Wabash Avenue

Wabash Avenue

Director: Henry Koster

Cast: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Phil Harris

     
 

Betty Grable's Wabash Avenue is an agreeable remake of Grable's 1943 hit Coney Island. The locale is changed from New York to Chicago, but the plot remains basically the same. Once again, the star is cast as a honky-tonk singer, Ruby Summers, who is groomed for classier show-business endeavors by a handsome producer -- in this case, Andy Clark (VictorSee more details below

Overview

Betty Grable's Wabash Avenue is an agreeable remake of Grable's 1943 hit Coney Island. The locale is changed from New York to Chicago, but the plot remains basically the same. Once again, the star is cast as a honky-tonk singer, Ruby Summers, who is groomed for classier show-business endeavors by a handsome producer -- in this case, Andy Clark (Victor Mature). Saloon owner Uncle Mike (Phil Harris) doesn't want to lose Ruby (Grable) for both professional and personal reasons, but Clark is more persuasive, and, frankly, better-looking. Once she reaches the top in a Hammerstein show, Ruby's head is turned by Clark's suave, sophisticated partner English Eddie (Reginald Gardiner). Margaret Hamilton has a wonderful cameo as a Carrie Nation-style saloon basher, while old-time vaudevillian James Barton steals the show with his rendition of such standards as "Harrigan" and "Green River."

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
In 1950, a studio could still get away with a musical as slight as Wabash Avenue, a film that packs in some two dozen musical numbers into its 92 minute running time. Clearly, the emphasis here is on the song-and-dance routines rather than on the story, and these are certainly diverting. Choreographer Billy Daniels turns in some notably strong work; there's nothing innovative about what he achieves here, but it's distinctive and effective and certainly showcases the performers quite well. Of those performers, Grable is her usual appealing and charming self, selling the title song and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" (among others) for all they're worth. Phil Harris brings out his reliable Harris schtick to good effect, and James Barton is a delight with his accurate recreations of several period chestnuts. Director Henry Koster keeps things moving, allowing only as much time to focus on the thin plot as is necessary, and the color sets and costumes provide distraction from the sometimes-painful dialogue. Not one of Grable's greatest films, Wabash is still amiable if unambitious.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/26/2013
UPC:
0024543874362
Original Release:
1950
Source:
Fox Mod
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
29,590

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Betty Grable Ruby Summers
Victor Mature Andy Clark
Phil Harris Uncle Mike
James Barton Hogan
Reginald Gardiner English Eddie
Margaret Hamilton Tillie Hutch
Barry Kelley Bouncer
Jacqueline Dalya Cleo
Robin Raymond Jennie
Hal K. Dawson Healy
Dorothy Neumann Reformer
Alex Pope Charlie Saxe
Henry Kulky Joe Barton
Marie Bryant Elsa
Collette Lyons Beulah
Charles Arnt Horace Carter
Dick Crockett Bartender
Walter Long Dancer
Marion Marshall Chorus girl
John Miller Drunk
Percy Helton Ship's Captain
Claire Carleton Tessie
Harold Cornsweet Bartender
Billy Daniel Dancer
Peggy Leon Hairdresser
William "Bill" Phillips Attendant
Dick Wessel Electrician
Irving Bacon Harlan
George Andre Beranger Wax Museum attendant
Douglas Carter Ferris wheel operator
David Clarke Workman
Paul Newlan Bouncer
Mickey Simpson Policeman
Michael Ross Policeman

Technical Credits
Henry Koster Director
Arthur E. Arling Cinematographer
Billy Daniel Choreography
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Josef Myrow Score Composer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
William Perlberg Producer
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Harry Tugend Screenwriter
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Joseph C. Wright Art Director

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