LUCY'S MOVIE GUIDE
The Big Street (1942)
(featuring Lucille Ball as Gloria Lyons)
Lucille Ball is cast as Gloria, aka The Dutchess, the vain and thoroughly selfish star attraction of gangster Case Ables' (Barton MacLaine) New York nightclub. Henry Fonda costars as busboy Little Pinks, who worships "The Dutchess" from afar.
When Gloria is crippled by a fall downstairs-caused by a blow across the face by the sadistic Ables, Little Pinks selflessly waits upon the invalid and doggedly ungrateful songstress, Gloria, hand and foot. So devoted to The Dutchess is Pinks that he's willing to pilot her wheelchair from Manhattan to Florida so that she can renew her romance with callow playboy Decatur Reed (William Orr).
Touched by Pinks' loyalty, his Runyonesque friends-Professor B (Ray Collins), Horsethief (Sam Levene), Mr. and Mrs. Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Eugene Pallette, Agnes Moorehead) and all the rest-raise enough money to open a Florida nightclub so that Gloria can put up a brave front.
Special Notes: Lucille Ball delivers the finest dramatic performance of her career in this satisfying adaptation of Damon Runyon's The Big Street.