By now you've heard the good news that the San Gennaro Feast will not be cut short this year, thanks to the efforts of its many supporters. Of course, the fight is not over--the Nolitans will surely try again next time--and, as of now, the March 26 rally to keep the feast going is still on.
Our friends at Grade-A Fancy recently let us know about the TCM channel's March 16 showing of the 1960 film Wedding and Babies, in which the Feast is prominently featured.
all screenshots from the film
Directed by Morris Engel, perhaps best known for The Little Fugitive, the film tells the story of a pair of lovers on the Lower East Side, an Italian-American photographer/filmmaker and the bohemian gal who yearns to be his wife.
The New York Times in 1960 called it one of Engel's "candid-camera look-ins on a realistic slice of New York life--this time a tediously extended quarrel between two young people in love."
But the scenes of the feast are far from tedious. Shot in 1957, they show a bustling festival, the sidewalks full of people and stands loaded with clams, fried dough, watermelon slices, dolls, balloons, and other prizes. And, of course, there are lots of fried sausages--along with those "greasy sausage fingers" the Nolitan boutique owners so despise.
There's a lovely Italian girl cutting onions for the sausages. Her eyes never once stop tearing.
The saint goes by festooned in flowers, carried by the Figli di San Gennaro.
Feast-goers play a ring-toss game in front of the Rialto Restaurant. Does anyone recognize it?
In this shot below, you can get your bearings in the neighborhood. There's Alleva and Piemonte in the background, on the corner of Mulberry and Grand. Until very recently, that LIBRERIA sign on the right still existed. Does it still?
In the end, will the bohemian gal get her man? Who could resist her burning desire for an Italian name?