New York Town

New York Town is a 1941 American romantic comedy film directed by Charles Vidor and starring Fred MacMurray, Mary Martin, Akim Tamiroff, and Robert Preston. The film was written by Lewis Meltzer and an uncredited Preston Sturges based on a story by Jo Swerling.

New York Town
Directed byCharles Vidor
Produced byAnthony Veiller
Written byJo Swerling (story)
Lewis Meltzer
Preston Sturges (uncredited)
StarringFred MacMurray
Mary Martin
Akim Tamiroff
Robert Preston
Music byLeo Shuken
CinematographyCharles Edgar Schoenbaum
Edited byDoane Harrison
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
October 31, 1941
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film is notable for a long opening "single take" shot which establishes the personalities of several New York City apartment residents.[1]


Victor Ballard (Fred MacMurray) is a poor but happy-go-lucky New York sidewalk photographer who shares a studio apartment with a painter from Poland, Stefan Janowski (Akim Tamiroff). When Victor shoots a photo of Alexandra Curtis (Mary Martin), he realizes she is desperate and in need of a friend who can guide her through the ways and means of surviving in Manhattan with no money. Alexandra moves in as a third roommate and helps out with Victor's street photography Victoria attempts to help her by getting her hooked up with a rich Park Avenue swell, but Alexandra accidentally meets his handsome son, Paul Bryson Jr. (Robert Preston) instead, and Victor, to his own surprise, becomes jealous. Before Victor and Alexandra come together as a couple, there are (of course) further misunderstandings and fisticuffs and the like.[1][2]



New York Town, based on the story, "Night Time" by Jo Swerling, was originally to have been directed by Mitchell Leisen, but when he was assigned to do I Wanted Wings, Charles Vidor was borrowed from Columbia.[3]

The film was in production from early November to late December 1940.[4] The original ending of the film featured a parade of the German-American Bund, but this was re-shot.[3] The film was released on 31 October 1941, a full 10 months after the completion of principal photography.[5]


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