It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Release Date - Apr 19, 1947 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

There are some viewers who rank It Happened on 5th Avenue right up there with It's a Wonderful Life in the Christmas film sweepstakes. Certainly, 5th Avenue is an appealingly sentimental, sweetly comic little film that has a very good deal of charm. However, as a film, Wonderful Life is simply much better done. There's a little bit of sloppiness in the writing of 5th Avenue, the premise -- because it is not an out-and-out fantasy as Wonderful Life is -- presents some credibility problems, and the dramatic stakes in 5th Avenue are nowhere near as high as in the Capra classic. All of that being said, it's hard to watch 5th Avenue without feeling quite touch and very well entertained. There's plenty of hokum in it, but it's so good natured and well intentioned that most people will give in to it. Plus, it boasts a really lovely performance from wonderful Victor Moore and a truly fine one from Charlie Ruggles. If Don DeFore and Gale Storm are only so-so, and if Ann Harding isn't given enough to do, these little flaws don't mar 5th Avenue's appeal. Viewers unfamiliar with the film should seek it out during the holiday season and see if they are susceptible to its charms.