The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935) Poster

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It starts very slow, but stick with it--it's among Bette Davis' best early films.
MartinHafer21 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
For about the first third of the film, I wasn't unduly impressed by this film. However, as it continued, I found myself being drawn into it and was particularly intrigued by Bette Davis' great character. You see, at the beginning, she played a bit of a sap--and it was hard to care about her. But, as the film progressed, she grew in strength and this led to some wonderful scenes. So, if you sit down to see this one, hold on until the end--it surely gets much better as you watch.

When the film begins, Ian Hunter plays a man whose long-time girlfriend has just married another. So, he does what any reasonable man does--mope around and drink himself silly. However, with no end in sight to this self-destructive binge, a common working-class girl (Davis) comes to his rescue--keeping his from killing himself and giving him some needed stability. Now this, while interesting, also seemed highly unlikely. You see, Davis marries Hunter and agrees to make it sort of a "trial marriage". In other words, she'll leave as soon as he gets tired of her and wants to return to his high society friends. I said unlikely because Davis seemed almost too good--like a long-suffering martyr who was too perfect to be true.

Fortunately, into this odd marriage came some chaos to make it interesting. After a year of happy marriage, Hunter's old flame dumps her husband and comes panting after him like a dog chasing a pork chop! Now, is Davis to just sit back like this angel and let Hunter go or will she fight to save her man? This all leads to a few terrific scenes. I particularly loved Bette and her friend in the party-crashing scene as well as the big confrontation between her and Hunter towards the end. The emotion seemed much more real and I couldn't help but marvel at Miss Davis' talent--making this clearly one of her best early films before she skyrocketed to the top of her field.

In addition to a fine performance by Davis, the ill-fated actor Collin Clive (best known as 'Dr. Frankenstein' from the Universal films) is very good and plays a role very uncharacteristic of his usual roles.

Overall, a terrific love story that only improves the more you watch it. I just can't understand why this film isn't more famous.
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Great soap for the matinee ladies----
Ishallwearpurple9 April 2004
Bette Davis is a poor working girl who is about to lose her job and is on her lunch hour. While watching outside a church where a high society wedding is taking place, she stands next to a drunk man who is muttering as the preacher administers the vows. Davis realizes that he is creating a disturbance and gets him to leave with her and the go to a nearby place where she can get a sandwich and he can drink.

Thus starts the relationship that eventually leads to them ending up married. He was driven to drink by the girl at the church who was getting married, because even though she loved him, she was marrying a richer man.

Davis sobers him up and gets him back to his position as a society lawyer in a top firm. All the while telling him that if he wants out, he just has to say so.

Many trials and tribulations ensue before he realizes he does indeed love his wife who he married on a drunken impulse.

The 1935 "ladies who did lunch" got their monies worth from Davis, Ian Hunter, Alison Skipworth, Phillip Reed and John Eldredge, and a top production.

Go back in time to the depression years, the downtown movie palaces with double features, and ladies in their suits, gloves and hats, who went to town once a week for the family shopping and then went to see their favorite stars. This film is one they would have seen - and loved. 9/10
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Fighting for Her Man
nycritic4 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Bette Davis plays a shopgirl? You bet, and even in this type of role she's more convincing than her nemesis Joan Crawford due to the fact that Warners was less about glamour, and more about real people. Miriam Brady is a girl who on her lunch break witnesses a man, Geoffrey Sherwood, getting dumped by his girlfriend who has just married another man. He is drunk, and about to be arrested when she takes him to a café and on a lark (and drunk, too), she marries him. Their marriage moves sort of smoothly -- Geoff starts his own business; she betters herself with the help of her landlady and friend Mrs. Martin (Alison Skipworth). Then out of the blue, Geoff's ex-girlfriend, Valentine (Katherine Alexander) returns to claim Geoff. It's up to Miriam to fight for her guy until the end.

