7.6/10
3,978
73 user 16 critic

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

Passed | | Comedy, Music, Romance | 19 April 1947 (USA)
Two homeless men move into a mansion while its owners are wintering in the South.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Everett Freeman (screen play), Vick Knight (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Don DeFore ... Jim Bullock
Ann Harding ... Mary O'Connor
Charles Ruggles ... Michael J. O'Connor (as Charlie Ruggles)
Victor Moore ... Aloysius T. McKeever
Gale Storm ... Trudy O'Connor
Grant Mitchell ... Farrow
Edward Brophy ... Cecil Felton
Alan Hale Jr. ... Whitey Temple
Dorothea Kent ... Margie Temple
Edward Ryan Edward Ryan ... Hank (as Edward Ryan Jr.)
Cathy Carter Cathy Carter ... Alice
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Storyline

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 L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

IT'S THE HAPPIER THAN HEAVEN HIT! (print ad - Lubbock Evening Journal - Lindsey Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - June 27, 1947 - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The men are getting paid $1.00 an hour for shoveling snow. One dollar in 1947 is worth $11.50 in 2020. The minimum wage in New York City in 2020 is $15.00 (though NYS will not reach $15.00/hour until December 31, 2020). (Although the character doesn't state whether that is $1 each or for both men together.) See more »

Goofs

Once the two families and the dog moved into the house, the nightly guards weren't mentioned again until they showed up again on Christmas eve, toward the end of the film. See more »

Quotes

Aloysius T. McKeever: Oh, Mike. I'm sorry to interrupt your negotiations. I know you have millions and millions of dollars hanging in the balance. But, Mike, you didn't make your bed this morning.
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Connections

Remade as Det hændte i København (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Lucia
(uncredited)
Traditional Neapolitan song
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User Reviews

 
Sweet and enjoyable...
20 October 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In some ways, IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE is like a reworking of the marvelous 1941 film, THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES. Both films consist of an old rich crank (in THE DEVIL it was Charles Coburn, here it is Charlie Ruggles) assuming the identity of a poor man--and finding friendships and love among the working poor. However, the set up for this film is truly bizarre and clever. It seems that hobo Victor Moore has made a career out of breaking into mansions while the owners are away and living like a king. But, in an odd twist, his solo act starts to include others--others who are homeless due to the housing shortage following WWII. Soon, there are eight living in the mansion of the second richest man in the world (Ruggles) and soon Ruggles himself pretends to be in need of a home--at the insistence of his lovely young daughter (who has fallen for one of the squatters, Don Defore). There's a heck of a lot more to the film's plot than this but I don't want to spoil the film by discussing the plot further.

If you think too much, the movie really is quite silly and hard to believe. However, it works very well--mostly because of the marvelous direction. While the film could have been played for wacky laughs (and there are many opportunities for this), the director instead chose to emphasize the humanity of the characters as well as a fundamental sweetness to them. In many cases, the laughs take a back seat to allowing this goodness to slowly come out through the course of the film. In doing this, it avoided overt laughs but instead is a very sentimental and nice film--but never cloying. Of course, the acting sure helped as well. Victor Moore was a joy to behold and this is one of his best roles (for his best, I suggest you see MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW). Likewise, Ruggles is excellent as the rather befuddled but ultimately likable mega-millionaire. As for the rest of the cast, they were very good as well and it was nice to see Ann Harding (who had virtually retired from films since being a star in the 1930s), Don Defore ('Mr. B' from "Hazel") and Alan Hale, Jr. (in a non-goofy role that is light-years from "Gilligan's Island").


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Details

Official Sites:

HBOMAX | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

19 April 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It Happened on Fifth Avenue See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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