6.8/10
1,018
25 user 7 critic

Manpower (1941)

Approved | | Drama | 9 August 1941 (USA)
Two friends, who are members of a road crew employed by a Los Angeles power company, battle the elements to restore electrical power and trade punches over the same woman.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jumbo Wells
...
Omaha
...
...
Smiley Quinn
...
Eddie Adams
...
Sidney Whipple
...
...
Flo
Egon Brecher ...
Pop Duval
Cliff Clark ...
Cully
...
Sweeney
...
Al Hurst
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Raft and Robinson are at the brawling point!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Handle with Care  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To star in this film, George Raft turned down the role of Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1941). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hank 'Gimpy' McHenry: [Last Lines] Did anyone yell headache when I was coming down?
Johnny Marshall: Sure.
Hank 'Gimpy' McHenry: I'm glad nobody got hurt.
[Hank dies]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Navy Blues (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

He Lied and I Listened
(1941)
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
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User Reviews

Blows a Fuse
14 May 2009 | by See all my reviews

Is the movie a comedy with melodramatic overtones or a melodrama with comedic overtones. Sometimes it's hard to tell since exaggeration appears the way director Walsh has decided to pitch the material. The storms, the comedic byplay, Robinson's good-hearted working man—all are spread on pretty thickly and much of the time, I'm afraid, to a fault. At times there's almost a frenetic undercurrent as though the audience won't get the point unless it's shoveled on. Contrast Walsh's approach here with his tightly controlled direction of High Sierra (also 1941).

All in all, it's a strange movie. For example, when I think "daughter of the American working class", I don't think of a 40-year old with a German accent, even if she does pop gum in one scene. Just how that queen of continental glamour Marlene Dietrich wound up in a Warner Bros. programmer is puzzling, to say the least, especially when the studio had that supremely soulful blue-collar girl, Ida Lupino, under contract. Too bad that the wooden Dietrich adds to the phoniness of a movie that already has too much.

Of course, there are the thunder and lightning scenes that show what special effects in those days could do with a carefully lit soundstage. The storms are impressive, but they also make you doubt the sanity of anyone clambering around on 1,000 volt power lines. Falling appears to be the least of the hazards. Anyway, the movie's many conflicting parts produce an oddly awkward result, even if the very last shot achieves a kind of baroque poetry. Somehow, I suspect there's an inside story behind the making of this concoction that may be more compelling than the film itself.


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