The Girl from Avenue A


1h 11m 1940

Film Details

Also Known As
The Brat
Release Date
Aug 9, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Brat by Maude Fulton (Los Angeles, 20 Apr 1916).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,581ft

Synopsis

In New York City in 1900, Jane, a homeless waif, eats at Galupi's Spaghetti House. When her tablemate is handed his bill, he discovers that he has been charged for Jane's dinner and refuses to pay. Jane, unable to pay herself, offers to wash dishes, but when this does not work, she offers to perform an old vaudeville routine. When she tumbles into a table, Galupi decides to call the police. In the following melee, Jane sneaks out, but before Galupi can go after her, MacMillan Forrester, an upper crust writer, pays her bill. After finding her, MacMillan takes Jane to his family's Central Park estate. Jane, not completely trusting MacMillan's intentions, has the cab driver wait for her. Jane tells MacMillan her life story, how she performed in a vaudeville act with her parents before they died, then as a solo artist until she got sick and was hospitalized for a number of months. MacMillan asks Jane to stay at his home and become the subject of his next play. Jane agrees, much to the chagrin of Mrs. Forrester, MacMillan's mother, and Lucy Maddox, a society debutante seeking MacMillan's favors. Jane immediately takes a liking to Timson, the family butler, and Bishop Phelps, MacMillan's uncle. Steve, MacMillan's heartbroken younger brother, becomes Jane's confidant. Steve tells Jane he dreams of running his father's old ranch in Wyoming, but complains that his mother won't let him have it until he turns twenty-one. As MacMillan and Jane work many weeks on his play, Jane comes to miss show business. MacMillan tells her his mother and her society friends are planning a show at the Waldorf to raise money for the slums. While Mrs. Forrester, Lucy, and her mother don't want Jane in the show, Mrs. Van Dyne, the richest woman in town, takes an immediate liking to Jane and refuses to sponsor the show unless Jane plays the lead. Jane convinces Steve to go out West and work on someone else's ranch until he can have his own. At a rehearsal at the Waldorf, Jane recognizes the doorman, Clarence, as an old friend. Chastised by Mrs. Van Dyne for being too familiar with a servant, Jane tells how Clarence used to sneak her food when she had no place to sleep. Mrs. Van Dyne understands and tell her niece, Angela, to tip Clarence next time. Back at the Forresters', MacMillan has finished his play. Jane reads it and becomes upset at MacMillan's portrayal of her, feeling that he has just used her. She complains to Steve and Timson, then runs away to Mrs. Van Dyne. Mrs. Van Dyne reveals to Jane that she, too, comes from a poor background, but her marriage put her into society with so much money that the Forresters and Maddoxes had to accept her. She admonishes Jane to show some backbone. Jane decides to do the show, but Lucy, upset that Jane has her part in the show, has other plans. Arriving at the Waldorf, Jane is kidnapped by Lucy's servants. Jane escapes and races to the Waldorf, arriving during the show's climax. Jane runs on stage and gets into a wrestling match with Lucy, which ends with the two tumbling down a fight of stairs. After the show, Jane tells the Forresters off. Shamed, MacMillan admits his snobbery, while Mrs. Forrester agrees to let Steve have the family ranch, and Mrs. Van Dyne asks Jane to come live with her. As Jane heads to her new home, she asks her new guardian how far Wyoming is. Mrs. Van Dyne replies, "Off hand, four or five years."

Film Details

Also Known As
The Brat
Release Date
Aug 9, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Brat by Maude Fulton (Los Angeles, 20 Apr 1916).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,581ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The print viewed for this film was missing the opening credits. The above credits were taken from the Call Bureau and contemporary reviews. The working title for this film was The Brat. The play had a New York opening on March 5, 1917. The Twentieth Century-Fox Legal Records at the UCLA Theater Arts Library state that Alma Kruger was originally cast in the role of "Mrs. Maddox," though she was later replaced by Ann Shoemaker. According to a Twentieth Century-Fox press release, comedian Joan Davis coached Jane Withers and Katharine Aldridge for the stunt of falling down a staircase of forty-six steps, which they accomplished in one take. Press releases also note that this film set a studio shooting record. Ten pages of script were filmed in one five-minute take, the equivalent of one-and-a-half days work. The scene in question involved Withers, Harry Shannon and Vaughan Glaser. According to information found in the Twentieth Century-Fox Legal Records at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, a suit was filed against Twentieth Century-Fox by Helen Mitchell Lawson over the film rights to this material. Ms. Lawson argued that her ex-husband, producer Oliver Morosco, sold her the rights to The Brat in December 1931. The suit was settled in 1942, with Twentieth Century-Fox agreeing to pay Ms. Lawson $3,500. This story was previously filmed as The Brat by Fox Film Corp. .