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Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  4 May 1934 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,144 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Manhattan Melodrama (1934) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Leo Carrillo ...
...
George Sidney ...
...
Muriel Evans ...
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Richard Snow (as Thomas Jackson)
Isabelle Keith ...
Miss Adams (as Claudelle Kaye)
Frank Conroy ...
Noel Madison ...
Jimmy Butler ...
Jim as a Boy
...
Blackie as a Boy
Shirley Ross ...
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Storyline

Orphans Edward "Blackie" Gallagher and Jim Wade are lifelong friends who take different paths in life. Blackie thrives on gambling and grows up to be a hard-nosed racketeer. Bookworm Wade becomes a D.A. vying for the Governorship. When Blackie's girlfriend Eleanor leaves him and marries the more down to earth Wade, Blackie harbors no resentment. In fact, their friendship is so strong that Blackie murders an attorney threatening to derail Wade's bid to become Governor. The morally straight Wade's last job as D.A. is to convict his friend of the murder, and send him to the electric chair. After he becomes Governor, Wade has the authority to commute Blackie's death sentence-- a decision that pits his high moral ethics against a lifelong friendship. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El enemigo público número 1  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the movie that bank robber John Dillinger had just seen before he was gunned down in front of Chicago's Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934. He had been set up by Anna Sage, the madam of a brothel, who knew Dillinger's girlfriend, Polly Hamilton. Sage was facing deportation and thought the tip might get her off. She told FBI agent Melvin Purvis that she would be wearing orange which appeared red, leading her to be dubbed "The Woman in Red". Dillinger was shot three times when he tried to escape, and Sage wound up being sent back to Romania. See more »

Goofs

When having breakfast in bed, the phone on the nightstand rings, and Eleanor moves to answer it. It the next shot her hands are not in the same position, and she has to reach out again to answer the phone. See more »

Quotes

Edward J. 'Blackie' Gallagher: Well I'm not dressed for company!
See more »

Connections

Featured in David O. Selznick: 'Your New Producer' (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

What's the Matter With Father
(1910) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Harry Williams
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played aboard the steamboat in the first scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two men, one woman: A '30s melodrama with a great cast
2 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Clark Gable and William Powell are boyhood friends who end up on opposite sides of the law in "Manhattan Melodrama," also starring Myrna Loy. Loy is lovely here, as usual, but she doesn't really have much of a role. The film focuses on Gable and Powell. In the first scenes of the film, we see that they are orphaned and taken in by a man who has lost his son in the same fire that killed the boys' friends and family.

When we see them in present day, Gable is running an illegal gambling joint, leaning on people for money they owe, and dating the Loy character. Powell is in politics. After Loy spends some time with Powell, she decides she'd rather be with him, and eventually they marry, and Powell moves from DA to governor. Gable becomes increasingly ruthless, though the two remain devoted friends.

There are some melodramatic sections in the film, particularly the beginning and the courtroom scene which contains a very dramatic speech delivered by Powell. The acting is marvelous. Gable is likable as a slick gangster who takes things in stride. His smile lights up the screen. He really had one of the great screen presences - looks, a great voice, and dripping with charm.

But the really interesting performance is given by Powell. He's not the witty, energetic Thin Man in this, but a very committed and serious, dignified person with a lot on his shoulders. He's totally believable, and he and Gable provide great contrast. Powell's scene at the end of the film is very touching.

Enjoy the great stars and the story, but don't look for laughs.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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