It Happened on 5th Avenue is one of 4 movies in the TCM Holiday set of Greatest Classic Films. I doubt It Happened on 5th Avenue is a classic, even a holiday classic. It really takes a while before Xmas enters into it and the story meanders a lot before that. This Xmas DVD gets better at the halfway mark. The other movies in this 2 double-sided Christmas DVD set are the 1938 Reginald Owens A Christmas Carol, Christmas in Connecticut, and The Shop Around the Corner.
Jim Bullock (Don DeFore) is an army vet who just got evicted from his dwelling. His landlord, O’Connor, wants to build an office building. He befriends McKever, a homeless man (Victor Moore) who is squatting in the O’Connor mansion. Eventually, O’Connor’s runaway daughter Trudy and some of Bullock’s friends end up squatting in the mansion too.
Stuff eventually happens. Trudy convinces her dad to pretend to be a homeless man and invites him to share living space with the rest of the people living at O’Connor mansion. Jim’s housing plans for an army camp outside New York conflict with O’Connor’s FedEx type plan for the same camp. This is where It Happened on 5th Avenue really gets interesting.
One of the reasons why It Happened on 5th Avenue is not really a Christmas classic is the rich man who gets converted is not evil enough so the conversion or change is not that great. We all like the Grinch to become a Who and live in Whoville.
Turner Classic Movies Greatest Classic Holidays Films is a decent DVD set. I do question the use of double-sided DVD here considering the target market probably wears bifocals and figuring out which disc is which is a pain.