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TENTH AVENUE ANGEL


Bronxgirl48
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Despite the evocative lower Manhattan sets, the genuinely warm and believable performance of Phyllis Thaxter as the mother, Rhys Williams as a blind newspaper vendor and (occasionally) Margaret O'Brien (when she's ruling the roost of her neighborhood in a precociously cynical way; not when she's required to do The Crying and saying lines like "How do cows know it's Christmas?") the movie doesn't work for me at all. This is one of those "we-don't-know-what-to-do-with-her" parts for the supremely talented Angela Lansbury, here completely wasted as O'Brien's young aunt, in love with the equally miscast George Murphy (he does his best, though).

 

Margaret gives a patriotic speech at a Fourth of July block party which it's safe to surmise (since the film was made in 1946, only one year after FDR died) is a double tribute to him and his principles (they even show his picture); convenient dovetailing as the story takes place in Depression era 1936.

 

Apparently mice are so common in their household that the one O'Brien sees doesn't phase the family one bit; nobody bats an eyelash.

 

Also, when pregnant women fall down stairs, they are not taken to the hospital.

 

Bovine miracles will astound you.

 

I was underwhelmed throughout.

 

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I couldn't finish it, it really wasn't to my liking. I love Rhys Williams though, he and Angela almost made the whole thing worthwhile. But he is ever, ever so much better served in How Green Was My Valley in much the same type of character (albeit more pugilistic). I know, NOT a fair comparison, lol!

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And Mildred Natwick will be matron of honor---oops! I mean bridesmaid---she and Vic MacLaglen still haven't tied the knot themselves. ;)

 

This wedding could almost rival yours Bronxie---by the way, how are things progressing for your catered affair? How's Duane holding up?

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I'm too much of a sucker for Margaret O'Brien to not find something fun in these films. I think she played the same character in all of them, right? A bit too learned for her age, a bit too naive for her street.

 

As for Lansbury, I kept thinking, "She'd look really cute ina Queen Of Hearts costume, wouldn't she?"

 

I don't know why George Murphy didn't do better in this role while John Payne and James Craig were so effective in theirs. Craig's cynical, sharp-edged character is just about perfect for him in LOST ANGEL, and Payne's MIRACLE ON 34TH attorney was perfectly sappy and upright

 

TENTH AVE ANGEL won't beat those two, but here's another one I'd never seen and I'd watch it again.

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Bronxgirl48 wrote:

 

> Margaret gives a patriotic speech at a Fourth of July block party

 

I didn't see the movie. Is this more or less of a creep-out than O'Brien's recitation of the Gettysburg Address in You, John Jones!?

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Nothing really quiet in that film, lol.

 

Thanks for asking after Duane and me, Miss G. The wedding is still set for June, but I'm determined to have it in either Westminster Abbey or a Scottish castle. The menu I'm thinking could be smoked salmon, caviar, beef Wellington, lots of champagne and Guinness.

 

I'm also toying with the idea of a California ranch, with the bridesmaids all dressed like cowgirls.

I'd make my entrance on a Trigger look-a-like. Tex-Mex appetizers and lots of tequila and margaritas. The entree will be chicken mole enchiladas.

 

Or we could rent a hall in the Bronx or Brooklyn and I'll have chopped liver, blinzes, deli sandwiches, Cel-Ray soda, black and white cookies, and Papaya King frankfurters with mustard and sauerkraut (that's a New Yawk dog) All the bridesmaids will wear penny loafers.

 

My Duanie is doing well and is going to the gym frequently. He says he wants to be ready for the honeymoon.

 

 

 

 

.

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I haven't seen a lot of O'Brien films -- loved her in MMISL of course. Haven't seen LOST ANGEL.

 

TENTH AVENUE ANGEL might remind you somewhat of A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLN -- the apartment seemed similiar, the mother becomes pregnant, there's a family member who has to overcome a stigma, economically challenged household, coming-of-age of the daughter. But without emotional resonance, to say the least.

