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Street Girl is a 1929 pre-Code musical film directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Betty Compson, John Harron and Jack Oakie It was adapted by Jane Murfin from "The Viennese Charmer", a short story by William Carey Wonderly While it was the first film made by RKO Radio Pictures, its opening was delayed until after Syncopation, making it RKO's second release It was very successful at the box office, accounting for almost half of RKO's profits for the entire year3
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 21 Unbilled
- 3 Reception
- 4 Songs
- 5 Remakes
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Four Seasons are a very good jazz quartet, but they perform in a New York City cafe for only $100 a week, forcing them to share a small, rundown apartment The quartet consists of Joe Spring on clarinet, Pete Summer on accordion and guitar, Mike Fall on piano and trumpet, and an ever-pessimistic Happy Winter on violin
On his way home one night, Mike drives off a man accosting a young blonde named Frederika Joyzelle When she tells him she has not eaten in two days, he persuades her to share the group's dinner She tells them that back in her homeland, she was a violinist The highlight of her career given a command performance for her homeland's ruler, Prince Nicholaus of Aregon Mike convinces his bandmates to allow "Freddie" to room with them for two weeks, after they discover she has no place to go Freddie talks the band into asking for a raise to $200, but when they are turned down, they impulsively quit Mike is further discouraged when they return to the apartment to find Freddie gone
However, Freddie soon returns with great news She has spent all day trying to convince Keppel, the owner of the well-known Little Aregon Cafe, to give the quartet a tryout She finally succeeded, and at a salary of $300 a week She gets a job there too, as a cigarette girl and part-time violinist As time goes on, Mike falls in love with Freddie, but is unsure how she feels about him
Prince Nicholaus of Aregon is in town, trying to arrange financing for his country He and his entourage go to the cafe, much to Keppel's delight When Freddie performs for him, he remembers her and kisses her on the forehead The newspaper coverage of the kiss causes the cafe to skyrocket in popularity overnight When a competitor of Keppel's asks the group to perform at his establishment, Keppel wins a bidding war by raising their wages to $3000 a week This enables them to move into a much fancier apartment However, the kiss also causes Mike to become jealous to the point of quitting the band
The popularity of Keppel's cafe allows him to move into the larger "Club Joyzelle" With the help of Prince Nicholaus, Freddie and Mike are reunited in time for the grand opening Even Happy, who is anything but, smiles as a result
The film opened at New York City's Globe Theatre now named the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre4 and earned over a million dollars for RKO5 It made $806,000 domestically and $198,000 overseas,2 resulting in a profit of $800,000, almost half of RKO's total profit for the year of $1,670,0003
- "My Dream Memory" - Oscar Levant and Sidney Clare — Performed by Doris Eaton and the Radio Pictures Beauty Chorus6
- "Lovable and Sweet" - Oscar Levant and Sidney Clare — Performed by John Harron, Ned Sparks, Jack Oakie, and Guy Buccola6
- "Broken Up Tune" - Oscar Levant and Sidney Clare — Performed by Betty Compson on violin with Arnheim band6
Due to its initial success, Street Girl was remade by RKO twice The first film, That Girl From Paris 1936, starred Lily Pons and Lucille Ball The second, Four Jacks and a Jill 1942, starred Ray Bolger, Anne Shirley, and Desi Arnaz57 This was a rare coincidence in Hollywood where a husband and wife appeared in two different versions of the same film
The March 1928 short story upon which this film is based originally appeared in Young's Magazine, and its title, "The Viennese Charmer", would indicate that Freddie's original homeland might have been Austria, but was fictionalized to Aregon for the film version7
- ^ a b "Street Girl: Detail View" American Film Institute Retrieved June 3, 2014
- ^ a b c Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p55
- ^ a b Jewell, Richard B; Harbin, Vernon 1982 The RKO Story New York: Arlington House p 20 ISBN 0-517-546566
- ^ Crafton, Donald 1999 The Talkies: American Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926-1931 University of California Press p 160 ISBN 0-520-22128-1
- ^ a b Bradley, Edwin M 2004 The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 Through 1932 McFarland p 51 ISBN 0-7864-2029-4
- ^ a b c "Street Girl: Technical Details" theiapoliscom Retrieved April 2, 2014
- ^ a b "Street Girl: Articles" Turner Classic Movies Retrieved April 2, 2014
- Street Girl on Internet Movie Database
- Street Girl at AllMovie
- Street Girl at the TCM Movie Database
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