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 ...
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Norman Z. McLeod
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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
Although there was not a soundtrack album, MGM issued a 78-rpm boxed album featuring Betty Garrett (making her screen debut), along with recording artists Kate Smith (intoning her trademark "God Bless America," written by Irving Berlin), Art Lund and Hal McIntyre's Orchestra. From RCA Victor came two releases by cast members: a 78-rpm album by the illustrious soprano who had retired from the Metropolitan Opera, Lotte Lehmann (singing "God Bless America" in the movie and commercially for RCA Victor); and a single by The Page Cavanaugh Trio of "Ok'l Baby Dok'l" (music and lyrics by Inez James and Sidney Miller) - performed here without Betty Garrett, who shared the soundtrack version and then made her own studio cut with Hal Mooney and His Orchestra for MGM Records to include on its album and also issue as a single. See more »
MGM's contribution to ecumenism and universal brotherhood post World War II came with this film Big City. The idea that a Protestant, Catholic, and a Jew combine to raise a child was certainly an intriguing one.
On his way home Cantor Danny Thomas finds an abandoned baby on the basement steps of his home. As it turns out Reverend Robert Preston and policeman George Murphy are on the scene as well and they're all friends. Thomas lives with his mother Lotte Lehmann. In one fell swoop with the blessing of Judge Edward Arnold the baby who grows up to be Margaret O'Brien gets three fathers and a grandmother.
But Judge Arnold made an interesting provision in deciding custody. Which ever of the men marries first there's a provision that he and his wife get sole custody. So Margaret who is now about 11 becomes the object of a legal battle when George Murphy decides to marry lounge singer Betty Garrett. Complicating things more is Preston and Thomas are both interested in Margaret's teacher Karin Booth.
Big City holds up well as a nice family film. I'm still not sure what the fuss was, despite the fact she sings in bars Garrett was a perfectly nice person. Still Arnold must have wished he could get some advice from King Solomon.
Big City is also a fine opportunity to see concert singer Lotte Lehman in one of her few film appearances. It's a good film for a family afternoon viewing.
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