New York Town Film Details
Overview: Victor Ballard is a poor but happy-go-lucky New York sidewalk photographer who shares a studio apartment with a painter from Poland, Stefan Janowski. When Victor shoots a photo of Alexandra Curtis, he realizes she is desperate and in
Review: 25 years before coming together on Broadway for the hit two person musical “I Do! I Do!”, Mary Martin and Robert Preston were teamed for this depressing bit of reality that had Preston Sturges uncredited for part of the script. Perhaps it is best that this isn’t among his mainline credits, because it is a deservedly overlooked and forgotten drama (that is billed as a comedy!) that only gives the musical legend Martin one chance to sing. The leading man is actually Fred MacMurray, a down on his luck street photographer in New York who snaps pictures of passerby’s on Fifth Avenue and expects to be paid for them. Along the way, he meets the struggling Martin who is staying with the hard drinking Akim Tamiroff and trying to find work, applying for a job with the wealthy Preston (billed third over the credits, but not appearing until 45 minutes into the film) and ending up in a romance with him while MacMurray fumes over potentially losing the girl he loves. There have been screwball comedies about friendships between men and women of the working class growing while the girl finds romance in high society, not realizing that the man she really should love has been her best buddy all along. That plot line was best utilized in the Carole Lombard/Fred MacMurray screwball comedy “Hands Across the Table”, so it is ironic to see MacMurray in the same situation only a few years later, yet in a version that is a pale imitation of what he had already done. Some of the attempts at comedy will make you ask, “Huh?”, particularly a rivalry between Preston’s butler (Eric Blore) and Preston’s dachshund (leading to a rather eye rolling attempt at a gag in the finale). The one song, sung by Martin with the participation of MacMurray and Tamiroff, is one of the few high points, but it is an innocuous song that just seems thrown in for no real reason other than to give Mary a chance to sing. The opening sequence shows Manhattan at its most depressing, with a girl brought to the hospital after attempting suicide, leaving a note that she was lonely, which gives the nurse the opportunity to snark, “8 million people in this town, and she’s lonely”. It is out of place completely, although the continued presence of a legless man rolling himself down the street on a wheeled board does add some continuity to that bit of opening depression. The available print is much shorter than the release print, so some actors I was looking for in bit parts (Charles Lane for one) seem to have been edited out on the TV studio cutting room floor. I’d been looking for this film ever since I read Mary Martin’s autobiography back in high school, and I can see why she dismissed it as one forgettable film. The attempts to turn the magnetic Mary into another Claudette Colbert fail miserably so I can see why she eventually decided that Broadway was where it was at. In Hollywood, she certainly was no Venus, and that definitely was not her fault.
Country: United States
Duration: 94 min
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Also known as: New York City,New York Town,New York es así,Nova York é Assim