‘It Happened on 5th Avenue’: A Zany Little Comedy. A review of the 1947 romantic-comedy film with Gale Storm and Don DeFore. All review text © Rissi JC

‘It Happened on 5th Avenue’: A Zany Little Comedy

December 29, 2020 4 Comments

A 1947 film with plenty of zaniness and “instant” romance, It Happened on 5th Avenue is one of those films I’d never seen prior to this year. Here’s how everything (from story to thoughts) shake out.

It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) Film Review

Each year, on November 3th, Aloysius T. McKeever (Victor Moore) arrives in New York where he takes shelter at the seasonally empty mansion of a wealthy industrialist. During his annual stay, Aloysius meets with the now homeless Jim Bullock (Don DeFore), a man made so by the very businessman whose home McKeever now resides in. Together, the pair lives in the home where Jim assumes his new friend is a houseguest. Soon they encounter a thief in the house. Trudy (Gale Storm) is a girl running away from her boarding school and her life, but what the house don’t know is that Trudy is the only one with a right to the house.

Through a series of events, their home triples in people, and through the ultimate surprise, the owner of the house, Michael O’Connor (Charlie Ruggles) also ends up as a resident.

Like I’ve said before, I’m not a classic movie-watcher. That said, I had an inkling to watch some classic Christmas-y films, and so I did. This is one I hadn’t yet seen, and its premise 100% reminds me of the Steward film You Can’t Take it With You. It’s like a silly little family that forms into an unexpected family over the Christmas season.

TV FILM REVIEW | ‘Cross Country Christmas’: One Adventure After the Next!
‘It Happened on 5th Avenue’: A Zany Little Comedy. A review of the 1947 romantic-comedy film with Gale Storm and Don DeFore. All review text © Rissi JC

How everything comes together requires some suspension of belief, but again, this one is just fun, and that’s all that matters. The characters are fun, and the business subplot adds a little something to the comedy of the whole ordeal. Like usual, the I’m-in-love element is more of an instantaneous event (and there’s the usual “just leave!” dramatics) which never plays well to me, but this one is also dang entertaining and so, one has to give it some leeway. There’s a stunning Christmas tree and a way about the film that makes one smile. Plus, you have to admire Jim for what he’d like to do to better the lives of his servicemen.

If you’ve enjoyed other films like Christmas in Connecticut or Holiday Affair (which I also saw this year), then this is another charming way to spend an evening.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) digitally on Amazon Video.

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‘It Happened on 5th Avenue’: A Zany Little Comedy. A review of the 1947 romantic-comedy film with Gale Storm and Don DeFore. All review text © Rissi JC
‘It Happened on 5th Avenue’: A Zany Little Comedy. A review of the 1947 comedy. #Christmas #NewYear #Movies Click To Tweet

Content: nothing to note save for some minor innuendo

Photos: Warner / Roy Del Ruth Productions

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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4 Comments

  • Brittaney B December 29, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    I’m so glad you are discovering some of these great Christmas classics! This is a more recent favorite of mine, because it is so much fun but also has a lovely message.

    • Rissi JC December 29, 2020 at 11:02 pm

      I did quite enjoy this one; it reminds me of the Jimmy Stewart film (not the story, but rather the “feel” of it) about the crazy family he plans to marry into. What other Christmas classics (apart from the popular ones) do you like? :)

  • Brittaney B December 31, 2020 at 10:14 am

    You’ve seen some of the best ones, but I also really enjoy Never Say Goodbye with Errol Flynn, Remember the Night with Barbara Stanwyck (who also stars in Christmas in Connecticut). I also just discovered We’re No Angels, which is more of a dark Christmas comedy, but I really enjoyed it. Finally, I’m not generally a big fan of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy’s films together, but I re-watched Desk Set recently and found it a lot more fun than I remember. It’s got a great mid-century look to it with beautiful color.

    • Rissi JC January 11, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      All good titles to note! I have seen “Remember the Night” and was surprised by how bittersweet the end is. I haven’t seen the others though “Desk Set” sounds as though it could be fun. :)

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