6.9/10
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38 user 14 critic

The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 October 1938 (USA)
When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director:

Leigh Jason

Writers:

Philip G. Epstein (screen play), Wilson Collison (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Melsa Manton
Henry Fonda ... Peter Ames
Sam Levene ... Lieutenant Brent
Frances Mercer ... Helen Frayne
Stanley Ridges ... Edward Norris
Whitney Bourne ... Pat James
Vickie Lester ... Kit Beverly (as Vicki Lester)
Ann Evers ... Lee Wilson
Catherine O'Quinn Catherine O'Quinn ... Dora Fenton
Linda Perry ... Myra Frost (as Linda Terry)
Eleanor Hansen ... Jane
Hattie McDaniel ... Hilda (as Hattie McDaniels)
James Burke ... Sullivan
Paul Guilfoyle ... Bat Regan
Penny Singleton ... Frances Glesk
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Storyline

Madcap debutante Melsa Manton finds a body in a deserted house. Of course, the police don't believe her. Stung by Peter Ames's front page editorial decrying her "prank," Melsa enlists seven fellow debs to help her investigate. The wisecracking young ladies proceed to run circles around the police, the suspects, and the press. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Miss Manton est folle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$383,000 (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

As many have assumed, supporting player Vicki Lester did take her name from Janet Gaynor's character in the original 1937 A Star is Born. Unfortunately, her own stardom was stillborn and, after only a handful of films, she retired from the silver screen and opened a dress shop selling original gowns of her own design. See more »

Goofs

In a romantic scene in the middle of the film Melsa tells Peter, that "she's had dozens of cigarette lighters but none of them worked." However, at the start of the film when she snoops around the Lane house, she uses a WORKING cigarette lighter as a torch. See more »

Quotes

Melsa Manton: [storms into the room and slaps the first man she sees] Are you Peter Ames?
Peter's Secretary: No...
Peter Ames: But I am...
Melsa Manton: [Slaps Peter]
Peter Ames: [Slaps Melsa] To complete the circle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a flashlight lights up each page of credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pretty Little Liars: The Remains of the 'A' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
Music by Daniel E. Kelley (1904)
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley (as Brewster 'Bruce' Higley) (1873)
Sung a cappella by James Burke
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A cute little movie for Barbara Stanwyck fans

Barbara Stanwyck was 31 years old playing opposite stone-faced 33 year old Henry Fonda in this comedy love story/murder mystery, and if you want to see how Barbara steals every scene, this is a good one to watch. This movie was selected by TCM as one of the films to highlight for their series "Black Images in Hollywood" due to the presence of Hattie McDaniel just prior to her Oscar-winning performance the next year in "Gone With the Wind." Hattie plays a sassy-talking maid for delicious comic relief. But it's a small role for Hattie and the main focus is on the delightful Barbara. There is an interesting scene at the end of the movie which foretells the use of S.W.A.T. teams today in both the cinema and on the streets. All in all, this is a pleasant movie to while away an afternoon with a friend, and who knows, you may even want to re-visit it again in a few years.


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