5th Ave Girl (1939, Gregory La Cava)

One of those Great Depression movies where a poor girl is inexplicably taken in by a millionaire family (see also: Easy Living). Mopey millionaire Walter Connolly (Twentieth Century) has home problems. His wife (Verree Teasdale, queen of the amazons in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) goes out with her playboy friends and forgets his birthday. His son (future Western star, played one of Wyatt Earp’s brothers in My Darling Clementine) plays around, neglecting his role in the family business. And his daughter is hot for communist chauffeur Mike (not the first classic movie we’ve seen featuring plot points stolen by Downton Abbey).

Out for a walk, Walter runs into down-on-her-luck Ginger Rogers and invites her to celebrate his birthday. After he invites her to stay at the house, he realizes her presence has an electrifying effect on the family, who think he has blatantly taken a mistress. Ginger is glad to not have money problems for a little while, but the family drama gets to her and she finally runs off until rescued by son Tim Holt.

Maybe the best Ginger movie we’ve seen yet. Features the great Franklin Pangborn in a small role. Katy also recognized Jack Carson as a ukelele-playing sailor. We’ve lately seen him as Cagney’s frenemy in The Strawberry Blonde and Myrna Loy’s hot neighbor in Love Crazy.

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