Just Across the Street


1h 19m 1952

Film Details

Also Known As
The Girl Across the Street
Release Date
Jun 1952
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 15 Jun 1952; New York opening: 27 Jun 1952
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 19m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Henrietta Smith, who is seeking a job without a lecherous boss in order to support her tippler father, Pop, arrives at the home of wealthy Gertrude Medford to interview for the position of social secretary. As she is waiting, Henrietta wanders into the kitchen, where plumber Fred Newcombe mistakes her for Gertrude's daughter and promptly delivers a lecture to her on how money has made her soft and purposeless. Amused and attracted to Fred, Henrietta plays along, assuring him that he is correct and helping him to repair the sink. When the butler, Davis, sees her crouching on the kitchen floor, however, he informs her that the post has been filled . The next day, Henrietta sees a help wanted sign in the plumber's shop across the street from her apartment, and upon applying, is surprised to discover that the shop belongs to Fred. Assuming that she has taken his advice to find a job to test her mettle, Fred hires her, sure that she will see the job as something more than just a paycheck. Henrietta claims that she wants to use the alias "Hank Smith" instead of the Medford name, and that night, Fred insists on driving her "home," which forces her to accept a ride across town to the Medford's house. There, she hides in the Medford yard until Fred drives away, then takes the bus home. Fred also decides to pick her up in the morning, so Henrietta rises at six o'clock to rush across town to be waiting for him. One day, Fred awkwardly asks Henrietta to a formal party, but not having any fancy clothes, she is forced to turn him down, after which a dejected Fred assumes she has a rich boyfriend. That night, after Fred drops Henrietta off, Gertrude watches from her window as she hides in the bushes. When Gertrude's husband Walter comes home, his hat blows off and he climbs into the bushes looking for it, prompting Gertrude to assume that Walter is having an affair with the strange girl in the yard. Later, after Henrietta worries to Pop that although she can no longer keep up the pretense of being a Medford, revealing the truth will hurt Fred's ego, Pop deduces that she is in love with her boss. The next day, the liquor store owner tells Pop he must pay back his fifty-dollar debt, and he goes to the plumbing shop to borrow money from Henrietta. Afraid he will blow her story, she pretends Pop is an annoying customer, but Fred ushers him into his office. There, Pop easily dupes Fred into believing that he is a retired colonel and builder who will help refurbish the shop for a fifty-dollar stipend, and a furious Henrietta cannot contradict him. That night, just as Gertrude spots Henrietta in the bushes again, Fred enters the yard to return some flowers Henrietta left in the car. When Walter then comes home and sees Fred in the yard holding flowers, he assumes that Gertrude is having an affair, and later the couple eat dinner without speaking. The next morning, after Henrietta runs across the Medford lawn to meet Fred, Gertrude calls her lawyer, John Ballinger, to obtain a divorce from Walter. Meanwhile, Walter goes home early to spy on his wife, and after hearing her call the plumber, believes Fred is her lover and so rushes to the shop to confront him. There, Henrietta spots him and begs Fred's assistant plumber, Al, to get rid of him. After Al fails, Fred invites Walter into his office, believing that Walter is angry about Henrietta working for him. Fred defends Henrietta's competency and eventually admits that he loves her, shocking Walter, who, thinking they are discussing Gertrude, soberly informs Fred that she is much older than he believes her to be. Walter convinces Fred that she is merely playing with him out of boredom and offers him $10,000, which a miserable Fred refuses to accept. Fred then mentions her "rich boyfriend," upsetting both of them further, and when Fred overhears Henrietta take a phone call from Pop, he assumes that is the nickname of her lover. Pop has actually called because his gin bottle, which he hides on the laundry line, has hit a neighbor on the head and led to his arrest, and Henrietta rushes to the police station before Fred can question her. Instead, he gets drunk with Walter, and when Henrietta returns to the office, she discovers the $10,000 check and storms out, assuming that Fred has accepted payment to fire her. Hours later, Ballinger calls Fred looking for Walter, and informs him that the Medfords have no children. Pop then runs into the office with a note from Henrietta, who has run off, revealing that he is her real father, prompting a chastened Fred to rush out to find her. Henrietta, meanwhile, goes to the Medfords' with her luggage and stops Walter outside his gate. Gertrude watches in horror from the window as Henrietta questions Walter, after which Pop arrives and shows Henrietta the uncashed check, which causes her to shout in joy and run off. Pop then appeals to Walter for a bank loan to refurbish Fred's shop, while inside Gertrude decides that she loves Walter too much to give him up, and vows to win him back. Hours later, as Gertrude and Walter cuddle together on their couch, Henrietta enters Fred's shop and hears him mooning over her. When she agrees with his assessment of her beauty, he sees her and sweeps her into his arms. After they kiss, Henrietta invites Fred to her apartment, which he is shocked to discover is just across the street.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Girl Across the Street
Release Date
Jun 1952
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 15 Jun 1952; New York opening: 27 Jun 1952
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 19m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

