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A new Broadway show starring Gary Blake shamelessly lampoons the rich Carraway family. To get her own back, daughter Mimi sets out to ensnare Blake, but the courtship is soon for real, to the annoyance of his co-star, hoofing chanteuse Mona Merrick.Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Despite introducing three Irving Berlin classics ("This Year's Kisses," "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" with Dick Powell, and "Slumming on Park Avenue," followed by The Ritz Brothers in drag), Alice Faye, already well established in screen musicals, received only third billing, below the film title. Mr. Powell and non-vocalizing Madeline Carroll placed above Miss Faye. See more »
In his third and final scene, actor Stepin Fetchit tells Dick Powell that Mimi is on the phone. His character name is Herman, but Powell says "Thanks Step." See more »
"On the Avenue" was made in 1937 and starred Madeline Carroll, Dick Powell, Alice Faye and the Ritz Brothers. A musical revue does a send-up of a wealthy family, which outrages them. The writer, Gary Blake, accuses the young woman of the family, Mimi Caraway (Carroll) of being a bad sport. She invites him to dinner, and they fall in love. He promises to rewrite the skit. However, Mona Merrick (Faye), the leading lady who is in love with Gary, performs the skit so that the family comes off as even worse. Mimi retaliates by buying the production and planning some big revenge on Gary.
There are some good numbers and wonderful singing by Faye and Powell; alas, the appeal of the Ritz Brothers has always been lost on me. They always do these incredibly long routines in films, and to me, anyway, they're annoying rather than funny.
Madeline Carroll is stunningly beautiful; it's a shame she wasn't in Hollywood longer (in 1938, she was the highest paid actress in Hollywood). She returned to England to work for the war effort and stayed on after the war. Dick Powell, in the course of a 30-year career, reinvented himself several times. Here he is in his first incarnation, that of a juvenile tenor. He's very good and as he evolved into a serious actor and then a director and producer, he only got better. Alice Faye looks great and sings in her beautiful, smooth contralto; her stardom was just about to hit its peak.
All in all, very pleasant. If you're like me, record this and fast forward through the Ritz Brothers.
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