It's an incredibly good movie. I had to watch it two or three times to realize how really good it is. It is on my list of top ten movies.
The theme of the movie is how movie critics, particularly those working out of NYC and who have "no" idea of Hollywood can make or break a film with their reviews. Edward Norton's character meeting a NYC movie critic played by Lindsay Duncan is perhaps one of the best scenes that sets the theme of the movie.
I thought about that after reading the critics' review of It Happened on Fifth Avenue:
The Washington Post thought the celebrity endorsements (by Frank Capra, Orson Welles, Al Jolson, Constance Bennett and others) used in the movie's advertising to be "high-flown" and "Hollywoodesque"; instead, the movie was a "mild, pleasant little film which probably will find many admirers."I just finished watching IHOFA on TCM. I had planned on watching Sunday Night Football but I was so engrossed by the movie I did not watch a minute of the first half of that game (I just checked in; it's halftime, 6 -6; I must not have missed anything).
Time magazine said,
Most plausible explanations for the picture's success are: 1) the presence of Victor Moore, past master of creaky charm and pathos; 2) a show as generally oldfashioned, in a harmless way, as a 1910 mail-order play for amateurs; 3) the fact that now, as in 1910, a producer cannot go wrong with a mass audience if he serves up a whiff of comedy and a whirlwind of hokum.Bosley Crowther in The New York Times praised its "geniality and humor" and the "charming performance" by Moore. The New Republic disagreed, calling it "childish stuff" and Moore "too cute for words".
I loved the movie. It's truly unfortunate movie critics did to the movie what they did. Fortunately, the audience "saved it." Great, great film for folks like me.