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The Big Street (1942)

Passed | | Drama, Music, Romance | 4 September 1942 (USA)
Little Pinks is in love with a nightclub singer named Gloria. But it is a unrequited love as she does not know that he exists. Pinks is a shy busboy and Gloria only goes out with men who ... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Reis

Writers:

Leonard Spigelgass (screenplay), Damon Runyon (from the Collier's Magazine story "Little Pinks")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... Little Pinks
Lucille Ball ... Gloria Lyons
Barton MacLane ... Case Ables
Eugene Pallette ... Nicely Nicely Johnson
Agnes Moorehead ... Violette Shumberg
Sam Levene ... Horsethief
Ray Collins ... Professor B
Marion Martin ... Mimi Venus
William T. Orr ... Decatur Reed (as William Orr)
George Cleveland ... Colonel Samuel Venus
Vera Gordon ... Mrs. Lefkowitz
Ozzie Nelson and Orchestra Ozzie Nelson and Orchestra ... Night Club Orchestra
Ozzie Nelson ... Orchestra Leader
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Storyline

Little Pinks is in love with a nightclub singer named Gloria. But it is a unrequited love as she does not know that he exists. Pinks is a shy busboy and Gloria only goes out with men who are loaded. When she tries to dump Case for richer Reed, Case dumps her down the stairs. After months of treatment, she will never walk, but Pinks is the only one who takes care of her. He pays all her bills and sends her flowers with unsigned cards. But to Gloria, he is nothing in her eyes. When she wants to leave New York for Florida, to be with the money set, he takes her. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"I LOVE LUCILLE"...That's what everybody says! (re-release print ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Damon Runyon's The Big Street See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the snacks available at Nicely Nicely's food stand are Amos 'n Andy candy bars, based on the popular radio show. See more »

Quotes

Gloria Lyons: How's yer tapeworm, sister?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Loser's Lane --- the sidewalk in front of Mindy's Restaurant on Broadway-- is not as high-toned a trading center as Wall Street, but the brokers are a lot more colorful. Generally they prefer to put their money on a prizefight or horserace, but when the action slows, anything can happen and it usually does. Tonight, for example, the citizens of the Lane are discussing the latest contest in their usual quiet way --" See more »

Connections

Featured in Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Knows?
(1942)
Lyrics by Mort Greene
Music by Harry Revel
Performed by Lucille Ball at the New York nightclub (uncredited)
Reprised by her with Ozzie Nelson and Orchestra at the Florida nightclub (Vocals for Miss Ball by Martha Mears) (uncredited)
Played often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Packed with great actors, major and minor, in a fast fast whirlwind
21 September 2009 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Big Street (1942)

Packed with great actors, major and minor, in a fast fast whirlwind

First of all, Agnes Moorehead and Ray Collins played the previous year in another raging movie of some fame (Citizen Kane, yup), and here they are loaded up against a dozen other great character actors, plus a couple big names. Headlining is the well known Henry Fonda, still young, but fresh off of a couple great films, Grapes of Wrath (1940), and The Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). But in a kind of startling role for those who know Lucille Ball as a brilliant and goofy t.v. comedian a decade later, we have her here as a big-eyed femme fatale, or would-be femme fatale until fate takes a turn.

You might think this one is a screwball comedy the way it starts, but keep watching-- there is violence and trauma soon enough, and the movie takes a turn that Fonda is worthy of. There is a Frank Capra feel-good element amidst the hardship, but it is full of verve, and all these odd characters who really are (were and are) what New York is at its best. The director Irving Reis (with photographer Russell Metty) keeps the scenes snappy, and sometimes moves from a closeup of a face to a background quickly, to let a character make a dramatic point. There are lots of movie tricks, quick fades from scene to scene to show the passing of time, and some tacky back projection, and it really goes along with the fairy tale narrative.

And there really is an unbelievable ending, which you have to take with the whole flavor of the movie, a kind of sincerity/fantasy mixture.


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