A business tycoon decides to wed a Middle Eastern princess whose customs dictate the pair must live apart for several months before marrying; even more complications settle in when the tycoon's ex-fiancée is assigned to chaperone the pair.
When Charlie Mason is promoted from irresponsible reporter to hard-nosed city editor, it costs him his girlfriend, ace reporter Rusty Fleming. After he hears she's engaged to another, he quits and tries to win her back.
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
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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