The Big Street (1942) Hollywood to Hometowns

The Big Street (1942) Hollywood to Hometowns

The Big Street, a 1942 American drama film starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, is based on Damon Runyon’s 1940 short story “Little Pinks.” The film stars Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. Runyon was also involved in the production of the film. Irving Regis was in charge of the direction of the picture. Leonard Spyglass adapted Runyon’s story into a screenplay.

In Runyon’s writings, the term “The Big Street” was shorthand for Broadway, which served as the setting for most of the stories.

Film Plot:

The movie focuses on Augustus Pinkerton II, better known as “Little Pinks,” a New York City busboy who falls in love with Gloria Lyons, a beautiful but cold-hearted singer after she is pushed down a flight of stairs by her jealous lover, Case Ablest, who is furious with her for falling in love with Little Pinks. While recovering after a lengthy recovery, Gloria is forced to rely on the kindness of Pinks, who provides her with an apartment to reside in while she recovers.

Gloria tells Pinks to take Violet Schaumburg to Florida for recovery after she marries Nicely-Nicely Johnson, and the pair moves there. Pinks pushes Violate Schaumburg, a wheelchair, to the Miami airport. Decatur, a former boyfriend, loses interest in her when he realists she is a paralyzed woman. He leaves her and seeks employment as a busboy for Case in Case’s club but returns when Violate tells him Gloria is sick. Angry, she blows out at Pinks.

When Gloria is feeling low, she reveals that she wishes to wear a gown with jewels for one final time.

He breaks into Mimi Venus’ home and overhears her being threatened with public exposure of her infidelity unless she gives him her jewelry by one of Case’s thugs, who Pinks sees wearing one. Once Pinks has recovered the stolen diamond, he threatens to go to the police unless Case hosts a party with Gloria as a guest of honor, which Case agrees to do.

Pinks, whose Social Security card was found in Mimi’s closet, was arrested by police on the night of the party. Because of her husband Samuel’s compassion for the busboy, he decides not to press charges. During their first dance, Gloria fully comprehended the sacrifices Pinks had made to make their relationship work. In the final scene, Gloria informs Pinks that she wishes to see the ocean. The last thing she asked for was for him to carry her up the flight of stairs.

The Big Street Cast:

  • Little Pinks is play by Henry Fonda.
  • Gloria Lyons is playboys Lucille Ball.
  • Barton McLean plays the Case Ablest.
  • Eugene Pallette plays Nicely-Nicely Johnson.
  • Agnes Moore head plays Violate Schaumburg.
  • Marion Martin plays Mimi Venus.
  • Colonel Samuel Venus is play by George Cleveland.
  • Decatur Reed is play by William T. Orr.
  • Professor Ray Collins is play by Ray Collins.
  • Sam Leven plays the Horse thief.
  • Vera Gordon plays Mrs Lefkowitz.

The Big Street Production:

Charley Laughton and Carole Lombard initially planned to star in the film, but neither actor was interested in doing so. Despite Kos’ request to find a best-performing actress, such as Barbara Stanwyck or Jean Arthur, Lucille Ball was given the role. When she cast, Ball said she had no idea she’d be in the picture at the time. “For some reason, I had the impression that nothing was happening in the studio. Even though I collected my $1000 weekly paycheck, I was still a regular in the Bs’ ranks.”

She had a bumpy ride on the set. They couldn’t help her since director Irving Reis was inexperienced and former boyfriend Henry Fonda was on loan from 20th Century Fox. Desi Arnaz stayed as close to the set as possible to avoid sparking his wife’s affair with Fonda. Despite these problems, Ball regarded the picture as one of her most beloved works.

When Gloria played Harry Revel and Mort Greene’s “Who Knows?” For her performance in Case’s Manhattan club, she enlisted the assistance of Martha Mears, who sang lead. In a Miami nightclub, the character sings the song alongside Ozzie Nelson and his orchestra.


New York Times Film Critic Peter Travers says that “smartly paced, colorful, and engaging” is the film’s best quality and crisply filmed” style “excessively certain none too believable scenarios with an effect that is occasionally maudlin.” And, in contrast to the talented vocalist played by Miss Ball in the film, Henry Fonda makes an acutely likable hero, according to this reviewer. 

“Nice job” by screenwriter Leonard Spigelgass commended by Variety in a review of the film to the screen, studded it with trademark Runyon humor, and praised Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda for their performances.

Full Overview:

The Big Street released date is 1942 and directed by Irving Reis. Leonard Spigelgass and film show the film screenplay based on Little Pinks by Damon Runyon. Damon Runyon produced the big street, and the starring cast was Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. The movie’s running time was 88 minutes, and it was a United States movie, and the language of the film was English.

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