Every winter, Michael J. O'Connor, the second richest man in the world, vacates his 5th Avenue mansion for his winter home in warmer climes. Every winter, Aloysius T. McKeever, a homeless man, and his dog moves into vacated mansions. This particular winter, McKeever meets Jim Bullock, an army veteran who has recently been evicted from his apartment and offers to share the mansion with him. It's not long before the mansion has a few more guests, including two of Jim's army buddies and their wives and children; runaway heiress Trudy Connor; her mother and even Michael J. O'Connor, himself.Written by
In 1946 Monogram Pictures decided to upgrade their image by creating a new bigger budget style of film and presenting them by new in-house section ALLIED ARTISTS..... and this delicious humane film was their second big budget outing. IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE has been mostly lost to TV and cinema goers for over 40 years and now it is available on WB label DVD.... The first Allied Artisis film was BLACK GOLD which also wonderfully humane and kind shows what a focus on viable films they embarked upon. IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE is a very funny and witty and ultimately wise family comedy about how a group of genuinely homeless people (in every sense of the word) re discover their home and family. As a Christmas movie it is terrific...and there are some hilarious sequences, notably an old tailor who delivers an uproarious monologue about moths and a waiter in a restaurant trying to set a table from wobbling (while Ted FioRito plays the violin). With a perfect cast for each role and the $1.4m budget resulting spectacularly well decorated and very elaborate sets, this Monogram-Allied Artists film must have been a box office bonanza. Other films they made in this period that reflected their new image are THE GANGSTER and SUSPENSE both equally compelling, well made and worth a DVD release soon.... what a find IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE is and presented in a spotless gleaming DVD. I really applaud WB for releasing this charming humane and delicious film. Nominated for an Oscar for script, it should have also been nominated for Victor Moore's wry turn as the hilarious hobo who secretly babysits mansions while their owners go to another house for their holiday. Gale Storm is gorgeous and her clothes - as are all the qualities of this well made film - peppered with Blake Edwards' added sight gags - are A grade.
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