Manpower (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  9 August 1941 (USA)
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Reviews: 24 user | 6 critic

Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay ... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Marshall
Jumbo Wells
Smiley Quinn
Eddie Adams
Walter Catlett ...
Sidney Whipple
Lucia Carroll ...
Egon Brecher ...
Pop Duval
Cliff Clark ...
Joseph Crehan ...
Al Hurst


Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay Duval in a clip joint, but tensions start to show in the road crew as rivally between Hank and Johnny increases. Written by Col Needham <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Raft and Robinson are at the brawling point!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herzen in Flammen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While visiting his friend George Raft on the set, Bugsy Siegel was introduced to Virginia Hill. In the scene where Raft gets into a brawl with Barton MacLane, Hill appears as the hat-check girl to whom Raft gives a smashed chair as he leaves the nightclub. The brawl scene and Bugsy Siegel's first meeting with Virginia Hill on the gas station movie set are recreated in Bugsy (1991). See more »


After Johnny bails Fay out of jail, they are seen walking together down a stairway at the police station. When they arrive at the first landing, as they turn and continue to descend the stairs, the shadow of the microphone boom can be seen on the wall behind them. See more »


Man calling the power company.: [First Lines] Power and light company? Hey, the lights are out!
See more »


Referenced in Navy Blues (1941) See more »


He Lied and I Listened
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Marlene Dietrich (uncredited) at the Midnight Club
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

Trademark Walsh dynamics
29 December 2005 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

Power-line repairman Edward G. Robinson marries prostitute Marlene Dietrich, but she finds herself enamored by hubby's best friend and colleague, a gallant George Raft.

There is much to enjoy in Raoul Walsh's exhilarating melodrama, and although it adheres rather too strictly to a proved formula, Walsh, always a great master at this, gives depth and dimension to the action. Walsh paints a vivid and loyal picture of this blue-collar environment of camaraderie and pranks, and Alan Hale's repairman is the whole deal rolled into one, there is not ONE joke about high voltage that he doesn't know, or doesn't repeat, ad nauseam. Every workplace has one! 'Manpower' is full of the trademark Walsh dynamics, comparable to the electric power, the frequent thunderstorms and the high tempo. The action is engrossing, the film overall is smoothly produced, briskly edited, brilliantly lit, designed and photographed. Never did sleekly wet, black raincoats photograph more memorably.

Robinson and Raft are congenially cast, but Dietrich is a long-shot as the prostitute turned housewife. "How's this dame stacked up?", Robinson asks of Raft, before he is introduced to her. Raft, waveringly: "Oh, just a dame ...". Well, she photographs like a goddess, and is impossibly glamorous. And quite improbably so.

Don't expect another Walsh masterpiece, but brace yourself for a hugely enjoyable flic that just whirls by you.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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