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Young Man of Manhattan (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 17 May 1930 (USA)
Two flappers (Claudette Colbert and Ginger Rogers) try to get their newspaper reporter boyfriends to pay attention to them.



(novel), (adaptation) (as Robert Presnell) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Ann Vaughn
Toby McLean
Puff Randolph
Shorty Ross
Leslie Austin ...
Dwight Knowles
Lorraine Aalbu ...
One of the Sherman Sisters (as Aalbu Sisters)
Aileene Aalbu ...
One of the Sherman Sisters (as Aalbu Sisters)
Fern Aalbu ...
One of the Sherman Sisters (as Aalbu Sisters)
Harriet Aalbu ...
One of the Sherman Sisters (as Aalbu Sisters)
H. Dudley Hawley ...


Toby McLean, a reckless sports writer on a New York City newspaper, covers the Gene Tunney-Jack Dempsey heavyweight-championship fight in Philadelphia. There he meets Ann Vaughn, a feature writer for another newspaper, and they get married after a whirlwind romance. The romance begins to wane nearly as fast as it blossomed but, directly and indirectly, is salvaged by Toby's writer pal, "Shorty" Ross, and a ditsy socialite, "Puff" Randolph. Artchive footage provides shots of the Tunney-Dempsey fight, and other sports events of the era. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A glamorous modern-day love story that takes you places; shows you things! (original ad) See more »






Release Date:

17 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inconstância  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. However, because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package and may have never been televised. See more »


Puff Randolph: Cigarette me, big boy.
See more »


I've Got 'It' But 'It' Don't Do Me No Good
by Irving Kahal, Pierre Norman and Sammy Fain
Performed by Ginger Rogers
See more »

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User Reviews

"Cigarette Me, Big Boy"
15 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN is a highly entertaining comedy/drama early talkie particularly notable as the only film real-life married couple Norman Foster and Claudette Colbert made together. The duo star as newspaper reporters who meet as each is covering a boxing match (Foster is a regular sports reporter, Colbert is a multi-interest writer). With a major rainstorm going on (apparently, the fight is an outdoor match as the spectators get soaked!), Foster invites Colbert up to his nearby apartment to work on the story since she has to make the morning edition of her paper. Norman is instantly bewitched by this beautiful, intelligent "career girl" and proposes marriage before Claudette can pull the last sheet out of her typewriter.

Within the week they are Mr. and Mrs. but their whirlwind of love has potential problems. Somewhat traditional, Foster is a bit troubled by the fact that his wife makes essentially the same salary and then there is the issue that while he seems content to doodle through life as "just" a sports reporter (despite vague dreams of writing fiction), ambitious Claudette is eager to move up in the writing world. She's also remarkably "modern", suggesting that since both are always on the go pursuing stories it is OK for both of them to have "see" other people, presumably as platonic dinner dates. While out of town covering a story, Foster is pursued by teen-aged socialite/vamp Ginger Rogers, who follows him back to New York. Colbert continues to move up the publishing ladder, sent to California for an extended period to cover the film industry. Norman, meanwhile, continues ignoring bills, gambling, giving friends loans, and barely writing his column much less aiming for something higher and baby hussy Ginger is making her designs on Norman a little too obvious for Claudette who finds she isn't so modern after all and asks Norman to stop seeing her. When she finds out the duo were spotted at "The Jungle Club" the morning after Foster slips in at 3 am after a bender, it's the last straw and she asks him to move out.

This adaption of a popular Katherine Brush novel of the day may be a standard story but the cast makes it something quite wonderful. This was one of Claudette Colbert's first films, obviously with no star power at the studio at this point, she is frequently shot from angles she would have never permitted a decade later and while they may not flatter her beauty at times, she remains at all times an attractive and appealing woman. Husband Norman Foster made a career out of this type of character in early talkies, the smooth talking every man who turns out to have a number of character flaws and proves to be a mistake for the star lady. Here he has a more sympathetic adaptation of that character than normally and he makes the most of his role. 19-year-old Ginger Rogers is almost unrecognizable from her later superstar persona, here a dark-headed redhead, she speaks in a flirty almost Betty Boopish voice and is quite the coquette even if she too is often not photographed at her best. The fourth major character of the film is played by Charles Ruggles, a few years away from his own stock persona as the harried middle-aged everyman, it's particular delight to see Charlie as a snappy newspaperman with a sharp wit and a equal love for the ladies and liquor.

Basically a romantic drama with some good laughs, YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN although a modest picture is sure to please fans of pre-codes and certainly makes one wish Mr. and Mrs. Foster had been teamed together more often than this single film. Sports fans will also want to check it out for the (very) brief stock footage of Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, and Babe Ruth inserted into the picture.

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