Boozy, brassy Apple Annie, a beggar with a basket of apples, is as much as part of downtown New York as old Broadway itself. Bootlegger Dave the Dude is a sucker for her apples --- he thinks they bring him luck. But Dave and girlfriend Queenie Martin need a lot more than luck when it turns out that Annie is in a jam and only they can help: Annie's daughter Louise, who has lived all her life in a Spanish convent, is coming to America with a Count and his son. The count's son wants to marry Louise, who thinks her mother is part of New York society. It's up to Dave and Queenie and their Runyonesque cronies to turn Annie into a lady and convince the Count and his son that they are hobnobbing with New York's elite. Written by
Existing in a Damon Runyon universe this charmer has only the most ephemeral touch in common with the real world but is that necessarily what you watch a Frank Capra movie for? Let the whimsical spirit of the film carry you along and it's most beguiling. Bette Davis' guttersnipe perhaps too easily transforms into a regal lady but she is wonderful here no matter. The whole cast is swell actually with many standouts, Peter Falk is a riot as Joy Boy and received an Oscar nomination for it. The picture's happy nature is infectious and it you roll with it by the end you'll have a smile on your face. While the costume and set design may not be accurate it's certainly high class and sumptuous. A pleasure from another era.
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