New York Town


1h 34m 1941

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 31, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,384ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Victor Ballard, a happy-go-lucky albeit impoverished sidewalk photographer, shares a New York City studio apartment with Polish immigrant painter Stefan Janowski. The big city doles out joy and misery indiscriminately: In the apartment below Victor and Steve, Gus Nelson learns that his wife has given birth to quintuplets, while the lonely tenant in the apartment below Gus has given up on life and committed suicide. One day while hawking his work on Fifth Avenue, Victor snaps a picture of recently impoverished Alexandra Curtis, and intuits that she is desperate and naïve. Victor befriends Alexandra and shares with her his tricks for survival, such as getting meals by eating free food samples in a market, and "crashing" shipboard parties before the ship leaves. Victor brings Alexandra home as a third roommate, and proposes that she become a salesman for his photo "business," which involves taking a photo of a passerby on the street, getting his name and address, then going to the pedestrian's home and selling him either an enlarged photo for five dollars, or an oil painting of the photo by Steve for fifty dollars. In order to get Alexandra's belongings out of hock, Victor and Steve take her to a radio broadcast of a quiz show that gives cash prizes. Alexandra becomes a contestant after the first contestant faints, and she wins sixty-four dollars with a little coaching from Victor. Victor and Steve's friend Sam, meanwhile, a legless veteran who sells pencils on the street, uses his military pension to hire Bender, a lawyer, to get Steve citizenship. Bender's advice, however, is that Steve get a position at a university. Alexandra becomes depressed when she is unable to sell any paintings, and in order to cheer her up, Victor takes her out for a night of fun, during which they crash a private party on a cruise ship before it sails for Rio de Janeiro. Victor decides that Alexandra's best "career" would be marriage, and the next day, he insists that she try to sell a painting to his most wealthy client, Paul Bryson. Alexandra resents Victor's practical suggestion, as she wants to marry for love, but she goes to Bryson's Park Avenue home anyway. Alexandra is delighted when she meets Bryson's handsome son, also named Paul, and learns that Bryson, Sr., is on his honeymoon. Alexandra and Paul hit it off, and to his own surprise, Victor becomes jealous. Victor's pride is then hurt when Paul gets Steve an interview with the dean of a university, and Steve is hired. When Paul casually proposes to Alexandra as they plan a vacation together, she admits that she is a gold digger, but Paul is undisturbed. Victor, meanwhile, gets drunk while celebrating Steve's good fortune, and then goes to Paul's house. After telling him that Alexandra has been living with him, Victor hits Paul. A fistfight ensues, but on the way home, Alexandra and Victor admit their love for each other and kiss.

Cast

Fred Macmurray

Victor Ballard

Mary Martin

Alexandra Curtis

Robert Preston

Paul Bryson, Jr.

Akim Tamiroff

Stefan Janowski

Lynne Overman

Sam

Eric Blore

Vyvian

Fuzzy Knight

Gus Nelson

Cecil Kellaway

Shipboard host

Oliver Prickett

Bender

Ken Carpenter

Master of ceremonies

Edward Mcnamara

Brody

Sam Mcdaniel

Henry

Iris Adrian

Toots O'Day

Margaret Hayes

Lola Martin

Regis Toomey

Jim Martin

Laura Hope Crews

Apple Annie

Charles Lane

Census taker

Monte Blue

McAuliffe

Jimmy Conlin

Burt the newsman

Cliff Nazarro

Burt's companion

James Flavin

Recruiting sergeant

Marshall Ruth

Spectator in broadcasting station

Grace Hayle

Mrs. Bixby

Chester Clute

Mr. Cobbler

Nell Craig

Mrs. Gus Nelson

Linda Gage

Nurse

Frances Morris

Nurse

Alice Keating

Nurse

Marjorie Deane

Girl with Oliver

Jack Rice

Oliver

Lilyan Irene

Yvonne

George Davis

Waiter in French pavilion

John Bagni

The Dip

Maynard Holmes

Scion on boat

Paul Fierro

Gentleman on boat

Paul Mcvey

Gentleman on boat

Jack Arnold

Gentleman on boat

Ted Barnick

Officer at gangplank

Kenneth Hunter

Elderly gentleman

Philip Van Zandt

Peddler

Wallace Rairden

Pedestrian

Kate Lawson

Landlady

Ann Doran

Demonstrator in department store

Nicholas Bela

Hungarian father

Delmar Watson

Hungarian boy

Milton Kibbee

Postman

Tommy Bond

Willie

Gus Reed

Businessman

Jack Gardner

Clerk

Ray Flynn

Passerby

Patricia Knox

Telephone operator

Pauline Wagner

Switchboard operator

John H. Dilson

Doctor

Jack Carr

Barker

Herbert Vigran

Barker

Sidney Melton

Barker

Lee Prather

Barker

Ralph Peters

Box office man

Keith Richards

Young man

Gloria Williams

Ethel Clayton

Wanda Mckay

Jean Phillips

Olivia Steele

Ella Neal

Eva Gabor

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 31, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,384ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Jo Swerling's original screen story was called "Night Time." Mitchell Leisen was originally slated to direct this film, but, according to Hollywood Reporter, was replaced by Charles Vidor after Leisen was assigned to direct I Wanted Wings. Vidor was borrowed from Columbia Pictures. A Los Angeles Times news item announced that Betty Brewer was cast in the film, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Some background scenes were shot on location in New York City. Ken Carpenter was a radio announcer for the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy show and the Kraft Music Hall radio show. The quiz show in this film was modeled after Take It or Leave It, also known as The Sixty-Four Dollar Question,a 1940s radio contest in which participants could win up to sixty-four dollars by answering a battery of questions. According to a New York Times article, the film's ending originally contained a scene showing a Bund parade, but was re-shot, as Paramount executives felt that the pro-Nazi German faction of the Bunds would soon disband.