Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay Duval in a clip joint, but tensions start to show in the road crew as rivally between Hank and Johnny increases.Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Film debut of actresses Jane Randolph. Lynn Baggett and Audra Lindley; See more »
During Marlene Dietrich's musical number in the club, when the camera is focused on George Raft in the foreground, Dietrich's lips in the background do not match the song. Most of the time, she appears to just be sitting in the background and not even singing. See more »
Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
Written by Richard Wagner
Played on the harmonium by an uncredited person during the wedding See more »
Trademark Walsh dynamics
Power-line repairman Edward G. Robinson marries prostitute Marlene Dietrich, but she finds herself enamored by hubby's best friend and colleague, a gallant George Raft.
There is much to enjoy in Raoul Walsh's exhilarating melodrama, and although it adheres rather too strictly to a proved formula, Walsh, always a great master at this, gives depth and dimension to the action. Walsh paints a vivid and loyal picture of this blue-collar environment of camaraderie and pranks, and Alan Hale's repairman is the whole deal rolled into one, there is not ONE joke about high voltage that he doesn't know, or doesn't repeat, ad nauseam. Every workplace has one! 'Manpower' is full of the trademark Walsh dynamics, comparable to the electric power, the frequent thunderstorms and the high tempo. The action is engrossing, the film overall is smoothly produced, briskly edited, brilliantly lit, designed and photographed. Never did sleekly wet, black raincoats photograph more memorably.
Robinson and Raft are congenially cast, but Dietrich is a long-shot as the prostitute turned housewife. "How's this dame stacked up?", Robinson asks of Raft, before he is introduced to her. Raft, waveringly: "Oh, just a dame ...". Well, she photographs like a goddess, and is impossibly glamorous. And quite improbably so.
Don't expect another Walsh masterpiece, but brace yourself for a hugely enjoyable flic that just whirls by you.
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