The Big Street (1942)

The Big Street (1942)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Big Street Photos

Movie Info

Lucille Ball delivers the finest dramatic performance of her career in this satisfying adaptation of Damon Runyon's The Big Street. Ball is cast as Gloria, aka "Your Highness," the vain and thoroughly selfish star attraction of gangster Case Ables' (Barton MacLaine) New York nightclub. Henry Fonda costars as busboy Little Pinks, who worships Gloria from afar. When Gloria is crippled by a fall downstairs-caused by a blow across the face by the sadistic Ables-Little Pinks selflessly waits upon the invalided and doggedly ungrateful songstress hand and foot. So devoted to Gloria is Pinks that he's willing to pilot her wheelchair from Manhattan to Florida so that she can renew her romance with callow playboy Decatur Reed (William Orr). Touched by Pinks' loyalty, his Runyonesque friends-Professor B (Ray Collins), Horsethief (Sam Levene), Mr. and Mrs. Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Eugene Pallette, Agnes Moorehead) and all the rest-raise enough money to open a Florida nightclub so that Gloria can put up a brave front. The ending is at once the most lachrymose and most effectively moving scene in the film, one that can only be spoiled if detailed here. Produced by Damon Runyon himself, The Big Street is one of the few completely successful filmed Runyon adaptations-as well as Lucille Ball's finest hour (and a half) on-screen.
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
RKO Pictures

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Henry Fonda
as Agustus 'Little Pinks' Pinkerton, II
Lucille Ball
as Gloria Lyons
Agnes Moorehead
as Violette Shumberg
Barton MacLane
as Case Ables
Eugene Pallette
as Nicely Nicely Johnson
Sam Levene
as Horsethief
Ray Collins
as Professor B
Marion Martin
as Mrs. Venus
William Orr
as Decatur Reed
George Cleveland
as Col. Venus
Vera Gordon
as Mrs. Lefkowitz
Millard Mitchell
as Gentleman George
Juan Varro
as Lou Adolia
John Miljan
as McWhirter
Julius Tannen
as Judge Bamberger
Mimi Doyle
as Nurse at Hospital
Eddie Dunn
as Mulvaney
Mary Halsey
as Bit part
Bert Hanlon
as Philip, the Weeper
John Indrisano
as Mug at Mindy's
Warren Jackson
as Mug at Mindy's
Donald Kirke
as Surgeon
George Magrill
as Mug at Mindy's
Tony Merlo
as Mug at Mindy's
Ozzie Nelson
as Himself
Bob Perry
as Toupee
Ralph Peters
as Florist
Addison Richards
as Dr. Mitchell
Dewey Robinson
as Truck Driver
Sammy Stein
as Mug at Mindy's
Mary Stuart
as Bit part
Ann Summers
as Cashier
Russell Wade
as Bit part
Richard Martin
as Bit part
John Miller
as Truck Driver
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Critic Reviews for The Big Street

All Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A dispiriting tale.

Full Review… | May 18, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Big Street

This is Lucille Ball's Favorite Movie Role, she had every reason to be proud of this performance.Once the Toast of NYC Night Club Celebrity,Gloria, nicknamed "Your Highness" was once a Gangsters Moll, till he slapped her & she tumbled down the stairs, ending up Wheel Chair Bound.All the Men who buzzed about her, gave up on her.But a Bus Boy, Little Pinks Pinkerton (Henry Fonda) stands by her, ill manned, ill tempered, just plain ill .He wheels her in her Wheel Chair with a combo of Hitch Hiking & Walking to Florida.He Begs, Borrows, & Steals for her & she still remains Selfish & Nasty.He throws a High Society Party for her in a Stolen Dress & Jewels, & risks imprisonment all just to make her Dreams Come True.This is a 2 Kleenex Box Movie that will remain in your heart forever.WOW

Marilee Aschwanden
Marilee Aschwanden

Sensational movie, I'm a HUGE Lucy fan and this is some of her best work its a shame that they took out a major dancing scene from the movie and the fact I cant find the song she sings in it either. But still one of my favorites.

Elizabeth Sousa
Elizabeth Sousa

Good performances, Hard to get use to. (First Impression). 2nd viewing, didn't think it was as cheesy as the 1st. Lucy is great. Enjoyed it even more.

Gregg Donaldson
Gregg Donaldson

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