The John Roberts Costume Company is being run super-efficiently by Doris Roberts, but her husband demands that she give up her position to stay at home with their young son. Without her wheeling and dealing skills the company starts to lose money and when John leaves for Europe on a tryst, Doris returns to save the firm. Hooking up with an obviously disturbed producer and a pair of theatrical backers, the costume company seems to be on the road to riches again when John returns and wants his share of the profits. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Could Mel Brooks have seen this before he wrote his screenplay for "The Producers"? The two films sure have a lot in common. Unfortunately, "Manhattan Parade" is a shout-fest -- apparently, the movie director didn't trust the microphones to pick up normal conversations, and when the movie was converted from its live stage form, nobody told the actors to stop playing to the balcony. So much is screamed it becomes tiresome quickly. If only the lines were memorable enough to be screamed.
But I liked the moxieness of the wife, the elegant solutions of the research director, and, yeah, the limp-wristed gayness of the artistic director, a walking dictionary of practically every gay cliché there is. All of this stuff became impossible once the Code kicked in, so the movie does have its interests, if perhaps mainly for film and cultural historians.
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