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The Toast of New York (1937)

 -  Biography | Comedy | Drama  -  30 July 1937 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 612 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 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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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jim Fisk
...
Nick Boyd
...
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
Edit

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

Unlike the events in the film, Jim Fisk was shot and killed in a fight over a woman. Josie Mansfield was only one of his romantic interests. 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: Besides, if you want something real bad, you gotta take some hard knocks to get it.
James 'Jim' Fisk Jr.: Say, you've learned a lot for a young lady. What are you after... reaching for the moon?
Josie Mansfield: No, just one little star on a dressing room door.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The First Time I Saw You
(1937)
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Lyrics by Allie Wrubel
Played during the opening credits
Played on a harp and sung by Frances Farmer (uncredited)
Played often in background as a leitmotif for scenes with Josie and Nick
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rarely-seen gem, catch it if you can!
21 December 2006 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

I am always on the lookout for the products of the Golden Age of Hollywood, especially ones that I haven't seen before. In a lifetime of watching classic films, I had never seen this one. The opening credits indicate that this film was based on a story called *Robber Barons,* which gives you some idea of the subject matter. The three anchoring parts are played by Edward Arnold as Jim Fisk, Cary Grant as his partner Nick Boyd, and Jack Oakie as Luke, seeming a bit "country bumpkinish" I thought in the company of the other two bons vivants. The love interest, in the form of showgirl Josephine Mansfield, is filled by lovely Frances Farmer. I must give a special mention to old reliable supporting actor Donald Meek - usually seen as a fixture in MGM features. Here he is given one of the ripest supporting roles I have ever seen him in as Bible-spouting, aphorism-quoting, shipping magnate "Uncle Daniel" Drew. I will say no more for now, so as to avoid spoilers, but I found his performance truly wonderful. The film is lensed beautifully in stunning black and white, features smooth direction by *Son of Frankenstein* and *Tower of London* director Rowland V. Lee, and most especially the cast are supported by a literate, witty script featuring some of the juiciest dialog that has been my pleasure to indulge in in years. This film is right up there with such classics of the era as *His Girl Friday* (*The Front Page*), with the difference that the effervescence takes place in the historical setting of the latter half of the 19th. Century. I am not surprised to find out that the film takes liberties with the facts - but with such polished actors and literate script, it presents an idealized version with consummate technique. Since it really is a star vehicle and tour de force for Edward Arnold rather than Grant, I am left wondering why he wasn't given more such opportunities to steal the show - which he does rather handily.


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