A remake of a stage play called "Outcast", the movie has its staginess from start to finish minus the street and exterior scenes. No music is used, and there is a tinny echo in the voices of the actors that indicates the way films were recorded then, a thing that detracts a little from the external scenes. Davis has another chance to showcase her ability to take a scene and run with it: her confrontation scene with Katherine Alexander and subsequent scene with Ian Hunter prove how good she was. THE GIRL FROM TENTH AVENUE is, while being about a shopgirl, completely devoid of the glamour more akin to MGM and Davis' portrayal is less maudlin than spitfire. The camera certainly loves Davis' face as it gives her some good closeups throughout. And at a brief, 70 minutes, it makes for a light, enjoyable view, much better than her standard, mid-30s fare.
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Bette Davis eyes
blanche-211 October 2009
Bette Davis was 27 when she made "The Girl from Tenth Avenue" in 1935. She's very slim and pretty, and as someone points out on this site, she looks more realistic than Joan Crawford did in these roles because Warners was less concerned with glamor. Davis did some roles in the early days where she was glamored up, such as "The Man Who Played God" and "Fashions of 1934" where she looks very pretty. Even in black and white, those huge blue eyes of hers really pop. When I saw her in person when she toured with John Springer, who interviewed her on stage, that's the first thing you noticed. That and that she looked so much better than she did in most of her roles.

"The Girl from Tenth Avenue" is about shopgirl, Miriam, who takes pity on society drunk Geoff (Ian Hunter) whose ex-girlfriend Valentine (Katharine Alexander) has just married someone else. Miriam marries him, and the two are happy, and he's sober, until Valentine tosses her husband (Colin Clive) out. Then she tears after Geoff. Since Miriam is from a different social class and self-conscious about it, she feels threatened.

Predictable class-conscious drama with nice performances. This is early Davis, before Warner Brothers realized that she was a forceful actress. It would be a couple of years yet before she hit her stride. Alison Skipworth provides the comedy as Mrs. Martin, who tries to counsel Miriam through her troubles.

Primarily for Davis fans.
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.......and the guy from 5th Avenue
bkoganbing21 May 2016
The Girl From 10th Avenue is one of those B programmers that the brothers Warner were throwing Bette Davis into before they realized what a talent they had. She had already done and got rave reviews for Of Human Bondage, but it made not a whiff of difference. She was a few films from her consolation Oscar for Dangerous.

When Davis got films really beneath her she just went full blown Bette with the voice and the mannerisms that impressionists made a living on for decades. In this film she's a shopgirl who lives in Hell's Kitchen on 10th Avenue who happens to aid a 5th Avenue playboy Ian Hunter when he's been out on a toot. The two wind up married. But can they make a go of it and can Bette fit in with the society just five city blocks from her roots.

This was another Depression Era plot, the shopgirl who marries well and tries to make a go of it. Joan Crawford over at MGM was well known for these roles, though the best of them was the gold digging Crystal in The Women. Davis has to deal with Katharine Alexander who Hunter had broken off with and Hunter has Alexander's ex-husband Colin Clive as a confidante.

Who really scores well is Alison Skipworth who back in the day was a Floradora girl who made a society catch of her own. Skipworth shows Davis the ropes in her own inimitable style.

