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Manhattan Madness (1916)

 -  Comedy  -  1 October 1916 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 37 users  
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Steve O'Dare, a young New Yorker who has gone off to Wyoming to be a cowboy, returns to New York to sell some cattle. He bores his friends with tales of the exciting Western life, so they ... See full summary »



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Title: Manhattan Madness (1916)

Manhattan Madness (1916) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Complete credited cast:
Steve O'Dare
Jewel Carmen ...
George Beranger ...
Ruth Darling ...
Eugene Ormonde ...
Count Marinoff
Macey Harlam ...
Villain (as Macey Harlan)
Warner Richmond ...
John Richmond ...
Cupid Russell
Albert MacQuarrie


Steve O'Dare, a young New Yorker who has gone off to Wyoming to be a cowboy, returns to New York to sell some cattle. He bores his friends with tales of the exciting Western life, so they plot to trick him with a mock abduction. But although Steve falls for the gag, he ends up turning the tables on his friends. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new york | cowboy







Release Date:

1 October 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aito amerikkalaista  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remade as Manhattan Madness (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

Doug Fairbanks unbuckles his swash.
15 October 2007 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

I saw 'Manhattan Madness', starring Douglas Fairbanks Snr, in October 2005 at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Sacile, Italy; they screened an Eastman House print, and the screening was made even more enjoyable thanks to a live-music performance by a seven-piece ensemble led by John M Davis, who had painstakingly reconstructed most of the original music cue-sheets from this film's 1916 release. Although Davis was ultimately unable to find some of the original music cues, he did discover an obscure Irving Berlin song titled 'Manhattan Madness' -- unrelated to this same-named movie, yet similar in tone -- which he patchworked into the score.

Some of the more elaborate silent films had music scores specially composed for them. More typically, productions such as 'Manhattan Madness' were released to cinema exhibitors with a cue sheet of sound effects and musical cues compiled from classical music and/or popular songs already published. The original 1916 music cues for 'Manhattan Madness' featured an eclectic score of melodies from many sources, as well as sound effects for gunshots, horses' hooves and breaking furniture.

Several Fairbanks films (notably 'The Mollycoddle' and 'Wild and Woolly') cast Fairbanks as an eastern 'dude' who goes out to the wild West and tangles with cowpokes: after some initial culture lag, Doug proves his ability to root'n'toot with the best of them. 'Manhattan Madness' reverses the formula, starring Doug as a western cowpoke who comes to Manhattan and runs up against city slickers. This being a Fairbanks movie, there's no doubt that he eventually comes up trumps.

In the opening scenes, there's some amusing cross-cutting between Manhattan life and the equivalent (but very different) life out on the range. Director Allan Dwan cuts from a swank Manhattan nightclub to a chuck wagon; from a double-decker bus on Fifth Avenue to a rattling stagecoach; from a Manhattan playboy to an ornery hombre.

Doug, or more likely his uncredited stunt double (Richard Talmadge?), gets to do plenty of athletics here: as Steve O'Dare -- a native New Yorker who was raised out west, now returned to the east -- Doug jumps over chairs, leaps over fences, climbs in and out of windows and even dives off a roof. However, his surroundings are somewhat less swashbuckling than usual: the very un-Fairbanksian narrative sends him into a spooky old house, with lots of trap doors, secret passages and (of course) a fair damsel in distress. This movie is as close as Doug Fairbanks ever got to Scooby-Doo territory.

The cutting in this film is very rapid, with many shots in the climactic sequence each running barely ten feet of footage at 18 fps. No editor is credited; Allan Dwan probably cut the negative himself, or supervised it.

'Manhattan Madness' is not a typical Fairbanks film, but he manages to include most of the elements that kept his fans happy while varying his usual formula. Any movie by Allan Dwan deserves to be better known. My rating for this one: 8 out of 10.

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