A rich railroad tycoon, bored with his marriage (his wife has no time for him -- she's too busy giving parties and sailing on yachts) starts seeing a showgirl. This are going OK until the ... See full summary »
Czech immigrant Karel Novak fulfills his dream of coming to America only to learn at Ellis Island the entrance fee has been raised from $50 to $200. Unable to pay, he is put on a ship going back to Holland, but jumps off, swimming to Manhattan, and losing his wallet on shore. He is elated at what he sees, the skyscrapers, the automobiles and the opulence. While stealing doughnuts from a lunch table for girls rehearsing for a show, he befriends 19-year-old chorus girl, Sylvia Dennis, who then lets him sleep on the roof of her apartment building. Her young brother, Frank, gets him a job selling newspapers and he gradually works up into driving a cab. Meanwhile, romance blossoms, and when authorities threaten to send Frank to a young boys' home until Sylvia gets married, Karel proposes and Sylvia accepts. But the spectre of his illegal status causes him to see a lawyer about becoming a citizen. He unknowingly goes to shyster Halsey J. Pander, who turns him in for the money. Written by
Arthur Hausner <email@example.com>
Ginger Rogers and Francis Lederer have "Romance in Manhattan" in this 1935 film directed by Stephen Roberts. The movie also features Jimmy Butler, Sidney Toler, and Donald Meek.
The handsome Lederer plays Karel Novak, an immigrant to the U.S. who is sent back as soon as he arrives because he doesn't have the required $200. He thought he only needed $50. On the return ship to his native Czechoslovakia, he jumps ship, but loses his wallet in the process. Fortunately he meets a chorus girl, Sylvia, when he's trying to steal food. He winds up sleeping on the roof of the apartment building where Sylvia lives with her brother Frankie (Butler). Frankie helps Karel get a job delivering newspapers. Later on, Karel becomes a cab driver, all with the goal of earning the necessary $200 so he can stay in America.
What a wonderful movie, very heartwarming, with fine performances, especially by Lederer. Irving Thalberg intended to make Lederer a huge star in the U.S., but he died, and it didn't happen. Nevertheless, the European star made some fine films both in Europe and here, moved into television, started an acting school, and taught acting until he died at age 100. When he worked with Louise Brooks in Die Büchse der Pandora in 1929, he knew no English, and Brooks knew no German. Here he gives a witty, charming and sincere performance as Karel.
Ginger Rogers looks beautiful as Sylvia - she was 24 - and gives an excellent performance, sharing good chemistry with both Lederer and Butler.
Very sweet film, well directed, not cloying or overly sentimental. Loved it.
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