The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935)

Synopsis:

A shopgirl (Bette Davis) begins a relationship with a lawyer (Ian Hunter, Strange Cargo) she finds drunk on the streets. They decide to get married on a whim and things work fine for a while. When the lawyer’s ex-fiance (Katharine Alexander, The Human Comedy) makes it clear that she wants her man back, he, who still has feelings for the woman, has to decide whether to stay married or not.

Reaction & Thoughts:

“You’ve been swell up to now. Don’t go to pieces.”

The Girl from 10th Avenue is the kind of run-of-the-mill quickie that Warner Bros. loved to produce at the height of the Depression era. I tend to like these programmers but I quickly found out that there is very little here to interest me.

The film is based on the 1914 play Outcast by Hubert Henry Davies. Charles Kenyon (The Petrified Forest) wrote the screen adaptation. Alfred E. Green (The Rich Are Always with Us and Parachute Jumper) directed the movie. Neither gentleman did a particularly good job. The Girl from 10th Avenue is carelessly put together and the movie feels like something that was shot in just a few days.

The movie is also far-fetched and clichéd. I didn’t care for any of the characters either.  It’s one of those movies where the characters behave in an illogical manner. I never understood why two seemingly intelligent women were vying for the affection of such a dull and insecure guy — it’s manufactured melodrama of the silliest kind!

I felt bad for Bette Davis. If she was expecting the royal treatment from Warner Bros. after back-to-back hits Of Human Bondage and Bordertown, Davis was in for a surprise. It’s obvious that Warners didn’t take Davis’s accomplishments seriously enough. Davis, of course, pours everything she has into it, but it’s clearly not enough.

Ian Hunter is a complete bore. Fortunately, Colin Clive (Frankenstein) is on hand to perk things up a bit. God, the man is intense! I get nervous just looking at him. I wish he had played Hunter’s role. The sparks fly when Davis and Clive share a scene. Sadly, they only have a few scenes together. Alison Skipworth (Satan Met A Lady) also adds some sparks of her own to what feels like an interminable soap.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

The Girl from 10th Avenue is one of Bette Davis’s weakest movies. Davis’s scenes with British actor Colin Clive are good, though. The rest of the movie is of questionable quality. Mostly for fans of Davis and/or Clive. B&W, 69 minutes, Not Rated.

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