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Child of Manhattan (1933)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 167 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

Paul Vanderkill is extraordinarily wealthy because his grandfather happened to buy farmland in what was to become Midtown Manhattan. The Loveland Dance Hall is one of the tenants of the ... See full summary »

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Title: Child of Manhattan (1933)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Madelaine
John Boles ...
Paul
...
Panama Kelley (as Charles 'Buck' Jones)
Jessie Ralph ...
Aunt Minnie (as Jessie Rolph)
Clara Blandick ...
Aunt Sophie
Luis Alberni ...
Bustamente
Warburton Gamble ...
Eggleston
...
Mrs. McGonagle
Garry Owen ...
Buddy (as Gary Owen)
...
Lucy
...
Spyrene
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Storyline

Paul Vanderkill is extraordinarily wealthy because his grandfather happened to buy farmland in what was to become Midtown Manhattan. The Loveland Dance Hall is one of the tenants of the Vanderkill estates. To reassure his aunt Sophie, Vanderkill visits Loveland to determine whether it is as disreputable as Sophie suspects. There he meets a dime-a-dance girl, Madeleine MacGonagal, who charms him with her quaint proletarian accent. They begin a secret affair, which turns into a secret marriage when pregnancy ensues. When the baby fails to survive, Madeleine decides that since he had married her only for the baby's sake, she should make haste to Mexico to secure a divorce. There she meets Panama Canal Kelly, a former suitor who now owns a silver mine. Her plans for divorce and quick remarriage are complicated when Vanderkill arrives to confront her. Written by Cameron Majidi <cmaj@prolifics.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Women called her Sinner! Men called her Siren! He called her Sweetheart! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1936 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Anjo de New York  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Broadway production of "Child of Manhattan" by Preston Sturges opened at the Fulton Theater on May 1, 1932 and ran for 87 performances. See more »

Quotes

Madeleine McGonegal: Mexico is no place to talk of marriage.
See more »

Soundtracks

Take Everything But You
(uncredited)
Written by Maurice Abrahams and Elmer Colby
See more »

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User Reviews

Matrimony
27 June 2010 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Here's an interesting old movie, one of the earliest examples of a formula that would later define a whole genre, more a whole industry. Man meets girl and immediately falls in love. There is an event followed by a misunderstanding that send them apart. They rejoin at the end. Later this ending would require a public avowal, something missing here.

This is also an example of somethings that did not stick. Deep in the depression, many movies featured the ultra rich - people who just seemed to have money for no reason. Because this was before comical prudery changed films starting with the Code, we have the situation that guy knocks up the girl.

But I found it interesting for yet another reason. Movies from this era were far more willing to question gender roles than now is the case. Oh, today we worry about professions and opportunity. I'm talking about what it means to be a woman or man. In this film, we have our girl, with appealing innocence. She is the child of Manhattan, with clear immigrant, lower class heritage. Both she and the rich guy are noble people, but she far more. The film is about her decisions.

Sturges has taken the time to introduce four older women. They are shoehorned in and have nothing at all to do with the story; they are there only to show strong women, sometimes frustrated strength. There is the older woman at the dance hall where our girl works, who is much loved as she takes care of her girls. We have the aunt of our rich guy who is shown as a forceful nut job.

Then we have the girl's mother. We learn a lot about her past and values. She turns her daughter out on the street when she gets pregnant by her then boyfriend. This woman slaps her adult kids, hard. We spend the final third of the movie with the girl's aunt, something of a world traveller, a poor person's playgirl. She drinks too much but always seems to be on top of things.

Four strong women form the situation-of-womanhood in which we interpret our girl's life. Nothing like that today in mainstream films.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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