On the Avenue

Overview

Director Roy Del Ruth and singing star Dick Powell were raided from the Warner Bros. stables for this frothy musical comedy that features a wonderful collection of Irving Berlin songs, including "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and "Slumming on Park Avenue." Powell stars as Broadway impresario Gary Blake, who is busy putting together his latest Broadway musical starring the Ritz Brothers as themselves and musical comedy star Mona Merrick Alice Faye. Mona's role as "The Richest Girl in the World" is a blunt ...
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DVD New in new packaging. 1937 Run time: 89.

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Overview

Director Roy Del Ruth and singing star Dick Powell were raided from the Warner Bros. stables for this frothy musical comedy that features a wonderful collection of Irving Berlin songs, including "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and "Slumming on Park Avenue." Powell stars as Broadway impresario Gary Blake, who is busy putting together his latest Broadway musical starring the Ritz Brothers as themselves and musical comedy star Mona Merrick Alice Faye. Mona's role as "The Richest Girl in the World" is a blunt burlesque of Park Avenue socialite Mimi Caraway Madeleine Carroll, who catches a performance and becomes enraged at the not-so-subtle ribbing. Mimi goes backstage to protest Mona's performance to Gary, who is immediately attracted to Mimi and agrees to tone down the role. Unfortunately, Mona, who was once Gary's girlfriend, has other ideas. When Mimi and her family come to the next performance, they are shocked to discover Mona's character is even more nasty and self-centered than before. In retaliation, Mimi and her family buy out the production and Mimi makes changes that even the moony Gary objects to.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by musical historian Miles Krueger; Alice Faye: A Life on Screen featurette; Deleted scene: "The Plumbers" starring the Ritz Brothers; Restoration comparison; Still gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
One of the more enjoyable backstage musicals of the 1930s, On the Avenue is different from many others in the genre in that it's concerned with a show that has already opened, rather than one that is steaming ahead toward opening night. Avenue also benefits from a script in which the pieces all fall into place naturally; the plot has its holes, but the film has such an amiable feeling that the viewer is willing to overlook them. While the dialogue is not in a class by itself, it has a certain combination of whimsy and winsomeness to it that is quite appealing. Of greater importance, Avenue boasts a first-class Irving Berlin score that includes the infectious "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," the slightly melancholy "This Year's Kisses," and the beguiling "You're Laughing at Me." Avenue is also helped by its solid cast, with Dick Powell providing a smooth sound in the songs and an easy charm in his scenes and Madeleine Carroll creating an imperious rich girl that still manages to win the viewer's heart. Alice Faye is in top-notch form, pouring her creamy tones into her singing and imbuing her character with a combination of vulnerability and sauciness that's quite touching. The Ritz Brothers are given too much screen time for their own good, as is the cringe-inducing Stepin Fetchit, but Cora Witherspoon's breeziness helps to compensate for them. Smoothly directed by Roy Del Ruth, Avenue is a pleasant stroll for musical fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2008
  • UPC: 024543411475
  • Original Release: 1937
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dick Powell Gary Blake
Madeleine Carroll Mimi Caraway
Alice Faye Mona Merrick
The Harry] Ritz Brothers [Al, Jimmy Themselves
George Barbier Commodore Caraway
Alan Mowbray Frederick Sims
Cora Witherspoon Aunt Fritz
Walter Catlett Jake Dibble
Douglas Fowley Eddie Eads
Stepin Fetchit Herman
Joan Davis Miss Katz
Paul Gerrits Joe Cherry
Sig Rumann Herr Hanfstangel
Billy Gilbert Joe Papalopoulos
Douglas Wood Mr. Trivet
Paul Irving Harry Morris
John Sheehan Stage manager
E.E. Clive Binns, the Cabby
Harry Stubbs Kelly
Edward Cooper Potts
Frank Darien
Al Ritz Himself
Harry Ritz Himself
Jimmy Ritz Himself
Lynn Bari Chorus girl
Hank Mann Footman in sketch
Geneva Sawyer Chorus Girl
Technical Credits
Roy Del Ruth Director
Joseph E. Aiken Sound/Sound Designer
Lucien Andriot Cinematographer
Irving Berlin Score Composer, Songwriter
William Conselman Screenwriter
William S. Darling Art Director
Haldane Douglas Art Director
Seymour Felix Choreography
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Mark-Lee Kirk Art Director
Art Lange Musical Direction/Supervision
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Gene Markey Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Allen McNeil Editor
Gwen Wakeling Costumes/Costume Designer
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- On the Avenue
1. Main Titles [1:10]
2. He Ain't Got Rhythm [6:41]
3. A Quiet Evening [5:04]
4. It's An Outrage [2:13]
5. Family Honor [2:00]
6. The Girl on the Police Gazette [5:06]
7. Stepping Out [4:41]
8. Fresh Start [2:15]
9. Nice Shot [:50]
10. Pretty Snappy Guy [:29]
11. You're Laughing At Me [1:23]
12. No Joke [4:42]
13. The Next Best Thing [4:16]
14. This Year's Kisses [2:24]
15. Changing the Sketch [:52]
16. I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm [1:17]
17. Trying to Explain [2:58]
18. Buyout [3:41]
19. Slumming on Park Avenue [2:59]
20. What's Going On? [3:30]
21. Bottoms Up [5:26]
22. Wedding Day [6:12]
23. Coffee and Donuts [1:44]
24. End Titles [4:04]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- On the Avenue
   Play
   Language Selection
      Language and Audio
         English Mono
         English Stereo
         Commentary by Musical Historian Miles Krueger
      Subtitles
         English
         French
         Spanish
         None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary by Musical Historian Miles Kreuger: On/Off
      Alice Faye: A Life on Screen
      Deleted Scene: The Plumbers Starring the Ritz Brothers
      Restoration Comparison
      Still Gallery
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