The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  21 October 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,373 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 10 critic

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.



(screen play), (story), 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Levene ...
Lieutenant Brent
Frances Mercer ...
Helen Frayne
Stanley Ridges ...
Edward Norris
Whitney Bourne ...
Pat James
Vickie Lester ...
Kit Beverly (as Vicki Lester)
Ann Evers ...
Lee Wilson
Catherine O'Quinn ...
Dora Fenton
Linda Perry ...
Myra Frost (as Linda Terry)
Eleanor Hansen ...
Hilda (as Hattie McDaniels)
James Burke ...
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Bat Regan
Penny Singleton ...
Frances Glesk


Madcap debutante Melsa Manton finds a body in a deserted house. Of course, the police don't believe her. Stung by Peter Ames's front page editorial decrying her "prank," Melsa enlists seven fellow debs to help her investigate. The wisecracking young ladies proceed to run circles around the police, the suspects, and the press. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Miss Manton est folle  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Katharine Hepburn turned down the role of Melsa Manton after the poor box-office of Bringing Up Baby (1938). See more »


In a romantic scene in the middle of the film Melsa tells Peter, that "she's had dozens of cigarette lighters but none of them worked." However, at the start of the film when she snoops around the Lane house, she uses a WORKING cigarette lighter as a torch. See more »


Peter Ames: We'll go to South America, for six months - maybe we'll never come back!
Melsa Manton: Can you afford it?
Peter Ames: No, but you can.
Melsa Manton: Isn't there a drop of red blood in your veins? I want to live on your income!
Peter Ames: That's foolish, who's going to live on yours?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a flashlight lights up each page of credits. See more »


References Having Wonderful Time (1938) See more »


Home on the Range
Music by Daniel E. Kelley (1904)
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley (as Brewster 'Bruce' Higley) (1873)
Sung a cappella by James Burke
See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful Fonda-Stanwyk vehicle!
16 May 2005 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I think this may be Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck's first movie together and sparks fly. The dialog is fast and witty. The actual mystery shown in the movie is irrelevant. If you like films from the 30's and have already seen the classics such as The Lady Eve and Palm Beach Story, then definitely see this. I wish Henry Fonda had done more comedy but he makes up for lost time here. Unlike The Lady Eve, where he is primarily the straight man (with terrific physical comedy), in the Mad Miss Manton he gives as good as he gets with his leading lady. I don't know why this movie doesn't get more attention. I think it is a lot funnier than "The Male Animal". For another comedic effort of Fonda's, watch Tales of Manhattan. He has a gem of a scene with Ginger Rogers.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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