The Girl From 10th Avenue gets a couple of notches higher rating simply because Davis pushes it up.
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Differences in social class can't divide them
netwallah29 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Well-heeled lawyer Geoff Sherwood (Ian Hunter) stands in a crowd waiting for the bride and groom to come out of the church. He's drunk and talking about making a scene and detectives decide to have him hauled off to Bellview—but Miriam Brady (Bette Davis), a young woman who sews labels on clothes, takes his arm and moves him out of danger. A couple of his friends follow along and ask her to stick with him. His ex-fiancée Valentine has just gotten married. They drink, and by next morning they're somewhere in upstate New York, married too. Miriam, being an extraordinarily decent girl, tells him she'll disappear, but he asks her to stay around. They stay married, move into an apartment in a nice building owned by the redoubtable Mrs. Martin (Alison Skipworth), who sort of adopts Miriam. The Geoff-Miriam arrangement appears to be working, at least to him, but when Valentine reappears and sets out to recapture Geoff, Miriam won't stand still. She tricks Valentine into making a scene—throwing a pineapple—in a tony restaurant. But Geoff is easily led and prepares to leave Miriam; she leaves first. But in the process he realizes... well, it ends happily. Hunter is somewhat self-contained, neither a loud drunk nor a loud arguer. Miriam is right when she says he hasn't thought things through very well. Davis is just the right combination of toughness and uncertainty, much more of the former than the latter, and though she's not the most beautiful actress of her day, she knows how to light up the screen and shake the definition of beauty until it collapses at her feet and she rises above it, glowing.
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Bette Davis, Ian Hunter in one of their 1930s love stories
ksf-230 January 2009
Based on the play "Outcast" (from 1914, no less!), The Girl From Tenth Avenue opens by showing us a wedding invitation, and two gentlemen of the wedding party driving towards the ceremony. Then we see Miriam Brady (Bette Davis) and Geoffrey Sherwood (Ian Hunter) standing on a street corner, listening to the wedding that is taking place. Sherwood is drunk, and Miriam decides to take a personal interest in getting him into a restaurant, away from the wedding scene. Although WHY she does, isn't really explained... Davis had just made "Of Human Bondage", and was about to win the Oscar for "Dangerous"... good year for her! Viewers will recognize the landlord Mrs. Martin, played by Alison Skipworth; she made FOUR films with W.C. Fields. Next thing you know, Miriam and Geoffrey are married, apparently skipping a couple of the 12 steps Sherwood SHOULD be going through. There is a lot of talking in this story, as with most plays. It starts pretty slow, but picks up about halfway through. I wonder if this would have been a little more spicy if it hadn't been made right as the Hays Code was starting to be enforced. Davis and Hunter would make five films together in the 1930s.
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Marrying a perfect stranger and trying to make it work!
journeygal3 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is only at 70 minutes long, which was the norm in the 1930s. However, to make a movie fit into that narrow slot, a lot of storytelling has to be sacrificed. We're now used to grand, sweeping three hour sagas, where we do not have to read between the lines or guess at any missing chunks of plot. In this one, there's a lot of filling in the blanks. For instance, the movie starts with a large crowd gathering outside a church in NYC. Some big society do, and the bystanders are waiting for the bride and groom to emerge. The missing part of the story is that the bride is a woman named Valentine French and she is marrying the very wealthy John Marland. She has recently jilted Geoffrey Sherwood in favor of John, seemingly because --although Geoffrey is a lawyer, and from the moneyed set-- he is not as rich as John. So one of the people waiting in front of the church is a cute, perky blond Miriam Brady, a working girl out on her lunch break. While she's standing there, a man staggers up the sidewalk, steps all over her toes and then stands next to her, swaying from drunkeness as he ad-libs what is going on inside. Some bystanders laugh at his narration, but Miriam firmly takes him by the hand and around the corner to a little cafe to sober him up. He does not want food, he wants more to drink. As it turns out, he is Geoffrey Sherwood, the man that Valentine recently split from, and he is brokenhearted. Two ushers from the wedding track him down and are relieved to see Miriam has him under her care. They were worried he might try to crash the reception. One of them offers her $100 to get him home safe. A princely sum back in those days (About $1700-1800 in today's dollars!) made even grander by the fact that the company she works for sewing labels on new clothes has just announced they are laying off the better part of their staff. So, she may very well not have a job to return to after lunch... Geoffrey and Miriam end up drinking the afternoon away--or so we think--because in another huge lapse of story telling, it's the next morning and Geoffrey is horribly hung over and he and Miriam are married... This missing 'rest of the story' would have been fun to see...them overimbibing, someone suggesting marriage...rushing to the Justice of the Peace...waking up legally wed... In any case we learn that Miriam is ready and willing to annul, but Geoffrey talks her out of it. They make it casual, though, any time either wants out, the other is free to go, no fuss or muss. And so the two set up housekeeping, he starts his own business and they move into a nice little apartment with a wonderful landlady Mrs. Martin (Allison Skipworth) who lives downstairs and becomes great friends with Miriam. Allison and Bette worked in three movies together (Dangerous, Satan Met a Lady and this one) and they are always something to watch in their scenes together. Then Miriam discovers that Valentine has split with Marland, who corners Miriam and shows her an item clipped from the newspaper which--without naming names--makes it sound like Valentine and Geoffrey are dilly-dallying on the golf course. Well, this sure gets her ire up and with the help of Mrs. Martin she hatches a plot to crash a fancy party that Valentine is giving at the Waldorf. Miriam carries herself with dignity...until she doesn't... and pretty much tells Valentine to keep her meathooks off Geoffrey. Valentine responds by throwing a grapefruit at Miriam, and this little scenario of course ends up in the society pages. We also do not see dastardly Valentine rushing to see Geoffrey after this little set-to, but we do see him storming into the apartment he and Miriam share. He packs a bag and he invokes the 'we can call it quits anytime' clause he and Miriam put on their marriage at the beginning. They've been together a year now, and she is in love with him, but he cannot be stopped. He goes to the College Club to get his old room back while she runs downstairs and sobs on Mrs. Martin's shoulders. While checking in, Geoffrey bumps into none other than John Marland who is in his cups over his split with Valentine. He tells Geoffrey that they need to confront her together. So, off they go to the Marland home...but somewhere in the midst of all this, Geoffrey becomes aware he really doesn't care about Valentine...he wants Miriam. The next morning, Miriam opens her front door to get her paper and milk and finds her rumpled husband there too. Ring in hand, he slips it back onto her finger and all is right with the world.
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Bette Davis before Warner Bros. gave her good roles...
Doylenf8 October 2009
Strictly for die-hard Davis fans.

