The Bette Davis Project: The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935)

girlSynopsis:

Shopgirl Miriam Brady, played by Bette Davis, begins an odd relationship with a lawyer (Ian Hunter, The Adventures of Robin Hood) 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 to Miriam or not.

Reaction & Thoughts:

The Girl from 10th Avenue, written by Charles Kenyon, based on the 1914 play Outcast by Hubert Henry Davies, and directed by Alfred E. Green (Baby Face and Dangerous), is the kind of run-of-the-mill quickie that Warner Bros. loved to produced 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 story is not only far-fetched, but also clichéd and uninteresting. I didn’t care for any of the characters either. I never understood why two seemingly intelligent women were vying for the affection of such a dull guy. Also, this film is carelessly put together. It feels like something that was shot in just a few days — I don’t even think they bothered to hire someone to write a music score.

Poor Bette. If she was expecting the royal treatment from Warners after her back-to-back hits Of Human Bondage (1934) and Bordertown (1935), she was in for a surprise. It’s obvious that Warners didn’t take Davis’s accomplishments seriously enough. Davis, of course, pours everything she had into it, but it’s clearly not enough.

Hunter is a complete bore. Fortunately, Colin Clive (Frankenstein) is in hand to perk up things 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 are on the screen. Sadly, they only have a few scenes together. Alison Skipworth (Satan Met A Lady and Becky Sharp) also adds some sparks of her own to what feels like an interminable soap. The cast also includes John Eldredge, and Phillip Reed.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

All in all, The Girl from 10th Avenue isn’t a terrible movie, just forgettable. B&W, 69 minutes, Not Rated.

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