This MGM short film, part of the John Nesbitt's Passing Parade series, looks at the Bowery district in New York City. The Bowery is full of bars, cheap restaurants and pawn shops. It's mid-1941 and the film follows a man who has just arrived in the area. Like many others in the Bowery he's unemployed and has no place to stay. The man takes refuge in a church and finds that he can get a hot meal, clean clothes and a bed for the night. They also help him find work letting go back "uptown".Written by
The Third Avenue El, which is seen prominently in this short, made its film debut in this short, but was also included in many subsequent films, especially Film Noirs like "The Lost Weekend," "The Dark Corner," "The Naked City,""The Window," and "Side Street." See more »
"This Is The Bowery" is one in "The Passing Parade" series of MGM one-reel shorts, narrated by John Nesbitt, mainly dealing with the changing American scene. There were at least 68 released between 1938 and 1949. "This Is The Bowery" follows one homeless man as he drifts from handout to handout in New York City's Bowery District until he is finally salvaged by the Bowery Mission operated by Charles St. John, who appears as himself. What starts as a depressing depiction of humanity at its barest, ends with an inspirational uplift as we see a broken human being fixed both physically and emotionally, heading uptown to a renewed life of hope.
This is a typical entry in the series and if somewhat dated in method and script, is still entertaining and worthwhile. Plus the cinematography by William Miller of the Bowery in crisp black and white is eye catching.
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