The Belle of New York (1952)

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In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission... See full summary »



(play) (as Hugh Morton) , (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Clinton Sundberg ...
Gale Robbins ...


In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission house worker in the Bowery. He promises to reform his dissolute life, even trying to do an honest day's work. Written by Diana Hamilton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | remake | based on play | See All (3) »


M.G.M's Gay TECHNICOLOR Musical!


See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La belle de New York  »

Box Office


$2,606,644 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The song "I Love to Beat the Big Bass Drum" was written for the film but not used. See more »


During the "Currier and Ives" segment they are skating on a frozen pond in the "Winter" sequence. The refrigerant pipes for freezing the pond are clearly visible under the ice in several shots. See more »


Charlie Hill: Can I have a magazine? I'll treasure this all my life, I'll sleep with it under my pillow.
Angela Bonfils: It would do you more good if you read it.
See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »


Who Wants to Kiss the Bridegroom?
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Fred Astaire
Danced by Fred Astaire, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Astaire Never Wanted To Make This Movie - But
19 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In Fred Astairs autobiography "Steps In Time" he admits that he had been avoiding making this film for years. He had retired from the movies, but came back to replace Gene Kelly in "Easter Parade" because, so the excuse goes, that he broke his ankle playing touch-football, but the fact was that Kelly just didn't want to do the film, so the broken ankle was just was it was - a ply to get out of making the movie! So, back on the M.G.M. lot, once again, Fred finally came to grips with the fact that he would have to, once and for all, make the film he was dreading to make, and if he had not come out of retirement, he would never have had the attempt making it.

So, what's wrong with Belle of New York? Acutually nothing. It was a fantasy and Astaire didn't feel to good about making a fantasy film. He admits in his autobiography that he believed that the film would play very well today. It was just the wrong timing, and here we go with the films that flop, like a bottle of wine, age with time and finally become the hit they should have in their initial release.

But, there are good songs and dance numbers. Once again, Anita Ellis ghost sings for Vera Ellen in "Naughty Butg Nice". Majorie Main is, well, Marjorie Main, but the dancing in the air over the city is a little much even for Fred Astair and at the end when he and Vera Ellen finally fall in love and dance over the city in the air, Astaire stated that he knew where they stood with this one when he and Vera Ellen are dancing in the air at the end and some woman watching the end said in earshot of Astaire, "Well, how silly can you get!" And Astaire said, "We then knew where we stood with this one!" But, he also said that even if the movie is a flop or not, at least you get paid, and how much did he admit to, "Once again, for making the film, I got a fortune!" It one of the That's Entertainment movies, Debbie Reynolds had us see how much of a perfectionist Astaire was by screening the different versions of "I Wanna Be A Dancin' Man" side by side, and in another That's Entertainment movie, Gene Kelly asked Fred Astaire, "Is it true that you once said that all you wanted to do was be a dancin' man, and Astaire said, "That's not true at all! I never said that!" And immediately, they played the number from "The Belle of New York"! But, Fred was right about one thing, the movie DOES play very well today, and is very entertaining. Once again, it was just too far ahead of its time and needed to age like a good bottle of wine! Guess what? It aged beautifully!

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