7.4/10
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Tales of Manhattan (1942)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 March 1943 (Portugal)
A formal tailcoat that gets passed from one owner to another affects each life in a significant way.

Director:

Julien Duvivier

Writers:

Ben Hecht (original story and screenplay), Ferenc Molnár (original story and screenplay) | 8 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Boyer ... Paul Orman
Rita Hayworth ... Ethel Halloway
Ginger Rogers ... Diane
Henry Fonda ... George
Charles Laughton ... Charles Smith
Edward G. Robinson ... Avery L. 'Larry' Browne
Paul Robeson ... Luke
Ethel Waters ... Esther
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Reverend Lazarus
Thomas Mitchell ... John Halloway
Eugene Pallette ... Luther
Cesar Romero ... Harry Wilson
Gail Patrick ... Ellen
Roland Young ... Edgar
Marion Martin ... 'Squirrel'
Learn more

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Storyline

An actor, Paul Orman, is accidentally told that his new, custom made tail coat has been cursed and it will bring misfortune to all who wear it. As the 4 succeeding wearers of the coat discover, misfortune can often lead to truth. Written by Richard Blinkal <phelam@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Experience You'll never forget !

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film appeared in the begining of the M*A*S*H episode, "Morale Victory" Season 9. See more »

Goofs

The small single engine plane flown by J. Carroll Naish after he robs the charity event could not possibly have carried enough gas to fly him from New York to the Deep South, where the coat gets thrown from the plane. See more »

Quotes

Paul Orman: What did you want to say about guns, Mr. Halloway?
John Halloway: Ever use 'em?
Paul Orman: Yes, on the stage.
Paul Orman: Shoot 'em?
John Halloway: On the stage.
John Halloway: Not real bullets?
Paul Orman: No.
John Halloway: Just blanks, eh?
Paul Orman: Yes, only blanks. We actors prefer them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The following contains a restored sequence starring W.C. Fields which was not included in the original theatrical release of "Tales of Manhattan." See more »

Alternate Versions

Some scenes featuring W.C. Fields were filmed but cut from the movie before release. The US video version restores this unseen footage. In this 9 minute sequence, Phil Silvers and Marcel Dalio played the Santelli Brothers who owned the used clothing store where Fields bought the dinner jacket. Margaret Dumont played a wealthy woman who hired Fields to give a lecture on the evils of alcohol. The J. Carroll Naish episode was filmed and substituted for the longer Fields episode after it was cut. See more »

Connections

Featured in M*A*S*H: Morale Victory (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Préludes
(1854) (uncredited)
Composed by Franz Liszt
Played in concert hall
See more »

User Reviews

 
Something for everybody, a wide scope of human stories
30 May 2001 | by lora64See all my reviews

This movie leads us through a wide range of emotional interests -- good, bad, and indifferent -- all based on the odyssey of a tuxedo coat (or 'tails') which also seems to carry with it a superstitious jinx of sorts. At the start the first tale runs the gamut of intense romantic intrigue, with a suave Charles Boyer drawn to beautiful Rita Hayworth, and Thomas Mitchell as the husband with a few ulterior motives of his own in mind. I think the cinematography by Joseph Walker is absolutely superb in this episode. Those closeups are priceless.

I was surprised to see the episode with W C Fields in it and checked IMDb to note that this was included in a restored version, which is nice. Fields and his "liquid edification" are seldom far apart, and here it appears in the guise of cocoanut milk, with a few additives as you can guess, which he highly recommends for (?) I forget what it was.

Another tale is of Edward G. Robinson who gives an excellent performance as the down-and-outer dressed in the tux for a special gathering of old school chums. It has fine emotional content which I consider the dramatic highlight of the film and gives one much to think about afterwards. I might add here that this movie brings to mind some of Somerset Maugham's short stories that are on film as well.

The final Manhattan tale, starring Paul Robeson and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, has dialogue that is both amusing and touching at times. Ethel Waters, the matronly Esther, shows them a firm hand in directing them to do what's right. I always like to see Paul Robeson and hear his great voice. His singing ends their episode on a note of what freedom means to so many, and really brings the film to a fine conclusion. Great stuff!

It is a fascinating movie to experience and one of the best of its kind in my opinion.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1943 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Stars Over Manhattan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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