Fifth Avenue Girl (1939)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Romance

Fifth Avenue Girl (1939) Poster

Feeling unwanted by his wife and children, a wealthy industrialist hires an unemployed young woman to pose as his mistress.


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13 August 2006 | blanche-2
| Depression comedy/drama
Ginger Rogers is out of work and Walter Connolly has just the job for her in "5th Ave Girl," also starring Verree Teasdale and Tim Holt. Connolly is a pump manufacturer (not shoes, the other kind) who is filthy rich and, though he lives with his family, is estranged from them. His two brat kids pay no attention to him, and his wife is always making the gossip columns for running around - with someone and without her husband. So he hires Ginger to shake things up and make them think he's got a life without them, too. It's a cavernous, ugly house of the kind seen in "Holiday" and so many '30s films, and it's filled with malcontents. The daughter is in love with the chauffeur who spouts Communist propaganda and hates the rich, the wife panics when she sees Ginger, and the son, against his will, has to take over the family company because his father is so distracted with his new young girlfriend.

Rogers plays this role in an offhanded manner, with sardonic line delivery. It works fairly well but it's a little too one-note. However, you definitely catch the character's underlying fear and vulnerability. She takes life as it comes - but when it's not what she expected, she's unnerved. Walter Connolly is excellent - I especially loved him practicing the rumba in the doorway. Verree Teasdale does a good job as the wife - attractive, imperious, and vain. Unfortunately, while Tim Holt is good as the son, he and Rogers have no chemistry, so their connection seems to come out of left field.

This is an enjoyable film but somehow it lacks spark. A little variation in Rogers' performance might have helped, and more development of the relationship between Holt and Rogers.

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$607,000 (estimated)

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