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Child of Manhattan (1933)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 166 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)

Child of Manhattan (1933) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Madelaine McGonagle
John Boles ...
Paul Otto Vanderkill
Panama Kelley (as Charles 'Buck' Jones)
Jessie Ralph ...
Aunt Minnie (as Jessie Rolph)
Clara Blandick ...
Aunt Sophie
Luis Alberni ...
Carlos Spumoni Bustamente
Warburton Gamble ...
Stephen Eggleston
Mrs. McGonagle
Garry Owen ...
Buddy McGonagle (as Gary Owen)
Lucy McGonagle
Nat Pendleton ...
Spyrene - Dance Hall Bouncer


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | divorce | mexico | marriage | aunt | See more »


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


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

10 April 1936 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Child of Manhattan  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Sheehan is in studio records/casting call lists as "Bartender," but the only bartender seen was Jack Kennedy. See more »


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


Beautiful Love
Music by Victor Young
(heard on player piano roll)
See more »

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User Reviews

far from classic pre-code has its moments
21 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As other reviewers stated, this Columbia pre-code has some of Preston Sturges characteristic touches. But I especially enjoyed the dance hall matron and mentor "Aunt" Minnie, who is a salty, bawdy Jewish tough girl who curses in Yiddish,"mamzer"- bastard and steals every scene. The movie has its dull spots due probably to the unheralded director. It also suffers from Columbia's cheap budget. Although it does give us little luxe in one of the funniest scenes in an expensive dress shop . The owner/salesman makes no secret of his gay orientation as he says as he squeezes Nancy Carrols body,"Don't think of me as a man, think of me as an artiste!"

Nancy figures it out and minces, "Okay Dear!"

Nancy Carrol is pretty good in the leading role but the male actors are dull as dishwater. There are some interesting sociological/historical bits worth noting. A lot is made of Nancy's low class Brooklyn accent(she says apperntment and Greenpernt instead of appointment and Greenpoint). Archie Bunker spoke similarly. That pronunciation has practically vanished from New York of today. New Yorkers still have distinctive accents but some of the distinctions have disappeared over the years.

Also worth noting is the sexual attitudes. Nancy works in a dance hall but it is made clear that she is not a prostitute and she is told by her mother to try to refuse money if it offered to her. Her lazy brother calls her a tramp as soon as she moves in with her lover, without being married and she is soon punished with a dead baby for her sins. The sexual revolution of the 1960's changed attitudes and behaviors. But this movie is worth seeing for 1930's peak into the sexual attitudes of the day.

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