All but forgotten today, Crowded Paradise was one of the first in-depth studies of racial tensions in postwar New York City. Mario Alcade plays Juan Figueroa, a Puerto Rican youth who come to Manhattan for the purpose of marrying his sweetheart Felicia Diaz (Enid Rudd). Despite running up against all manner of obstacles--most of them having to do with prejudice and misunderstanding--Juan is determined to make good in the his adopted country. The film veers dangerously towards melodrama at the climax, when a bigoted, sex-obsessed landlord (well played by Hume Cronyn) schemes to sabotage Juan and Felicia's wedding. Nancy Kelly costars as the landlord's sight-impaired wife, one of the few sympathetic Anglo characters in the film. Crowded Paradise was photographed on location by Boris Kaufman, who'd previously lensed the Oscar-winning "reality" drama On the Waterfront; the script was co-authored by Marc Connelly, of Green Pastures fame.
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