She's a shop girl from the wrong side of the tracks who meets lawyer IAN HUNTER, on a drunk bender, and decides to restore him to his better self on the spur of the moment. Once he's reformed, she has a struggle trying to keep him from former flame KATHARINE Alexander. (For some reason, my computer refuses to put "Alexander" in caps). It's not a typo.

It's a trifle, the kind of film Davis would come to detest in that it was nothing more than a routine melodrama with some comedy interludes from ALISON SKIPWORTH as a landlady who wants to spruce up Bette's ability to mix with IAN HUNTER's society friends.

Made worth a look only for Bette Davis' performance. She's trim, blonde and almost pretty with those Bette Davis eyes lined with mascara. Unfortunately, it's a weak script with a predictable ending. COLIN CLIVE has little to do but he does play a good drunk scene.

TCM is showing this as part of their Depression-era films.
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Miss Davis Plays Another Of Her Ridiculous Potboilers Brilliantly
boblipton2 October 2019
Katherine Alexander throws over wealthy Ian Hunter to marry richer Colin Clive, so Hunter goes on a pub crawl. Poor but honest Bette Davis goes on the toot with him to see how the better half drink and winds up married to him. She offers him back the ring and the marriage contract, but they decide to keep it going until he's done with her. After nearly a year, with her studying how the upper crust behave under the tutelage of ex-Floradora girl Alison Skipworth, Miss Alexander pushes her husband out and goes after Hunter.... and Miss Davis retaliates.

It's the sort of foolish role that Warner Brothers put Miss Davis in, which she handles in a straightforward and honest manner. Interestingly, two movies later, she would win an Oscar under the same director, Alfred Green.

The script obviously had something to say about the way men and men use each other, but that's lost in the final cut. Certainly, the cavalier manner in which everyone treats manner is a bit of a surprise under the Code.

Ian Hunter was one of those large, good-looking, competent actors, best remembered by playing Richard the Lion-heart and the only one of Jessie Matthews' leading men who didn't seem afraid of women. Born in 1900, he appeared in about ten silent films, played some leads in British films, then moved to the United States for a long stretch. He made his last movies in Italy in 1963 and died a dozen years later.
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The support cast comes to the rescue!
JohnHowardReid14 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Director: ALFRED E. GREEN. Screenplay: Charles Kenyon. Based on the play Outcast by Hubert Henry Davies. Photography: James Van Trees. Film editor: Owen Marks. Art director: John Hughes. Costumes designed by Orry-Kelly. Music composed by Heinz Roemheld. Music director: Leo F. Forbstein. Associate producers: Robert Lord, Henry Blanke.

Copyright 31 May 1935 by First National Pictures, Inc. A Warner Bros-First National picture. New York opening at the Capitol: 26 May 1935. Australian release: 7 August 1935. 69 minutes.

U.K. release title: MEN ON HER MIND.

SYNOPSIS: A lawyer goes on the bender when his fiancée throws him over to marry another man.

NOTES: Starring Elsie Ferguson and Charles Cherry, the stage play opened on Broadway at the Lyceum, 2 November 1914. It was directed by author Hubert Henry Davies and, despite bad reviews, ran a successful 168 performances.

