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Wabash Avenue (film)

Wabash Avenue
Directed by Henry Koster
Produced by William Perlberg
Written by Charles Lederer
Harry Tugend
Starring Betty Grable
Victor Mature
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography Arthur E. Arling
Edited by Robert L. Simpson
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
May 24, 1950
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,050,000 (US rentals)[1]

Wabash Avenue is a 1950 American musical film directed by Henry Koster and starring Betty Grable. The film was a remake of Grable's earlier hit 1943 film Coney Island.


Ruby Summers is a burlesque queen in a successful dance hall in 1892 Chicago. The owner of the dance hall Mike has cheated his ex-partner Andy Clark out of a half interest in the business. Andy schemes to potentially ruin Mike and also hopes to make Ruby a classy entertainer, as well as his own girl.



Wabash Avenue, named from a major Chicago street, was reportedly conceived as a biopic of Chicago songwriter Gus Kahn. Negotiations dissolved but exhibitors had been promised that title so 20th Century Fox hastily substituted a rewrite of its 1943 Coney Island. The Kahn biopic was made at Warner Bros. in 1951 as I’ll See You in My Dreams, with Danny Thomas as Kahn.

At the time of the release of Wabash Avenue, Betty Grable was at the peak of her career. Throughout the 1940s she was the box office queen, with most of her films being among the top ten highest grossing of each year and being 20th Century Fox's big money makers. Grable was yearning for some originality at this point in her career, but agreed to the idea of remaking her own 1943 film Coney Island with new songs and dances. Coney Island had been a huge success for Fox, and Wabash Avenue followed with great success as well as being among the highest grossing films of 1950. The public loved Grable and her next film My Blue Heaven was also among the highest grossing films of that year.

Wabash Avenue also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for the number Wilhelmina


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1950', Variety, January 3, 1951

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