 

Buffalo, would you like to play some solitaire?

 

I like Payne in MIRACLE -- he seemed to be playing it tongue in cheek, actually. I think the script sunk Murphy here -- whatever edge the character might have had is completely lost. Must be all the problems the film had as RO said. A waste of a good cast.

 

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I'd love to see Margaret O'Brien give the Gettysburg Address! Haven't seen YOU, JOHN JONES! but it sure sounds like fun.

 

Her block party speech isn't exactly cringe-inducing, although it's completely unexpected -- all of a sudden she's giving out with postwar "next generation" fervor of a decidedly political nature. I'm fascinated by the idolization of FDR in Hollywood.

 

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Robert Osborne mentioned that this film was made in 1946, but because of re-editing, re-writing, re-casting, it wasn't released until 1948. One has to wonder what kind of a mess it was to merrit all the re-working...and why they bothered. The final result is a cloying, sentimental, completely unbeleivable concoction, without the slightest bit of fuzzy warmth they were obviously trying to achieve. Phyllis Thaxter and Rhys Williams are the only tow who come away unscathed.( both underappreciated performers).

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Atta boy, Duanie. I'm sure he'll be ship-shape for the honeymoon. ;) I like the California Ranch idea! It sounds the most fun. Of course I'll rope in Gary Cooper for my date. Don't send out a search party if you notice we've disappeared into the sunset. I wouldn't want Lupe Velez to get on our trail, we're trying to keep her busy making tamales. Hot ones, of course.

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Cynics, cynics, I'm surrounded by cynics ... Was the movie realistic? Of course not! But neither are 99.9% of the movies ever produced in Hollywood. Overly sweet and sentimental? You bet! I like 'em that way. And I could listen to Margaret O'Brien tearfully recite the North American Free Trade Agreement. Really. Thanks, TCM!

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I have to say i do like this movie, and most everything that Margaret ever did..she was just a great little actress, and was so fun to watch, as well as smart as anything.her movies make you feel good , and we all need that in today, just as they did in the 1940's..when at least then the kids were mostly sweet and not talking about sex at age 10! FG

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Except....JIMMY DURANTE???????? (I just read that)

 

I can't even imagine.....

 

(and I wanted to strangle him in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER)

 

Oh! Are you kidding? Hee! I absolutely adore Jimmy D!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's one of my all time favorite people who just about ever lived. He had more joie de vivre than any 100 people in Hollywood. And he absolutely makes The Man Who Came to Dinner for me, I can't imagine it without Banjo and his antics, not to mention how he and Bev loved to play tricks on the langorous Lorraine...

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Durante's character in MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER is my favorite. I suspect he was based on one, or all, of the Marx brothers. His name is Banjo. He's wacky. Gambles. Playwright, George S. Kaufman was a Marx crony. I'm thinking the sophisticated theatre guy is Noel Coward. And, of course, the main character is Alexander Woolcot.

 

The movie leaves much to be desired. Like you, I can take or leave Jimmy. But it's Kaufman and Hart's fastest, funniest play. A theatrical treasure.

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Ann Sheridan in "The Man Who Came To Dinner" was wonderfully evil. She played like Alexis Smith here...arch...sophisticated... pompous. Now I'm looking at her in "One More Tomorrow" where she's just a regular girl. Then so different in "Torrid Zone" and "They Drive By Night." Ooh, I almost left out "King's Row." Sheridan: she was a fine actress.

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THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER is a great Kaufman and Hart play -- Monty Woolley is incomparable -- and my favorite character. I love Bette here. I'm becoming more and more impressed with Ann Sheridan as a versatile actress; she was terrific.. I enjoy Jimmy in things closer to his home turf, like IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN.

 

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Hi, Forever and patful! I'd like to see more of Margaret's work. And give me sweet and sentimental over cynical any time. I felt the movie had a lot of potential for the former, but the story didn't flow smoothly enough for me to respond in the emotional way I wanted to.

 

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