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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Speaking with a heavy Irish accent]
He ain't no gintleman!
He is so a gentleman; half the time I couldn't understand a word he was sayin'.
Probably a Grake or an Eye-talian or somethin'.
He's not a Greek, nor an Italian neither. He's from New York City, but he *is* a gentleman!
Then look out! I seen plenty a gintlemen when I was a housemaid on Fifth Avenue afore I married your pa, rist 'is soul, and compared to ordinary men... huh!
[after thinking for a moment]
Say, niver, niver walk upstairs in...
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I admit I obtained this film because I wanted to see John Boles' performance (he's always been a heart throb of mine) but it was Nancy Carroll's superb and sensitive performance of a common dance hall girl from Brooklyn with a heart of gold which kept me watching, especially considering the poor quality of the print I obtained.
With this multi-faceted performance Nancy proved she was capable of much more than silly flapper roles. Her character is not self-serving in the least, while John Boles' character Paul is indecipherable. After admitting he is totally in love with the dance hall girl he then states he doesn't want to marry her. An unexpected pregnancy forces his hand and he does the honorable thing by marrying her, but the marriage is a secret one. We are to assume it was to protect his older daughter, but since we never see this daughter we don't have much sympathy for Paul's concerns.
The audience receives a typical happy Hollywood ending in Child of Manhattan but somehow it doesn't quite fit the sum total of the film.
Watch Child Of Manhattan (if you can find it) to see Nancy Carroll at her best.
Update: TCM has recently broadcast this film in a lovely print. That's the one to see.
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