TCM Remembers - Jack Kruschen


Jack Kruschen (1922-2002)

He may have not been a household name, yet his career consisted of over seventy-five films, spanned over six decades, and displayed a strong versatility in playing either dramatic or comic roles with equal effectiveness. He was the definitive, "I can't quite remember the name, but I remember the face" character player who enlivened many films with his robust frame, cherubic face and infectious smile. His name was Jack Kruschen, a superb performer who died on April 2, 2002 at the age of 80, leaving behind a strong body of work that was impressive as any character actor of his generation.

Kruschen was born on March 20, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The son of a watchmaker who later set up shop in Hollywood, he was performing in an operetta at Hollywood high school when a talent scout for CBS radio discovered him. Kruschen was soon doing voice characterizations on popular network programs such as Dragnet, The Danny Thomas Show and Sam Spade. With his gift for dialects (he was most adept at playing ethnic types like Greeks, Yiddish or Italians - a skill finely honed in his radio days), Kruschen was a natural for the movies and soon made his film debut with a small role in the Betty Hutton comedy Red, Hot and Blue (1949).

Kruschen's early career is peppered with a variety of roles like a comical gangster in both Abbott & Costello Go to Mars (1953) and Money from Home (1953) starring Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin; a hard-nosed police detective in Confidence Girl (1952) and Julie (1956), an underrated Doris Day thriller; or doomed victims to alien prey in Sci-fi cult classics: the 1953 version of War of the Worlds (fans remember him as Salvatore, one of the first earthlings to be killed by the invading Martians) and The Angry Red Planet (1959). The roles offered steady work, but not much critical recognition. All that changed when Billy Wilder cast him in the key role as Jack Lemmon's bemused but caring neighbor, Dr. Dreyfuss in The Apartment (1960). As the man who observes the steady stream of women in and out of Lemmon's apartment and the one who saves Shirley MacLaine from a drug overdose, Kruschen offered a wonderful performance - viewing his neighbor's proceedings with a jaundiced eye, yet never letting his disdain overtake his humor and humanity. He was justly rewarded with an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.

From this point on, Kruschen was seldom out of work, appearing in over 40 films (including a terrific dramatic turn in the original Cape Fear (1962) as Dave Grafton, a corrupt southern bigot) and nearly 60 guest roles on television for the next two decades. Kruschen would later find fame toward the end of his career when he was cast as Papa Papadapolis in the hit sitcom Webster (1985-1987) and would show pleasant variations of the "kindly old codger" throughout the remainder of his career - like his final role in the romantic comedy 'Til There Was You (1997). His death in April this year may have gone largely unnoticed by the movie-going public, but for those of us who treasure the art of the character player, Kruschen's passing was a loss that is fortunately compensated by his strong body of work that will be enjoyed for fans of the late show for many years to come.

By Michael T. Toole

SIGNE HASSO, 1910-2002

Actress Signe Hasso died June 7th at the age of 91. She was best-known for starring in A Double Life (1947) but played numerous Europeans in films during the 1940s. Hasso was born on August 15, 1910 in Stockholm, Sweden and began acting on stage at the age of 13. Ten years later made her first film appearance as Signe Larsson. She was married in 1936 and adopted the last name of her husband, cinematographer and later director Harry Hasso. After a dozen Swedish films, Hasso moved to Hollywood in 1940 where her first screen appearance was an uncredited role in Journey for Margaret (1942). A brief stint at RKO didn't lead to any more promising film parts so Hasso concentrated on her stage career in New York City. Eventually, her film career became more active, thanks to a quick succession of roles, most notably in Fred Zinnemann's The Seventh Cross (1944), Douglas Sirk's A Scandal in Paris (1946) and Henry Hathaway's The House on 92nd Street (1945). However it was her portrayal of Ronald Colman's wife in the Oscar-favorite A Double Life that solidified her fame. But as Hasso continued to act on the stage and TV, her film work began to taper off. She appeared in high-profile thrillers like Crisis (1950), several made-for-TV movies, a few European productions and even the cult murder mystery, Bert Gordon's Picture Mommy Dead (1966). In 1972, the king of Sweden decorated Hasso for her work. Her final appearance was in a 2001 documentary about Greta Garbo.

