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19 user 8 critic

The Toast of New York (1937)

Approved | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 30 July 1937 (USA)
Notorious robber baron financier Jim Fisk, who makes and loses fortunes, tries to corner the gold market as well as the heart of a beautiful actress.

Directors:

Rowland V. Lee, Alexander Hall (uncredited)

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screenplay), John Twist (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Arnold ... Jim Fisk
Cary Grant ... Nick Boyd
Frances Farmer ... Josie Mansfield
Jack Oakie ... Luke
Donald Meek ... Daniel Drew
Thelma Leeds Thelma Leeds ... Fleurique
Clarence Kolb ... Cornelius Vanderbilt
Billy Gilbert ... Photographer
George Irving ... Broker
Russell Hicks ... Lawyer
Dudley Clements Dudley Clements ... Collins
Lionel Belmore ... President of Board
Robert McClung Robert McClung ... Bellhop
Robert Dudley ... Janitor
Dewey Robinson ... Beef Dooley
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Storyline

The story starts just before the Civil War, showing Fisk, Boyd, and Luke conning Southern townsfolk into buying bars of soap that, might, have a $10 gold piece inside. Found out, they're chased out of town and escape across the Mason-Dixon Line just as the war starts. Fisk hatches a plan for him and Boyd to return to the South and buy cotton then smuggle it to the North where Luke is to sell it to the Northern textile mills. By the end of the war they have made millions, only to find out that Luke had been re-investing their money into Confederate Bonds. This fact-based movie shows Jim Fisk as one of the greatest con-men and entrepreneurs in history. It concludes with his involvement in "Black Friday", the Financial Panic of 1869, with fellow financier Jay Gould (who's not represented in the movie) and their attempt to corner the U.S. gold market. There's a love triangle between Fisk, Boyd and Mansfield, which is also based on historical accounts. Written by AzRanger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The terror of Wall Street was a chump for this girl!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alla conquista dei dollari See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,072,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film lost $530,000 at the box office, RKO's biggest failure in 1937. See more »

Goofs

After the photographer's first attempt to take the picture is ruined by being over-exposed, he fails to change the plate before taking the second one. See more »

Quotes

James 'Jim' Fisk Jr.: [Preparing to enter a festive room] Are you ready?
Josie Mansfield: I'm frightened to death.
James 'Jim' Fisk Jr.: You're in the circle now. You've got the prettiest feathers in the room. Now spread 'em.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Dixiana (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Temptation Waltz
(1937)
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
Probably played and sung during the "12 Temptations" montage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Frances Farmer's most lavish film
1 April 2001 | by jmk56See all my reviews

Toast of New York was the Heaven's Gate and/or Cleopatra of its day, a film which almost sank its studio, RKO. RKO invested well over $1 million (a huge sum in 1937) into this film and it shows in every frame--incredible sets and costumes and the kind of polish you don't see anymore. The film was beset with pre-production problems, going through several announced stars (Spencer Tracy, Ginger Rogers, etc.) before settling on Farmer, Grant and Arnold. Writer Dudley Nichols was fired and re-hired as the production began shooting. The film, despite its pedigree, was greeted with decidedly mixed reviews and had lukewarm boxoffice response. Uneven in tone and historically inaccurate, it still is grand entertainment in the late 30s manner, with high drama and low comedy interspersed with about equal measure, and excellent performances by Farmer, Arnold and Oakie. Only Cary Grant seems somewhat ill at ease in a role quite different from his usual screen persona. The press materials on Toast are almost as lavish as the film itself, capitalizing on Farmer's recent success in "Come and Get It." The song Farmer sings, "The First Time I Saw You," was a chart hit for Bunny Berigan (who also charted with the theme from another Farmer film, "Ebb Tide") in 1937.


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