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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
Glenn Ford and the late Hope Lange in a comedy with Bette Davis taking a supporting role. Interesting enough, this crowd pleaser works quite well.
Dave The Dude (Ford) is a gangster on the verge of making a big deal. Dave is superstitious. He always must get an apple from that vagrant-looking Davis.
Davis, as Apple Annie, was phenomenal in this film. She acts just like an old broken down bag-lady. She does it with a finesse. (Is it really possible to have a refined bag-lady, you bet it is.)
Anyway, it appears that Davis has a daughter living abroad all these years. Ann-Margret is she and the latter thinks that her mother is high society. Trouble now is that Ann is getting engaged to a count and they're coming to New York to look mom over. Dave and his girlfriend, Lange, fix up Davis to make her look like a dowager. They even provide a husband for her-Thomas Mitchell!
As if this isn't funny enough, we have Peter Falk, in a truly worthy Oscar nominated supporting performance, as Dave's sidekick who can't fathom what is going on.
Edward Everett Horton is the butler who can't take bad endings. Fortunately, for him, the film has anything but that kind of ending. It's up-beat down to the last laugh.
When "the kids" sail away, Apple Annie resorts to her old ways by even announcing that her prices have gone up to her faithful friends.
A romp and memorable film.
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