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Man Crazy (1927)

 |  Comedy  |  27 November 1927 (USA)
4.8
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 5 users  
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A spoiled heiress is bored by her high-society crowd, and falls for a young truck driver. Her family plans to marry her off to a wealthy young man, but she wants no part of that and she and... See full summary »

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Title: Man Crazy (1927)

Man Crazy (1927) on IMDb 4.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jack Mulhall ...
Jeffery Pell
Edythe Chapman ...
Grandmother Janeway
Phillips Smalley ...
James Janeway
...
Van Breamer
Ray Hallor ...
Danny
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Storyline

A spoiled heiress is bored by her high-society crowd, and falls for a young truck driver. Her family plans to marry her off to a wealthy young man, but she wants no part of that and she and her lover decide to elope. However, a gang of truck hijackers puts a crimp in their plans. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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society | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

27 November 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Homo-Mania  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
a Plot-o-Matic romance
12 February 2006 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'Man Crazy' has a doubly misleading title, which implies that this is a wild comedy about a nymphomaniac. In fact, it's a sedate comedy of manners, in which the female lead is a dignified ingenue. The movie is well-made and entertaining, but nothing special ... up until a fairly exciting action climax.

The stately and dignified Dorothy Mackaill plays Clarissa Janeway, a New England heiress who is bored with high society. She decides to amuse herself by opening a lunch room (called the Red Hen) in the post road. We're meant to consider her a sympathetic character, as she's bored with the snobbish rituals of high society, but I disliked her straight off: if she's so bored, then why doesn't she use some of her family's wealth to operate a soup kitchen for paupers who can't afford a meal at all, rather than slinging hash for working-class people who can buy a meal elsewhere? Anyway, she sells ham and eggs at the Red Hen.

She soon has a steady customer, in the manly shape of handsome lorry-driver Jeffrey Pell (Jack Mulhall), whose van is called the White Streak. Now, open the window to let some air in here before I reveal the plot twist. SPOILERS COMING. Jeff Pell is the male equivalent of Clarissa: he's the bachelor scion of a high-society family, who is bored with his family's wealth and has decided to earn a living for himself as the driver of an express truck. (Again: if this rich guy is so bored, why isn't he doing charity work?) Through some contrived set-ups, we learn about Jeff's wealth and position but Clarissa does not.

From here on, it's strictly Plot-o-Matic: Clarissa and Jeff fall in love, each thinking the other one a mere prole, and neither one eager to dilute the family bloodlines by marrying beneath their proper station. Clarissa's father (Phillips Smalley, quite good) and her grandmother (Edythe Chapman, overacting pathetically) make it clear that she ain't marryin' no truck-driver. Jeff Pell, reluctant to bring a hash-house waitress into his family tree, tries to persuade Clarissa to take a job as a schoolteacher. This leads to some weak slapstick.

The single biggest problem with 'Man Crazy' is that there's no real conflict: we know that the lovers will eventually learn the truth, and all will end happily. But there are other problems too. One of them is that there's nothing new here: this could just as easily have been the story about the prince and the princess who are disguised as a stable-boy and a shepherdess, falling in love whilst failing to recognise each other's true status. And I've intentionally chosen European examples (from nobility) as my example, because this points out another problem: the conflict in 'Man Crazy' is really more of a European plot line; not an American one, and especially not from the Jazz Age, when everything seemed possible. It really doesn't seem very plausible for mere social differences (or even financial ones) to stand in the way of two young Americans in 1927 who are genuinely in love.

I did enjoy an extended sequence in which Dorothy Mackaill wears riding clothes ... looking far sexier than I would have expected. SPOILERS COMING. Eventually some bootleggers try to hijack Jeff's truck while he's at the wheel ... but Clarissa (very implausibly) stops them.

Except for Edythe Chapman's histrionics, everything in 'Man Crazy' is done quite proficiently ... but the story is not especially original nor compelling, and it would have worked better as a Graustarkian romance in 19th-century Europe, with the bootleggers changed into bandits. Dorothy Mackaill's good looks belong in a much better film. I'll rate 'Man Crazy' just 7 out of 10.


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