Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  4 May 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,475 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 20 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.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El enemigo público número 1  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 9, 1940 with William Powell and Myrna Loy reprising their film roles. See more »


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 »


Eleanor Packer: Now, now Blackie, Blackie don't do anything foolish!... Blackie?
Edward J. 'Blackie' Gallagher: [Chuckles] Did I ever do anything foolish?
See more »


Referenced in Dillinger (1973) See more »


Fleet on Parade
Music by Paul Marquardt
See more »

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User Reviews

Superior Drama - Fine Acting - Gable!!
1 August 2003 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

Excellent performances and direction combine with an exemplary script. Like all good fables, this story runs far deeper than its apparently simple premise. The same can be said of the fine acting from all players. The film explores the notion of nobility from highly contrasted perspectives and it offers plenty to discuss beyond the closing credits. Well worth catching!

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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