Wabash Avenue (film)
|Directed by||Henry Koster|
|Produced by||William Perlberg|
|Written by||Charles Lederer
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge|
|Cinematography||Arthur E. Arling|
|Edited by||Robert L. Simpson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$2,050,000 (US rentals)|
Ruby Summers (Betty Grable) is a burlesque queen in a successful dance hall in 1892 Chicago. The owner of the dance hall Mike (Phil Harris) has cheated his ex-partner Andy Clark (Victor Mature) out of a half interest in the business. Andy schemes to potentially ruin Mike and also hopes to make Ruby a classy entertainer, as well as his own girl.
- Betty Grable as Ruby Summers
- Victor Mature as Andy Clark
- Phil Harris as Mike Stanley
- Reginald Gardiner as English Eddie
- James Barton as Harrigan
- Barry Kelley as Bouncer
- Margaret Hamilton as Tillie Hutch
- Jacqueline Dalya as Cleo
- Robin Raymond as Jennie
- Hal K. Dawson as Healy
- Dorothy Neumann as Reformer
- Alexander Pope as Charlie Saxe
- Henry Kulky as Joe Barton
- Marie Bryant as Elsa
- Collette Lyons as Beulah
- George Beranger as Wax Museum Attendant
Wabash Avenue, named from a major Chicago street, was reportedly conceived as a biopic of Chicago songwriter Gus Kahn. Negotiations dissolved but exhibitors had been promised that title so 20th Century Fox hastily substituted a rewrite of its 1943 Coney Island. (The Kahn biopic was made at Warner Bros. in 1951 as I’ll See You in My Dreams, with Danny Thomas as Kahn.)
The film became a vehicle for Betty Grable with Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas to co-star. The setting was to be the 1893 Chicago Exposition. Eventually Widmark was replaced by Victor Mature. Eventually Paul Douglas dropped out and was replaced by Phil Harris.
Grable enjoyed working with director Henry Koster so much she insisted he direct her next film, My Blue Heaven.
Wabash Avenue also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for the number Wilhelmina.
- 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1950', Variety, January 3, 1951
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 223
- METRO BUYS STORY FOR MISS HEPBURN: Studio Plans to Co-Star Actress and Tracy in Kanin-Gordon Comedy, 'Man and Wife' By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 31 Jan 1949: 14.
- M'CREA GETS LEAD IN METRO PICTURE: To Play Clergyman in 'Stars in My Crown,' Based on Novel -- Fitts Doing Scenario By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 22 Mar 1949: 31.
- Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 10 May 1949: 29.
- BRYAN FOY IN DEAL WITH WARNER BROS.: Will Join Studio as Producer After Completing Eagle-Lion Films -- Has 3-Year Pact By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 Mar 1949: 31.
- Letter From Hollywood By Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file) [Boston, Mass] 17 June 1949: 5.
- HOLLYWOOD GLAMORIZES OLD Wendt, Lloyd. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 24 July 1949: C4.
- GRABLE TO APPEAR IN 'BLUE HEAVEN': Star Ends Hold-Out Against the Fox Studios -- Koster Will Direct as She Preferred Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 19 Oct 1949: 37.