IMDb > Man Wanted (1932)

Man Wanted (1932) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 62% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Lord (story)
Charles Kenyon (adaptation)
View company contact information for Man Wanted on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 April 1932 (USA) See more »
Lois is the editor of the 400 Magazine and is a work-a-holic. When Tom comes to her office to sell her a rowing machine... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
DVD Review: "Forbidden Hollywood Volumes 4 And 5"
 (From CinemaRetro. 26 August 2012, 3:47 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Very good even though the main characters seem unlikable and selfish See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kay Francis ... Lois Ames
David Manners ... Thomas 'Tom' / 'Tommy' Sherman
Una Merkel ... Ruth 'Ruthie' Holman

Andy Devine ... Andy Doyle
Kenneth Thomson ... Fred 'Freddie' Ames
Claire Dodd ... Ann Le Maire
Elizabeth Patterson ... Miss Harper, Lois' Secretary
Edward Van Sloan ... Mr. Walters, French & Sprague Manager
Robert Greig ... Harper (scenes deleted)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Youngster in Store (as Junior Coghlan)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Chefe ... Impatient Man in Lois's Office (uncredited)
Betty Farrington ... New Secretary (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Fred's Party Guest (uncredited)
Douglas Gerrard ... Mr. Orca (uncredited)
Charlotte Merriam ... Miss Smith, Receptionist (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Speakeasy Waiter (uncredited)
Jack Trent ... Fred's Party Guest (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Waiter at Fred's Party (uncredited)

Directed by
William Dieterle 
Writing credits
Robert Lord (story)

Charles Kenyon (adaptation)

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Gregg Toland 
Film Editing by
James Gibbon 
Art Direction by
Anton Grot 
Costume Design by
Earl Luick (gowns)
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Perry Finnerman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bert Shipman .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Homer Van Pelt .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:62 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Guy Kibbee (Devins) and Virginia Sale (Miss Winkler) are listed in studio records for acting in this movie, but were not seen. Robert Greig is credited onscreen as Harper, a role played by Elizabeth Patterson.See more »
Fred 'Freddie' Ames:Hey, you changed your office, haven't you? I hardly recognize it.
Lois Ames:You should come down oftener and see where your busy little wife works.
Fred 'Freddie' Ames:You're a swell girl, Lois. Don't you ever resent having a rich loafer for a husband?
Lois Ames:Never.
See more »
River, Stay 'Way from My DoorSee more »


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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Very good even though the main characters seem unlikable and selfish, 23 December 2007
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This is a very interesting film and it's worth a look even though the main characters are mostly selfish and unlikable! Had they been more decent in how they treated others, I probably would have liked this film a lot more.

This film was made during the so-called "Pre-Code" era--when Hollywood pretty much ignored the Hays Office and films featured a lot of very adult topics. Some of this was great, as films were allowed to have topics discussed that probably would have been ignored once the new Production Code was enacted in 1934. Some of this freedom was not so great, as adultery was often encouraged and nudity pervaded even supposedly "family films" (such as BEN HUR (1927) and TARZAN AND HIS MATE). MAN WANTED does not have some of the cursing or nudity of some of these films, but it does seem to glorify or excuse away infidelity--providing a false image that there are no victims in these situations, as couples just cordially agree to part when they find better partners.

Kay Francis, a favorite of the more sensationalistic Pre-Code films, plays a hard-driving and seemingly asexual woman who runs a magazine that's been in her family for generations. Typical of the silly stereotype of the day, she is a woman who can't mix work and her personal life and her husband is basically a party animal who is half-intoxicated through most of the film. Into this lovely marriage comes a new secretary for Francis (David Manners). How she uses and abuses her secretaries actually bothered me a lot more than her contempt for her marriage. That's because her last secretary was fired with no notice or severance because the secretary objected to working 20 hour days again and again for Francis. Manners, it seems, has no life nor self-esteem and is more than willing to let Francis walk all over him. He is well paid for this, so Francis seems to take no notice for Manners' needs--even though it's becoming obvious that he's falling in love with her.

Now here we have two problems. First, considering that Francis is a cold and selfish career woman, how could Manners fall so hard for her? Sure, he might fantasize about her sexually (she was considered quite a looker in 1932--something viewers today will probably find hard to believe), but to marry such a person?! Second, while Manners isn't married in the film, he does have a fiancée (Una Merkel) and he treats her horribly--stringing her along even though it's obvious he doesn't love her. Merkel isn't exactly a huge prize, but she's decent--as was Manners' friend played by Andy Devine. In fact, this was one of Devine's best supporting performances--coming off as less comical and goofy than usual and more just a nice and sweet person.

All this ends exactly the way you'd expect--all according to formula. So there are both no likable characters and few surprises. So how does the movie STILL get a 6?! Well, the acting, directing and all were still very competent and the film is interesting to watch--keeping me focused throughout. Not a great film but a decent time-passer--just so long as you don't internalize the message that the film seems to be trying to make--that adultery ain't so bad after all!

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