The trailer for The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu 2.26) offers a glimpse of a rainy Times Square sometime in early 1948. Except the two most visible movie marquees are playing films that opened seven months apart — The Bishop’s Wife (12.9.47) and Key Largo (7.16.48).
Is it likely that The Bishop’s Wife was still playing at a first-run theatre in mid July ’48? No, not very — hit films could last several weeks in Times Square (or even longer if it was a big roadshow event film with reserved seats) but not seven months.
And look at that rainy noirscape — people are wearing hats and overcoats and Billie is draped in a white fur wrap. I know what mid-July is like in NYC — women don’t wear fur when they’re melting from the heat.
The bottom line is that this is a fantasy Times Square…let’s call it Billie Square. The Bishop’s Wife is playing at a big corner theatre that could have been the Roxy, except it opened at the Astor. Why couldn’t they just get it right?