The movie was partially remade in 1937 (again with Bette Davis and Ian Hunter) as "That Certain Woman".

COMMENT: What's a "B" movie? A theater manager once answered that question very succinctly: "Any movie that runs less than 80 minutes." Not only does "The Girl from 10th Avenue" qualify on that score, it also corresponds with my own definition, namely it's a small-budget picture of limited appeal to general audiences. Cinema patrons would tolerate it as a support but never as a main feature.

Aside from the Waldorf scene, production values have little to offer. Green's direction is unimaginatively stolid.

True, Miss Davis does her histrionic best to spice up the proceedings, but her over-the-top acting, coupled with her unattractive clothes and make-up, destroys what little credence the script occasionally manages to build up.

Fortunately, the support cast, with the exception of Ian Hunter (who starts promisingly but goes down-hill from there), comes to the rescue. Colin Clive and Katherine Alexander are especially convincing.
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Bette helps Ian through another "Lost Weekend"
mark.waltz8 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
On a drunken bender after witnessing his old lover Katherine Alexander coming out of a church, just having married Colin Clive, wealthy Ian Hunter impulsively marries Bette Davis, the shopgirl who rescued him from roving reporters. Her goal is to keep him on the straight and narrow, and for a while it works-until Alexander decides she wants him back. This generic women's picture is quick and to the point but extremely illogical and resolved oh so predictably. Davis gets to repeat her dramatic rants from 1934's "Of Human Bondage" (minus the cockney accent) and the same year's "Dangerous" (which won her the first of two Oscars), but this time, she's defending herself against her husband (preparing to leave her) rather than trying to humiliate him. Clive is a more convincing drunk than Hunter (who acts too sober in a few moments of some severe drunken scenes) in his one moment of intoxication. Alison Skipworth steals every scene she is in as the tipsy former Floradora Girl with a past of her own. The film never reaches 10th Avenue, taking place mostly many blocks away on Park Avenue, although the NY Public Avenue (5th Avenue) is briefly glimpsed. The one moment of spark comes at the luncheon where Skipworth and Davis show up to make Alexander (in a rather one dimensional part) cringe.
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Overly dramatic and boring but must-see for Bette Davis
Nate-482 October 2019
If you want to see Bette Davis in one of her earlier pictures this is a must-see film. As far as the film itself, it is one of the most boring and average scripts and it is very formulaic code material. There is nothing new and interesting about the story. Standard soap opera. It is predictable, boring and pretty much a waste of time. But for a true Better Davis fan, this deserves watching. Otherwise this is about as bad as it gets.
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The 27 Year Old Bette Davis
Single-Black-Male6 November 2003
She had no sex appeal and was as interesting to watch as paint drying on a winter's day. This is just the opinion of Universal International. Warner Brothers and RKO saw her differently because she garnered academy awards for them.
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The blood-curdling prospect of an honest, normal Working Class Soul . . .
oscaralbert3 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
. . . somehow being bamboozled into wedding a Corrupt Corporate Fat Cat One Per Center always has been presented as the proverbial "Fate Worse Than Death" by our always eponymous Warner Bros. Truth-to-Power whistle-blower film agency. THE GIRL FROM 10th AVENUE is a prime example displaying the eerily accurate, spot-on work Warner Bros.' prophetic prognosticators have provided for We True Blue Loyal Patriotic Working Stiffs for nearly a century now. Shining the glare of a probing spotlight upon the musical chairs marriages endemic among the mercenary monied class, THE GIRL FROM 10th AVENUE uncannily projects the Real Life threat to American Values posed by the "peccadillos" of these Pachyderm Party Pariahs. If such hormone-hyped hypocrites harvest Off-Screen Positions of Power, Warner warns us, we'll soon have a mistress-encumbered buffoon like "Dwight" lording over us, followed by serial actress marrier "Ronnie," all leading up to our current triple blue movie illegal alien starlet Third Lady initiator "Don Juan." Unfortunately, too many Americans laughed off THE GIRL FROM 10th AVENUE after papal censors required that a nonsensical "happy ending" be appended, allowing those of the egregious elephantine persuasion to thoroughly ravage our USA Homeland's Moral Fabric.
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