HERMAN COHEN, 1927-2002

One of the key producers of B-movies, Herman Cohen, died June 2nd at the age of 76. Like most producers, his name wasn't generally known outside the industry or the realms of film buffs but most people never forget the titles of his films: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) and the not-quite-immortal Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952). Cohen was a Detroit native, born August 27, 1927. He entered the film business in the smallest possible way, as a 12-year-old janitor, often accepting passes for his family and friends instead of wages. Cohen served in the Marine Corps (several articles incorrectly say the Army) before becoming a publicist at Columbia Pictures. By 1951 he was working as a producer's assistant on low-budget independent films, mostly for Realart Pictures run by another Detroit native Jack Broder. Soon Cohen was producing his own movies, including Westerns and mysteries, until hitting big with the famous I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Starring a then-unknown Michael Landon (under personal contract to Cohen who later tore it up so Landon could appear in Bonanza), the film was made for $100,000 but in just a few months grossed over $2 million. Cohen didn't hestitate to turn out I Was a Teenage Frankenstein and Blood of Dracula by Thanksgiving of that same year and before long had made several films that continued to earn money for years to come. (One TCM writer remembers Horrors of the Black Museum turning up in a small Alabama town in the early 70s, over a decade after its initial release. The film is scheduled for a DVD release with a Cohen commentary from VCI Entertainment.) Cohen also made several films in England including The Headless Ghost (1959) and the cult favorite Konga (1961) where Cohen even paid RKO $25,000 for the rights to use the title King Kong in publicity for his own film. Cohen's later movies included a spaghetti Western and Joan Crawford's final acting role Trog (1970). In the 1980s Cohen ran a company, Cobra Media, that distributed some films and licensed material such as Teenage Werewolf to Landon for use in one of his Highway to Heaven episodes.

