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The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 October 1938 (USA)
When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

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(screen play), (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lieutenant Brent
...
Helen Frayne
...
Edward Norris
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Pat James
...
Kit Beverly (as Vicki Lester)
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Lee Wilson
Catherine O'Quinn ...
Dora Fenton
...
Myra Frost (as Linda Terry)
...
Jane
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Hilda (as Hattie McDaniels)
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Sullivan
...
Bat Regan
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Frances Glesk
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Miss Manton est folle  »

Box Office

Budget:

$383,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was modestly successful at the box office, earning RKO a profit of $88,000 ($1.52M in 2017) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lt. Mike Brent: Everybody suspects you of holding out, even I do.
Melsa Manton: Oh, I bet you say that to all the girls.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

Enjoyable fluff if you enjoy screwball comedy...
16 May 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Barbara Stanwyck in another "I saw the body until it disappeared" kind of farce, giving the audience a good time as she tangles with unbelieving police inspector (Sam Levene) and a newspaper reporter looking for a good story (Henry Fonda).

The supporting cast includes Hattie McDaniel and Penny Singleton but it's Stanwyck's performance that makes this one shine. Henry Fonda plays another variation on his mild-mannered dunce but it's Stanwyck who keeps the dialogue snappy and the events somewhat believable.

It's a wacky blend of comedy and mystery with a denouement that is less than satisfying as none of the supporting characters are more than cardboard stereotypes. Passes the time pleasantly enough, but don't expect anything great.

Stanwyck gets the glamour treatment and looks her best in the madcap title role.


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