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Two Men in Manhattan (1959)

Deux hommes dans Manhattan (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 16 October 1959 (France)
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1:35 | Trailer
A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.

Writer:

Jean-Pierre Melville (scenario, adaptation and dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Grasset Pierre Grasset ... Pierre Delmas
Christiane Eudes Christiane Eudes ... Anne Fèvre-Berthier
Ginger Hall Ginger Hall ... Judith Nelson
Colette Fleury Colette Fleury ... The Secretary
Monique Hennessy Monique Hennessy ... Gloria
Glenda Leigh Glenda Leigh ... The Singer
Jean Darcante Jean Darcante ... Rouvier
Michèle Bailly Michèle Bailly ... Bessie Reed (as Michele Bailly)
Paula Dehelly Paula Dehelly ... Mme. Fèvre-Berthier
Nancy Delorme Nancy Delorme
Carole Sands Carole Sands
Gloria Kayser Gloria Kayser ... Une fille
Barbara Hall Barbara Hall
Monica Ford Monica Ford
Billy Beck ... Le partenaire de Judith Nelson sur scène
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Storyline

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

16 October 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dois Homens em Manhattan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Many scenes were filmed in New York City at night, and in one scene can be a seen a theater marquee showing Separate Tables (1958) with Rita Hayworth, David Niven and Burt Lancaster, which was released in 1958. See more »

Connections

Featured in Keeping Up Appearances (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two Men in Manhattan
11 October 2010 | by random_avengerSee all my reviews

French director Jean-Pierre Melville is known for directing several classic films such as Bob le flambeur (1956) and Le samouraï (1967), but he also did some acting over the course of his career. However, his only starring role was in his own 1959 crime film Two Men in Manhattan, where he plays a journalist named Moreau who is assigned to find out why a French diplomat named Fèvre-Berthier was absent from a United Nations council meeting. With his photographer friend Delmas (Pierre Grasset), Moreau suspects a female lover might be involved and follows clues from woman to woman in the night of New York City, a place that never sleeps. There also seems to be a car following Moreau and Delmas...

Said to be a combination of American film noir and the budding French New Wave movement, Two Men in Manhattan very neatly utilizes the good sides of both styles. The urban street views and skyscrapers look excellent in the glow of the bright ad signs on store marquees and the dark, stark lighting set up for interior scenes is a joy to the eye too. The laid-back jazz soundtrack is highly enjoyable, creating a mood softer than in hard boiled detective noirs, even though the seedy locations would fit in such flicks seamlessly as well.

A lot of the film's charm lies on the shoulders of the two protagonists, who suit their roles splendidly. Melville's sad-looking appearance matches his character's melancholic but righteous attitude perfectly, while Grasset makes a great pairing for him as the greedy and amoral Delmas, prone to drinking and sleeping around. Ultimately their opposing approaches to the ethics of journalism are what create one of the main themes of the film; namely, examining the responsibility of the press when publishing stories of delicate nature. Besides the lead duo, the supporting actors do a good job too, from a suicidal stage actress Judith Nelson (Ginger Hall) to a jaded cabaret dancer Bessie Reed (Michèlle Bailly) and a jazz singer Virginia Graham (Glenda Leigh) who we get to see recording a haunting song in a studio.

All in all, when a film successfully combines a totally smooth and cool atmosphere with suspense and humour like Two Men in Manhattan does, it just cannot be anything but highly enjoyable. The movie is simply thoroughly entertaining, but since the technical elements are also very skilfully created, there is no reason to skip this one if you're even remotely interested in film noir and French cinema.


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