7.2/10
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44 user 19 critic

Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 4 May 1934 (USA)
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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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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George Sidney ...
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Thomas E. Jackson ...
Richard Snow (as Thomas Jackson)
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Miss Adams (as Claudelle Kaye)
Frank Conroy ...
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Jimmy Butler ...
Jim as a Boy
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Blackie as a Boy
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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:

Not Rated | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Eleanor Packer: [to the priest] It must be nice in jail, with you there.
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Connections

Referenced in The Real Untouchables (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Gaudeamus Igitur
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played as background music when Jim Wade gets his law degree
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The original
31 March 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Two boyhood friends (one played by a very young Mickey Rooney) grow up on opposite sides of the law. Clark Gable becomes a criminal--William Powell becomes governor. Myrna Loy loves both.

This plot is now screamingly familar but, back in 1934, this was original. In fact it won the Best Original Story Oscar for its year. This could have been a real howler but a great cast, tight script and wonderful direction really put it over. Well worth catching--especially for a powerful climatic scene between Powell and Gable. A classic of its type.


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