7.2/10
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46 user 21 critic

Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Not Rated | | Crime , Drama , Romance | 4 May 1934 (USA)
The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Directors:

W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor (uncredited)

Writers:

Oliver H.P. Garrett (screen play), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Blackie Gallagher
William Powell ... Jim Wade
Myrna Loy ... Eleanor
Leo Carrillo ... Father Joe
Nat Pendleton ... Spud
George Sidney ... Poppa Rosen
Isabel Jewell ... Annabelle
Muriel Evans ... Tootsie Malone
Thomas E. Jackson Thomas E. Jackson ... Richard Snow (as Thomas Jackson)
Isabelle Keith ... Miss Adams (as Claudelle Kaye)
Frank Conroy ... Defense Attorney
Noel Madison ... Manny Arnold
Jimmy Butler ... Jim - as a Boy
Mickey Rooney ... Blackie - as a Boy
Shirley Ross ... Singer in Cotton Club
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Storyline

Orphans Edward "Blackie" Gallagher and Jim Wade are lifelong friends who take different paths in life. Blackie thrives on gambling and grows up to be a hard-nosed racketeer. Bookworm Wade becomes a D.A. vying for the Governorship. When Blackie's girlfriend Eleanor leaves him and marries the more down to earth Wade, Blackie harbors no resentment. In fact, their friendship is so strong that Blackie murders an attorney threatening to derail Wade's bid to become Governor. The morally straight Wade's last job as D.A. is to convict his friend of the murder, and send him to the electric chair. After he becomes Governor, Wade has the authority to commute Blackie's death sentence-- a decision that pits his high moral ethics against a lifelong friendship. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El enemigo público número 1 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening scenes depict the General Slocum disaster on the morning of June 15, 1904. The popular excursion steamer caught fire in New York's East River while transporting passengers to a picnic organized by St. Mark's Evangelical German Lutheran Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. At an estimated 1,021 fatalities, mostly women and children, this was New York City's single worst tragedy, in terms of lives lost, before 9/11. An incompetent, inexperienced crew was held primarily to blame for the tragedy. See more »

Goofs

In the 1920 and 1923 and 1925 and 1930 sequences, all of the women's fashions and hairstyles are strictly from 1934. See more »

Quotes

Spud 'Spuddie': But, Boss, I tink...
Edward J. 'Blackie' Gallagher: With what?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dillinger (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Times
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Melodrama with a Bite
29 April 2005 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Melodramatic, yes, but this movie has some meat to it that I wasn't expecting. Clark Gable and William Powell play childhood friends who grow up to be a hood and a respected judge, respectively. Both have a thing for Myrna Loy, but the expected rivalry for which this plot would seem to be tailor made never comes. Instead, there's a refreshingly serious story about the boundaries of loyalty and friendship. When Gable is accused of murder and sentenced to the death penalty, it is Powell's duty to decide whether or not to let his personal feelings for Gable interfere with his practice of legal justice. Loy pops up throughout, but, unfortunately, she's window dressing. (Side note: My wife and I decided to have a Myrna Loy theme to our New Year's movie night, and rented this and "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer." We couldn't have picked two Myrna Loy movies that do a worse job of showing off Myrna Loy). No, this movie belongs to the men, and the whole affair is better than I expected it to be.

Grade: B+


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