12 user 7 critic

Man of the World (1931)

A young American girl visits Paris accompanied by her fiancee and her wealthy uncle. There she meets and is romanced by a worldly novelist; what she doesn't know is that he is a blackmailer who is using her to get to her uncle.


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Cast overview:
... Michael Trevor
... Mary Kendall
... Irene Harper
... Frank Reynolds
... Harry Taylor
... Fred


A young American girl visits Paris accompanied by her fiancee and her wealthy uncle. There she meets and is romanced by a worldly novelist; what she doesn't know is that he is a blackmailer who is using her to get to her uncle.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Um Senhor Mundano  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented television presentations took place in Milwaukee 31 December 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Los Angeles 12 February 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2), and in St. Louis 2 May 1960 on KMOX (Channel 4). It was released on DVD 4 April 2006 as one of 6 titles in Universal's Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection. See more »


At the "Paris" horse race, they wanted to show the horses running clockwise (the opposite direction of US horse racing), so the flipped they negative causing all the numbers on the horses to be reversed in the film. They managed to edit the race to not show the number clearly, that is until the end of the race. The number 5 is very clearly backwards in the close-up of the finish. See more »


Frank Reynolds: I wish you'd blow a whistle from now on when you're fooling. I never can tell.
Mary Kendall: I never want you to be able to tell.
See more »

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User Reviews

I found this one very disappointing...
30 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

... and yet I give it a mediocre rating, not a poor one. That's because who would expect an early 30's film starring William Powell, Carole Lombard, and Guy Kibbee with strong support by Wynne Gibson to be anything less than excellent? I know I wouldn't. The film is tortuously slow after starting out with a couple of promising scenes. The film opens with drunken American Harry Taylor (Guy Kibbee) accosting Michael Trevor (William Powell) on the streets of Paris thinking he was somebody else - he is. It turns out Trevor is an alias for an expatriate who was a stand-up journalist in America but had to take it on the lam after he got left holding the bag for something that is never clearly explained. At any rate, in the film Michael later explains that after he paid wrongfully for someone else's misdeed he decided he would start making others pay. Thus he starts a blackmailing racket in Paris without anybody truly knowing who he is but his two partners - Fred and Irene (Wynne Gibson). He has one rule though - he never victimizes women.

He ends up blackmailing Harry Taylor for some fling with a blonde, but makes it look like he's doing him a favor by being a go-between for the unscrupulous scandal sheet operator that will print the news and Harry. This ends all of the clever scenes in the movie. Carole Lombard plays Harry's niece, Mary, who instantly falls for Michael, and the feeling is mutual. Michael wants to make a clean breast of his past to Mary, leave the crooked life behind him and marry the girl.

The monkey wrench in the works? Wynne Gibson as Irene - she's Michael's ex and she's none too happy about it. She spends the rest of the movie being a shameless clinging back-stabbing harpy to the point where you want to chase her off with a mallet and let the two lovers have a happy ending.

The acting and production values are the reason I give this one even five stars. William Powell's acting is the centerpiece of this film and he splendidly conveys - without that much dialogue - the persona of a man of the world with the weight of the world on his shoulders. However, the pace is awful, the conclusion will leave a bad taste in your mouth, and normally I would blame the director for such great performers putting my feet to sleep at times, but director Robert Wallace had and would direct some pretty good early talkies that didn't crawl along like this one at all, so I guess the cause of the mediocre result will always be a mystery.

Recommended only to see Powell and Lombard together in the film that started their relationship and ultimately brought about their marriage.

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