Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Bette Davis and Ian Hunter
THE GIRL FROM 10TH AVENUE (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green.

Geoff Sherwood (Ian Hunter) has been tossed over by his fiancee Valentine (Katharine Alexander) for a wealthier man, John (Colin Clive of Bride of Frankenstein). On her wedding day Geoff gets good and drunk and encounters the sympathetic Miriam (Bette Davis), who eventually imbibes with him and winds up getting married to him that very night. Miriam agrees that he can end the marriage whenever he wants to, but she sticks to him as the weeks go by. Then Valentine, dissatisfied with her marriage to John, comes a'calling ... The young Bette Davis appeared in many forgettable movies but The Girl from 10th Avenue is actually not a bad picture. Davis is terrific and luminescent as Miriam, and she not only has credible support from Hunter [Call It a Day] and an excellent Colin Clive, but a very good playmate in Alison Skipworth [The Devil is a Woman] as her landlady, Mrs. Martin. The best and funniest scene in the movie has Miriam telling off the rather horse-faced Valentine in the dining room of the Waldorf-Astoria. John Eldredge and Phillip Reed also have small roles as Geoff's friends, and Mary Treen shows up briefly as well.

Verdict: Not bad early Bette. ***.


angelman66 said...

I fell in love with Miss Davis backwards, so to first introductions to her were through horror films like Burnt Offerings and Harvest Home in the 70s--then as the VHS era dawned, I was introduced to Baby Jane, and of course All About Eve. My favorite of her 40s films are Little Foxes, Now Voyager and In This Our Life. But I have never warmed to the 1930s Davis, not yet anyway...I don't like Jezebel, could not get through Dangerous...maybe Dark Victory is my favorite 30s Davis...

If this one comes on, I will check it out. The rest of the cast looks great, too!

William said...

You may find it a pleasant surprise, but I agree that the very young Davis was perhaps not as riveting as the older one. I first saw her in "In This Our Life" when it was on TV when I was a kid and I thought she was terrific (now I think she over-acts a bit), then I discovered the horror flicks and became a big fan. Then it was on to her classic period and "All About Eve" -- possibly her best performance. "Now, Voyager" and "The Letter" -- a masterpiece -- are also on the top of my list.