Tenth Avenue Angel

Tenth Avenue Angel is a 1948 American film directed by Roy Rowland and starring Margaret O'Brien, Angela Lansbury, and George Murphy. It chronicles the life and family of Flavia Mills (Margaret O'Brien) in the late 1930s.[2][3] Filming took place 11 March–15 May 1946, with retakes in April 1947. However, the film was not released until February 20, 1948.[4]

Tenth Avenue Angel
Directed byRoy Rowland
Produced byRalph Wheelwright
Screenplay byHarry Ruskin
Eleanore Griffin
Story byAngna Enters
Based on"Miracle at Midnight"
by Craig Rice
StarringMargaret O'Brien
Angela Lansbury
George Murphy
Music byRudolph G. Kopp
CinematographyRobert L. Surtees
Edited byGeorge Boemler
Ralph E. Winters
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • February 20, 1948 (1948-02-20)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$900,000[1]

Plot summary

Eight-year-old Flavia (Margaret O'Brien) lives in a New York tenement during the Great Depression with mother Helen (Phyllis Thaxter) and father Joe (Warner Anderson), who's nearly broke and needs a job. Her aunt Susan (Angela Lansbury) lives with them, too.

Flavia's thrilled because Susan's sweetheart Steve (George Murphy) is returning from a one-year absence. The little girl is unaware that Steve's been in jail for associating with a gangster.

Flavia sees a mouse and is afraid. Her mother tells Flavia a fable that if you catch a mouse and make a wish, it will turn into money. This leads her to hide a mouse in a cigar box in the alley near the blind newspaper man's stand (Mac) (Rhys Williams). Two neighborhood youths rob Mac and by coincidence hide the money right by the girl's box with the mouse. Flavia finds it and is overjoyed until the adults accuse her of stealing it from Blind Mac. Her mother has to tell her the truth about the fable and Flavia realizes that so many stories she has heard are "lies".

Everybody's desperate for money. Helen's pregnant and faces physical complications. Steve's unable to get his old job, driving a taxi. The gangster offers him a payday for stealing a truck, but Steve's conscience gets the better of him at the last minute. Helen is all right, Joe finds a job and Flavia's thrilled because Susan's going to marry Steve.



The film was an expensive failure at the box office, earning only $725,000 in the US and Canada and $75,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $1,227,000.[1]

Film critic Leonard Maltin described the film as having a "terrible, syrupy script" [5]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Variety film review; January 21, 1948, page 20.
  3. Harrison's Reports film review; January 17, 1948, page 10.
  4. "Tenth Avenue Angel". Tcm.com. 2009-11-12. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  5. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/3523/Tenth-Avenue-Angel/

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