6.8/10
1,142
27 user 7 critic

Manpower (1941)

Passed | | Drama | 9 August 1941 (USA)
Two friends, who are members of a road crew employed by a Los Angeles power company, battle the elements to restore electrical power and trade punches over the same woman.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Richard Macaulay (original screenplay), Jerry Wald (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Hank McHenry
Marlene Dietrich ... Fay Duval
George Raft ... Johnny Marshall
Alan Hale ... Jumbo Wells
Frank McHugh ... Omaha
Eve Arden ... Dolly
Barton MacLane ... Smiley Quinn
Ward Bond ... Eddie Adams
Walter Catlett ... Sidney Whipple
Joyce Compton ... Scarlett
Lucia Carroll ... Flo
Egon Brecher Egon Brecher ... Pop Duval
Cliff Clark ... Cully
Joseph Crehan ... Sweeney
Ben Welden ... Al Hurst
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Raft and Robinson are at the brawling point!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard to Handle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the film, Eve Arden's character says she is 25 and looks 35. In fact, she was 33 years old when the film was released. See more »

Goofs

After Johnny bails Fay out of jail, they are seen walking together down a stairway at the police station. When they arrive at the first landing, as they turn and continue to descend the stairs, the shadow of the microphone boom can be seen on the wall behind them. See more »

Quotes

Hank 'Gimpy' McHenry: [Last Lines] Did anyone yell headache when I was coming down?
Johnny Marshall: Sure.
Hank 'Gimpy' McHenry: I'm glad nobody got hurt.
[Hank dies]
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Pizza: Quarantine Pizza (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
In the score when the "Justice of the Peace" sign is shown
Played on the harmonium by an uncredited person after the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tense Gentlemen on the High Tension Wires
16 December 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Edward G. Robinson and George Raft are a couple of linemen. Robinson is the foreman of the crew and a bit of a lug when it comes to the opposite sex. Raft however is a smooth operator.

They both meet Marlene Dietrich at a clip joint, the Code euphemism for a bordello. Robinson falls for her and Dietrich's looking for a way out of the working life. They marry, but she starts getting a yen for Raft and that brings on trouble.

Manpower has a place in film history having nothing to do with the content or the quality of the movie. While visiting his good buddy George Raft on the set, one Benjamin Siegel was introduced to Virginia Hill as depicted in the film Bugsy. There's a scene where Raft gets into a brawl with Barton MacLane that is depicted in Bugsy.

And if that wasn't enough, Raft and Robinson got into a real brawl over Marlene just like in the film. It seems as though Dietrich was involved with Raft during the production. But Raft was not the most educated of men.

Edward G. Robinson came from a slum background like Raft, but he'd educated himself and in fact was a well known art collector. Dietrich was no dummy herself and she and Eddie got friendly on the set, talking about stuff that Raft didn't have a clue about. Of course this got George jealous and they had a knock down drag out over her. You couldn't buy that kind of publicity. Lucky for Robinson Raft didn't call on Ben Siegel for his services.

So Manpower entered its place in Hollywood lore. Too bad the film wasn't any great masterpiece. It's entertaining enough though with a good cast of Warner Brothers regulars supporting Ms. Dietrich and her gentlemen friends. It seems though just about every film Warners made back then had either Alan Hale or Frank McHugh in it, in this case both. They're always entertaining. Add to that Eve Arden in her usual role as the wisecracking best friend of the heroine.

Not the greatest film ever made, but a historic one and not bad on the entertainment scale.


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