fall in love with, they both think of ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Florence Bartlett
Judge Martin O. Abercrombie
Louis Keller (as Butch Jenkins)
Shoo Shoo Grady
Lotte Lehmann ...
Mama Feldman
Connie Gilchrist ...
Martha, the Judge's Maid
Page Cavanaugh ...
Trio Leader (as Page Cavanaugh Trio)


An abandoned baby is raised by three men: the Rev. Andrews, cantor Feldman, and Officer O'Donnell. When Feldman and O'Donnell each find a woman to fall in love with, they both think of getting married and settling down. And each wants to adopt Midge officially and raise her without the other "fathers". And Midge has to find some way for them to all become a family again. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's Big Hearted Drama With Songs




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Release Date:

25 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mascote da Cidade  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Working titles of the film included Catherine (Unfinished Symphany) , Brothers of the East Side and Home Is Where the Heart Is . Jul 1947 HR news items indicate that producer Joe Pasternak purchased the rights to Miklos Laszlo's story in 1937. Information in the file on the film in the M-G-M Script Collection at the AMPAS library indicates that the initial script was based on a story, or possibly an unpublished novel, by Laszlo entitled "Catherine (Unfinished Sympathy)." Script materials also indicate that in 1942, "Brothers of the East Side," the title of Nanette Kutner's treatment, was submitted, based on an idea by Pasternak. Several treatments and outlines were written over the course of the next four years, variously titled "Brothers of the East Side," "Catherine" and "Home Is Where the Heart Is." Additional writers who worked on these treatments included Charles Larson and Warner Law, but the extent of their contributions to the completed film has not been determined. A Feb 1947 HR news item noted that actor Van Heflin was "pencilled in" for the part played by Robert Preston. A Jul 1947 news item indicated that M-G-M writer Leslie Kardos was set to make his directorial debut with this film. The picture marked the screen debut of Broadway actress Betty Garrett and opera star Lotte Lehmann. Although a Nov 1947 M-G-M News item noted that former Keystone Kop players Hank Mann and Heinie Conklin appear in the film as police officers, they actually played "drunks." According to a 1953 HCN article, writer Walter Abbott received a "very good settlement" from M-G-M following his $100,000 plagiarism suit against the company. Abbott claimed in the suit that the studio based Big City on his story entitled "Choir Boy." (AFI) See more »


References Bambi (1942) See more »


Kol Nidre
Performed by Danny Thomas
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User Reviews

"Your song was super-duper...and I think you're super-duper, too!"
9 September 2011 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Five writers worked on this unrelieved hokum about an abandoned baby girl on New York's East Side taken in by a Jewish cantor and his mama, watched over throughout her young life by the cantor and his buddies, a Catholic Reverend and a Protestant policeman (no atheist derelicts for this kid!). When the boys suffer a falling-out and go to court to decide who should raise the child, the decision should be overwhelmingly obvious but isn't (not even to the judge!). Margaret O'Brien plays the girl at grade-school age, but she seems too old to be getting her first tummy-ache and playing matchmaker for her bachelor fathers. The exceedingly thin story is padded with inappropriate song interludes, narration from O'Brien (as if she were reading from the Junior Miss section of the Sears & Roebuck catalogue), and a schoolroom full of annoying children who shoot mischievous looks at each other when Danny Thomas sings "Am I Blue?" to their teacher. The end card makes a claim that the film is meant for 'people who like people,' yet there's nobody on-screen who merits much interest. The adults act like teenagers in the throes of puppy love, while O'Brien appears ready to burst out of her training bra. *1/2 from ****

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