Fifth Avenue Girl

Watch Fifth Avenue Girl

"From park bench to parkside mansion in a riot of romantic complications and Hi-Hat Hilarity!"
  • Approved
  • 1939
  • 1 hr 23 min
  • 6.8  (1,677)

Fifth Avenue Girl, released in 1939, is a delightful romantic comedy with a sharp, satirical edge. Directed by Gregory La Cava, the film stars the luminous Ginger Rogers as Mary Grey, a down-on-her-luck girl who finds herself at the center of a wealthy family's drama. The story begins when industrialist Timothy Borden (played by Walter Connolly) returns home to his upscale New York City mansion after a long day at the office. To his shock and dismay, he discovers that his wife (Verree Teasdale) is having an affair with his business partner. Desperate for a distraction, he impulsively invites Mary Grey, a stranger he meets in Central Park, to come live with him for a while.

Mary is a charming and lively young woman who has fallen on hard times. She accepts Timothy's offer, and soon finds herself at the heart of the Borden family's dysfunctional dynamic. Timothy's two grown children, son Timmy and daughter Katherine, are both deeply unhappy and resent their father's obsession with work. Meanwhile, his wife manages to maintain her social status and expensive habits, despite her infidelity.

As Mary settles into her temporary home, she finds herself drawn to each member of the Borden family in different ways. She connects with Timmy, who is rebellious and yearns for adventure, and encourages him to pursue his dreams of becoming a painter. She sympathizes with Katherine, who is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and helps her to come to terms with her feelings. And she even grows close to Timothy himself, who is surprised to find himself confiding in this free-spirited young woman.

Despite her growing affection for the Bordens, Mary remains an outsider in their rarefied world. She is acutely aware of the class differences between them and struggles to find her place in their society. The tension between the haves and the have-nots is a recurring theme in the film, and is exemplified by the contrast between Timothy's luxurious lifestyle and Mary's humble origins.

As the story unfolds, we see the tensions in the Borden family come to a head. There are moments of humor and heartbreak as each character confronts their own desires and fears. Mary serves as a catalyst for change, encouraging the Bordens to think beyond their narrow worldviews and connect with each other on a deeper level.

One of the charms of Fifth Avenue Girl is the chemistry between Ginger Rogers and Walter Connolly. Their interactions are lively and witty, full of sparkling repartee and subtle flirtation. Rogers imbues Mary with a mischievous vitality that is infectious, while Connolly brings a sardonic wit and a vulnerable sincerity to Timothy.

The supporting cast is also excellent, particularly Verree Teasdale as Timothy's unfaithful wife and Ralph Morgan as his conniving business partner. The film is beautifully shot on location in New York City's Upper East Side, showcasing the opulence of the Borden family's home and the bustling energy of the city.

Overall, Fifth Avenue Girl is a delightful romantic comedy with a sharp social commentary. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of the genre and the timeless charm of its stars.

Fifth Avenue Girl
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 23 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (1,677)