Aloysius McKeever, played by Victor Moore), is a wanderer who lives in Fifth Avenue’s mansion. Each year its wealthy owner Michael O’Connor boards it up.
He invites Jim Bullock (Don DeFore), a former G.I. who’s been evicted from a building owned by O’Connor, and O’Connor’s 18-year-old daughter, Trudy “Smith,” to stay in the home while they search for a new place to live.
It happened on 5th Avenue in 1947
It Happened on 5th Avenue is a screwball comedy that’s ideal for the holiday season.
It may not be as iconic as It’s a Wonderful Life, but it achieves the same goal of tapping into the charitable attitude of the time while also addressing the hardships and unfairness of American society.
It’s a story of an itinerant hobo (Victor Moore) who sneaks into a vacant Fifth Avenue mansion owned by industrialist Michael O’Connor every winter to live while O’Connor travels on vacation.
This year, he takes in World War II veteran Jim Bullock (Don DeFore), who’s been forced to leave his apartment by O’Connor’s company plans for a new skyscraper.
It Happened on Fifth Avenue was the first film produced by Monogram Pictures’ newly established Allied Artists division, which was created to break away from Monogram’s reputation for low budget films.
The film, directed by Roy Del Ruth was a huge success and won an Academy Award nomination as Best Story.
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
During his long and prolific career, Roy Del Ruth directed many popular films. He was also a newspaper cartoonist and a columnist.
Although most of his films have been forgotten, the early silent films he made are still very good. His first film, Blonde Crazy, starred James Cagney and Joan Blondell.
Another of his later films, Thanks a Million (1935), maintained the transformation theme (Dick Powell goes from crooner to politician), and was unusually candid about the corruptions of 1930’s politics.
It Happened on 5th Avenue is a witty Christmas-themed comedy that combines the humour of musicals with the romance of a classic tale. The cast includes Ann Harding and Victor Moore.
Victor Moore, Starring
Aloysius McKeever, a hobo (Victor Moore), smuggles guests to a mansion in New York’s Fifth Avenue every winter while his owners are gone.
This Christmas, he gets a surprise visitor: Mary O’Connor (Ann Harding), who discovers her father (Charles Ruggles) living in the house as a hobo.
It Happened at 5th Avenue is an unhurried, sweet movie about family that stresses the importance of family above all else.
It is a holiday classic that features a stellar cast who deliver their message with a style unmatched.
Herbert Clyde Lewis and Frederick Stephani
The best thing about this tame, but still amusing, flick is the fun it has with its two leads.
Charles Ruggles and Victor Moore are a hoot as a pair of elderly gentlemen who reverse the roles of their rich and poor selves. There are also several minor touches that make this a winner.
The movie It Happened at 5th Avenue is inspired by a Herbert Clyde Lewis story and Frederick Stephani.
The wacky, wry story about an older rich guy who goes south for the winter has a few laughs and some serious pranks thrown in.
This film was produced for Liberty Films, which Frank Capra founded. It also made the aforementioned most notable movie list, albeit not for long.
Released on Monogram
Monogram Pictures had been known for producing low-budget movies but they wanted to upgrade their image and break from their Poverty Row reputation by establishing Allied Artists, a division devoted to developing only the highest quality movies.
It Happened On Fifth Avenue was their first movie under the new division and quickly became a moderate success.
It Happened On Fifth Avenue is a charming, humane Christmas movie that harkens back in time to when optimism was at its peak after WWII.
Frank Capra had optioned Del Ruth’s script. It is a heartwarming and enjoyable tale that fits perfectly at this time of the year. It was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to Miracle on 34th Street.