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It Happened On Fifth Avenue was easily the most ambitious movie made by the then-newly-organized Allied Artists for at least a decade after its release -- actually, as a "Roy Del Ruth Production," it was made through rather than by Allied Artists, which may explain why it stands so far apart from the Bowery Boys movies and other productions normally associated with Allied during this period. And amazingly, it works, mostly thanks to a genial cast and a reasonably light touch by director/producer Roy Del Ruth, and in spite of a script that needed at least one more editorial pass. Victor Moore is the star and dominant personality -- if there is one in what is, basically, an ensemble cast -- as Aloyisius T. McKeever, a genial hobo whose annual routine for finding winter quarters is to wait for multi-millionaire Michael O'Connor (Charlie Ruggles) to lock up his Fifth Avenue mansion and head to Virginia, and move in during the man's absence. He chances to meet Jim Bullock, a homeless WWII veteran (displaced, ironically, by one of O'Connor's development projects), and gives him shelter in the mansion. They become a trio when O'Connor's free-spirited daughter Trudy (Gale Storm) shows up, fleeing her finishing school, and the two men -- thinking she's an impoverished runaway from an abusive father -- take her in. She goes along with the masquerade and gradually falls in love with Jim, who also chances to meet two former army buddies (Alan Hale, Jr., Edward Ryan) who -- you guessed it -- are also desperately trying to find homes, in their cases for their wives and growing families. Now there are nine people living in the shelter of O'Connor's Fifth Avenue mansion, and in between setting up housekeeping, Jim and his two buddies manage to come up with an idea about how to build homes for veterans and their families.

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WA9828 It Happened on 5th Avenue DVD (1947/Charlie Ruggles) $9.99