7.4/10
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39 user 11 critic

Tales of Manhattan (1942)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 24 September 1942 (USA)
A formal tailcoat that gets passed from one owner to another affects each life in a significant way.

Director:

Writers:

(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay) | 8 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ethel Halloway
...
Diane
...
George
...
Charles Smith
...
Avery L. 'Larry' Browne
...
Luke
...
Esther
...
Reverend Lazarus
...
John Halloway
...
Luther
...
Harry Wilson
...
Ellen
...
Edgar
...
'Squirrel'
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Storyline

An actor, Paul Orman, is accidentally told that his new, custom made tail coat has been cursed and it will bring misfortune to all who wear it. As the 4 succeeding wearers of the coat discover, misfortune can often lead to truth. Written by Richard Blinkal <phelam@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Experience You'll never forget !

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 September 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stars Over Manhattan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sequence where J. Carroll Naish breaks into the store to steal the coat was shot after it was decided to cut the Fields episode and substitute the shorter Niah sequence. See more »

Goofs

The small single engine plane flown by J. Carroll Naish after he robs the charity event could not possibly have carried enough gas to fly him from New York to the Deep South, where the coat gets thrown from the plane. See more »

Quotes

Lazar: [Looking at the brand new tailcoat on the clothes dummy] How do you like it?
Paul Orman: Fair.
Lazar: [Enthusiastically] Look at the shoulders! How do you like those lapels?
Paul Orman: [Admiringly] Beautiful.
Lazar: Ah, but it'll look better on you, sir.
Paul Orman: [Referring to the clothes dumm] o. Always looks better on him. He's more relaxed.
Paul Orman: [the group laughs politely] Luther, a flower.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Ratataa eller The Staffan Stolle Story (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Far Above Cayuga's Waters
(aka "Alma Mater") (uncredited)
Music from the song "Annie Lisle"
Written by H.S. Thompson
Played during the alley scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Something for everybody, a wide scope of human stories
30 May 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie leads us through a wide range of emotional interests -- good, bad, and indifferent -- all based on the odyssey of a tuxedo coat (or 'tails') which also seems to carry with it a superstitious jinx of sorts. At the start the first tale runs the gamut of intense romantic intrigue, with a suave Charles Boyer drawn to beautiful Rita Hayworth, and Thomas Mitchell as the husband with a few ulterior motives of his own in mind. I think the cinematography by Joseph Walker is absolutely superb in this episode. Those closeups are priceless.

I was surprised to see the episode with W C Fields in it and checked IMDb to note that this was included in a restored version, which is nice. Fields and his "liquid edification" are seldom far apart, and here it appears in the guise of cocoanut milk, with a few additives as you can guess, which he highly recommends for (?) I forget what it was.

Another tale is of Edward G. Robinson who gives an excellent performance as the down-and-outer dressed in the tux for a special gathering of old school chums. It has fine emotional content which I consider the dramatic highlight of the film and gives one much to think about afterwards. I might add here that this movie brings to mind some of Somerset Maugham's short stories that are on film as well.

The final Manhattan tale, starring Paul Robeson and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, has dialogue that is both amusing and touching at times. Ethel Waters, the matronly Esther, shows them a firm hand in directing them to do what's right. I always like to see Paul Robeson and hear his great voice. His singing ends their episode on a note of what freedom means to so many, and really brings the film to a fine conclusion. Great stuff!

It is a fascinating movie to experience and one of the best of its kind in my opinion.


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