Friday, December 12, 2008


Holiday Movie Category: Another Occurrence on a New York Geographical Location


An ingenious moocher, Mr. B the Bum, Gale Storm the Windy Cyclone, a stuffed shirt billionaire turned Bullwinkle narrator, pissed-off G.I.s, a svelte Skipper, and a forgotten time when homelessness was hilarious.

More details here.


Aloysius T. McKeever (Victor Moore) is a lovable tubby homeless guy who breaks into the New York mansion of industrialist Michael O'Connor (Charles Ruggles) every winter while the billionaire is away. This year, he’s got fellow evicted bum Jim (Don DeFore, actor and Disneyland BBQ pioneer) who brings long his fellow displaced G.I. buddies Whitey (Alan Hale Jr.) and Hank (Edward Ryan) and their families to hole up in the house for the winter. O’Connor’s runaway daughter Trudy (Gale Storm) shows up, falls for Jim, and poses as a homeless gal to be near him and pursue her singing career. Eventually, O’Connor runs into Trudy on the street and she fills him in on the shenanigans. In order to appease his estranged daughter and talk her into returning to school, he poses as a homeless man and acquaints himself to the squatters who’ve ransacked his home. Sure, OK. O’Connor doesn’t approve of Jim so he tries to break up the romance. McKeever treats O’Connor like shit and makes him sweep up and wash dishes. O’Connor’s ex-wife (Ann Harding) appears to join in the fun and may reconsider reconciliation. And then Jim and his buddies bid for some land to start their own business while unbeknownst to them O’Connor is trying to obtain the same real estate for a mega-seaport. And so wackiness ensues in the loser-packed mansion seeped in lies and deceit as the clock ticks towards X-mas.


It Happened on 5th Avenue is another well-meaning but tepid comedy, with simple gags and mistaken identity supplying the chuckles. Since there’s only about ten minutes of X-mas in the movie, I’m skeptical of its classification as a X-mas movie, let alone its inclusion in the recent box set release Warner Brothers Holiday Classic Collection. Also, it’s never made clear what the “it” is from the movie’s title. I mean, a lot of “its” happen, from the falsehoods to the insider trading to the deception to the first degree breaking and entering. Whatever “it” is, it sure takes a goddamn long time to get there. Clocking in at close to two hours, the movie drags tediously with lukewarm jokes, swooning songs, and predictable story turns that make me think “it” is boredom.

No comments: