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The Toast of New York (1937)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  30 July 1937 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 657 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 5 critic

Notorious robber baron financier Jim Fisk, who makes and loses fortunes, tries to corner the gold market as well as the heart of a beautiful actress.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jim Fisk
...
...
Josie Mansfield
Jack Oakie ...
Luke
...
Daniel Drew
Thelma Leeds ...
Fleurique
Clarence Kolb ...
Vanderbilt
...
Photographer
...
Broker
Russell Hicks ...
Lawyer
Dudley Clements ...
Collins
Lionel Belmore ...
President of Board
Robert McClung ...
Bellhop
Robert Dudley ...
Janitor
Dewey Robinson ...
Beef Dooley
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Storyline

The story starts just before the Civil War, showing Fisk, Boyd, and Luke conning Southern townsfolk into buying bars of soap that, might, have a $10 gold piece inside. Found out, they're chased out of town and escape across the Mason-Dixon Line just as the war starts. Fisk hatches a plan for him and Boyd to return to the South and buy cotton then smuggle it to the North where Luke is to sell it to the Northern textile mills. By the end of the war they have made millions, only to find out that Luke had been re-investing their money into Confederate Bonds. This fact-based movie shows Jim Fisk as one of the greatest con-men and entrepreneur's in history. It concludes with his involvement in "Black Friday", the Financial Panic of 1869, with fellow financier Jay Gould (who's not represented in the movie) and their attempt to corner the U.S. gold market. There's a love triangle between Fisk, Boyd and Mansfield, which is also based on historical accounts. Written by AzRanger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The terror of Wall Street was a chump for this girl!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alla conquista dei dollari  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,072,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Fisk and his partner Ned Stokes (called Nick Boyd in the movie) were married but competed for the affections of showgirl Josie Mansfield. In real life she was a world-wise dark-haired, full-figured woman who bore little resemblance to the innocent, apple-cheeked blonde sincerity of Francis Farmer. Stokes and Mansfield blackmailed Fisk, and Stokes shot Fisk to death in 1872. Although the dying Fisk named Stokes as his murderer, he only served four years of a six year term for manslaughter. See more »

Goofs

After the photographer's first attempt to take the picture is ruined by being over-exposed, he fails to change the plate before taking the second one. See more »

Quotes

Josie Mansfield: [after receiving an expensive necklace from him] Mr. Fisk, what do you expect me to be?
James 'Jim' Fisk Jr.: [Pausing and dropping his eyes] Whatever you want to be.
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Last Days of Pompeii (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
In the score for the opening scene
Hummed by Edward Arnold
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cary Grant was second-billed!
13 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's rare to see the iconic Cary Grant get second billing, but in 1937, he did, under Edward Arnold in "The Toast of New York." This is the purported story of financial schemer Jim Fisk (Arnold), who, in the 1800s, tried to corner the gold market, oversold stock to his railroad company, and fled to New Jersey, continuing to print convertible bonds where no one could get him. The film takes a lot of liberties with the truth but it leaves no doubt that Fisk was a real character, beautifully portrayed by the talented, energetic Arnold. Grant plays his co-conspirator who also loves Fisk's discovery, Josie Mansfield (Frances Farmer). Fisk is madly in love with her and wants to make her a big star.

I have to say the movie dragged for me, and I didn't find it particularly interesting. The point of interest in it today, I guess, would be the presence of Frances Farmer, whose fascinating story was made into "Frances" starring Jessica Lange (and wow, the resemblance is incredible). Farmer was very beautiful with a deep voice that didn't really match her looks. The fact that her life story made her better known than her film career ever could have shouldn't be confused with acting ability, which wasn't that great on film. She was probably much more effective on stage. She doesn't register much here -in fact, the only ones who do are Arnold and Donald Meek. Handsome Grant doesn't have much to do - seen today, that's disconcerting. Viewers are used to him being the whole show.

Overall, a disappointment, though Arnold was a strong actor who usually did supporting roles. This is a rare lead for him, and he's more than up to the task.


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