By Lang Thompson

Tcm Remembers - Jack Kruschen

TCM Remembers - Jack Kruschen

Jack Kruschen (1922-2002) He may have not been a household name, yet his career consisted of over seventy-five films, spanned over six decades, and displayed a strong versatility in playing either dramatic or comic roles with equal effectiveness. He was the definitive, "I can't quite remember the name, but I remember the face" character player who enlivened many films with his robust frame, cherubic face and infectious smile. His name was Jack Kruschen, a superb performer who died on April 2, 2002 at the age of 80, leaving behind a strong body of work that was impressive as any character actor of his generation. Kruschen was born on March 20, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The son of a watchmaker who later set up shop in Hollywood, he was performing in an operetta at Hollywood high school when a talent scout for CBS radio discovered him. Kruschen was soon doing voice characterizations on popular network programs such as Dragnet, The Danny Thomas Show and Sam Spade. With his gift for dialects (he was most adept at playing ethnic types like Greeks, Yiddish or Italians - a skill finely honed in his radio days), Kruschen was a natural for the movies and soon made his film debut with a small role in the Betty Hutton comedy Red, Hot and Blue (1949). Kruschen's early career is peppered with a variety of roles like a comical gangster in both Abbott & Costello Go to Mars (1953) and Money from Home (1953) starring Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin; a hard-nosed police detective in Confidence Girl (1952) and Julie (1956), an underrated Doris Day thriller; or doomed victims to alien prey in Sci-fi cult classics: the 1953 version of War of the Worlds (fans remember him as Salvatore, one of the first earthlings to be killed by the invading Martians) and The Angry Red Planet (1959). The roles offered steady work, but not much critical recognition. All that changed when Billy Wilder cast him in the key role as Jack Lemmon's bemused but caring neighbor, Dr. Dreyfuss in The Apartment (1960). As the man who observes the steady stream of women in and out of Lemmon's apartment and the one who saves Shirley MacLaine from a drug overdose, Kruschen offered a wonderful performance - viewing his neighbor's proceedings with a jaundiced eye, yet never letting his disdain overtake his humor and humanity. He was justly rewarded with an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. From this point on, Kruschen was seldom out of work, appearing in over 40 films (including a terrific dramatic turn in the original Cape Fear (1962) as Dave Grafton, a corrupt southern bigot) and nearly 60 guest roles on television for the next two decades. Kruschen would later find fame toward the end of his career when he was cast as Papa Papadapolis in the hit sitcom Webster (1985-1987) and would show pleasant variations of the "kindly old codger" throughout the remainder of his career - like his final role in the romantic comedy 'Til There Was You (1997). His death in April this year may have gone largely unnoticed by the movie-going public, but for those of us who treasure the art of the character player, Kruschen's passing was a loss that is fortunately compensated by his strong body of work that will be enjoyed for fans of the late show for many years to come. By Michael T. Toole SIGNE HASSO, 1910-2002 Actress Signe Hasso died June 7th at the age of 91. She was best-known for starring in A Double Life (1947) but played numerous Europeans in films during the 1940s. Hasso was born on August 15, 1910 in Stockholm, Sweden and began acting on stage at the age of 13. Ten years later made her first film appearance as Signe Larsson. She was married in 1936 and adopted the last name of her husband, cinematographer and later director Harry Hasso. After a dozen Swedish films, Hasso moved to Hollywood in 1940 where her first screen appearance was an uncredited role in Journey for Margaret (1942). A brief stint at RKO didn't lead to any more promising film parts so Hasso concentrated on her stage career in New York City. Eventually, her film career became more active, thanks to a quick succession of roles, most notably in Fred Zinnemann's The Seventh Cross (1944), Douglas Sirk's A Scandal in Paris (1946) and Henry Hathaway's The House on 92nd Street (1945). However it was her portrayal of Ronald Colman's wife in the Oscar-favorite A Double Life that solidified her fame. But as Hasso continued to act on the stage and TV, her film work began to taper off. She appeared in high-profile thrillers like Crisis (1950), several made-for-TV movies, a few European productions and even the cult murder mystery, Bert Gordon's Picture Mommy Dead (1966). In 1972, the king of Sweden decorated Hasso for her work. Her final appearance was in a 2001 documentary about Greta Garbo. HERMAN COHEN, 1927-2002 One of the key producers of B-movies, Herman Cohen, died June 2nd at the age of 76. Like most producers, his name wasn't generally known outside the industry or the realms of film buffs but most people never forget the titles of his films: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) and the not-quite-immortal Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952). Cohen was a Detroit native, born August 27, 1927. He entered the film business in the smallest possible way, as a 12-year-old janitor, often accepting passes for his family and friends instead of wages. Cohen served in the Marine Corps (several articles incorrectly say the Army) before becoming a publicist at Columbia Pictures. By 1951 he was working as a producer's assistant on low-budget independent films, mostly for Realart Pictures run by another Detroit native Jack Broder. Soon Cohen was producing his own movies, including Westerns and mysteries, until hitting big with the famous I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Starring a then-unknown Michael Landon (under personal contract to Cohen who later tore it up so Landon could appear in Bonanza), the film was made for $100,000 but in just a few months grossed over $2 million. Cohen didn't hestitate to turn out I Was a Teenage Frankenstein and Blood of Dracula by Thanksgiving of that same year and before long had made several films that continued to earn money for years to come. (One TCM writer remembers Horrors of the Black Museum turning up in a small Alabama town in the early 70s, over a decade after its initial release. The film is scheduled for a DVD release with a Cohen commentary from VCI Entertainment.) Cohen also made several films in England including The Headless Ghost (1959) and the cult favorite Konga (1961) where Cohen even paid RKO $25,000 for the rights to use the title King Kong in publicity for his own film. Cohen's later movies included a spaghetti Western and Joan Crawford's final acting role Trog (1970). In the 1980s Cohen ran a company, Cobra Media, that distributed some films and licensed material such as Teenage Werewolf to Landon for use in one of his Highway to Heaven episodes. By Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Girl Across the Street. On January 10, 1957, Lux Video Theatre broadcast a version of this film starring Julia Adams and Jack Kelly.