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 <email@example.com>
This is probably the only major film to offer a fairly accurate re-creation of the General Slocum disaster. The popular excursion steamer caught fire in New York's East River on the morning of June 15, 1904, while transporting passengers to a picnic organized by St. Mark's Evangelical German Lutheran Church (Lower East Side, Manhattan). At an estimated 1,021 fatalities, mostly women and children, this was New York City's single worst tragedy, in terms of lives lost, before 9/11. An incompetent, inexperienced crew was held primarily to blame for the tragedy. See more »
In the close up of the newspaper announcing Jim as the new D.A., in the upper right corner, the newspaper is being sold for "Five Cens". See more »
They didn't name this "Manhatten *Melodrama* for nothing - it's classic melodrama! If you can get past the first fifteen minutes or so, what saves this film is the three leads: William Powell, Clark Gable, and Myrna Loy. As a Myrna Loy/William Powell fan, I love the whole scene from their first meeting, as she flings herself into his taxi, and he thinks she is out to wreck his career by pretending he assaulted her! Clark Gable is great as the charming bad guy, too. Of course, in this story about unpunished crime vs. betraying a friend, nobody ever considers the third way, but then it wouldn't be a melodrama anymore, would it? Anyway, if you enjoy golden oldies or any of the three main actors, it's worth watching.
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