Little Old New York

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Little Old New York
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry King
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Play:
Rida Johnson Young
John L. Balderston
Harry Tugend
Starring Alice Faye
Fred MacMurray
Richard Greene
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Leon Shamroy
Edited by Barbara McLean
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) February 3, 1940
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget over $2 million[1]

Little Old New York is a 1940 black-and-white 20th Century Fox historical drama produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and directed by Henry King. The film stars Alice Faye, Fred MacMurray, and Richard Greene, and is based on the play by Rida Johnson Young, which opened on September 8, 1920 and starred Genevieve Tobin, Douglas Wood, and Donald Meek.

This is one of Faye's few non-musical features, and her fans complained about her not singing in it while the film was still in production, so a song was included later; Faye's participation in the added song was minimal.[citation needed]

Little Old New York was first made during the silent era in 1923, and was directed by Sidney Olcott; it starred Marion Davies, Stephen Carr, and J.M. Kerrigan.


In this fictionalized account of the invention of the first successful steamboat, Clermont, engineer and inventor Robert Fulton (Richard Greene) comes to New York in 1807, where he meets tavern keeper Pat O'Day (Alice Faye). O'Day strongly supports Fulton and his visionary steamship, but her suitor Charles Browne (Fred MacMurray) isn't happy about her association with the dapper engineer, or his invention. With O'Day's help, Fulton obtains the financing needed to build his revolutionary paddle steamer, while Browne manages to turn every local deck hand and sail-powered passenger boat operator against the engineer, exploiting their fear of losing their livelihoods to a steam-powered vessel. In the end, against adversity and opposition, Fulton finally builds his Clermont and launches the steamboat to great success, silencing his critics and the doubters who had previously labeled his venture "Fulton's Folly."



  • Who Is the Beau of the Belle Of New York
    • Music and Lyrics by Mack Gordon
    • Performed by Tyler Brooke and joined by Alice Faye and other dancing patrons of Krausmeyer's Pavilion
  • Ach Du Lieber Augustine
    • Traditional German folksong
    • Played as dance music at Krausmeyer's Pavilion
  • Du, du liegst mir im Herzen
    • Traditional German folksong
    • Played as dance music at Krausmeyer's Pavilion

See also[edit]

North River Steamboat is the actual name of the historic steamboat upon which this film is based; the vessel was never known as Clermont in its era.[citation needed]


  1. ^ 52 FEATURE FILMS ON FOX '39-40 LIST: Five Will Cost $2,000,000 Each--Zanuck to Supervise 24 Large Productions 'THE RAINS CAME' ON BILL 'Drums Along Mohawk,' 'Little Old New York,' 'Brigham Young' Scheduled Edmonds's Story in Color Elsa Maxwell Featured New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 04 Apr 1939: 29.

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