The Manhattan Front (2018)

In this fantastical film, a young girl conjures its story from the lines of a chalk circle. Once upon a time, in 1915, a German saboteur arrived to Manhattan to interrupt the export of ... See full summary »


Cathy Lee Crane


Cathy Lee Crane (story), Julie Blumberg (co-writer) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Delong ... Madame Martha Held
Sandra Glinka ... Lenore Offenbach
Helen Highfield ... Janey O'Hara
Marlene Sickora Marlene Sickora ... Elsa
Carl Whittaker Carl Whittaker ... Lenore's Suitor
Claudius Franz Claudius Franz ... Franz Von Rintelen / Ernest v. Gibbons
Susan Allen Susan Allen ... Chorus Girl
Liz Leidenfrost Liz Leidenfrost ... Chorus Girl
Beth Custer Beth Custer ... Clarinetist
Judith Feingold Judith Feingold ... Gladys Scheele
Michael Donato Michael Donato ... Walter Scheele
Eliza VanCort Eliza VanCort ... Rose Scheele
Bochay Drum Bochay Drum ... Mac Festen
Eric Kincaid Endres Eric Kincaid Endres ... Joe Flanagan / Soldier
Sylvie Yntema Sylvie Yntema ... Jessamine Washington


In this fantastical film, a young girl conjures its story from the lines of a chalk circle. Once upon a time, in 1915, a German saboteur arrived to Manhattan to interrupt the export of American munitions to Britain. He soon found a collaborator in a wayward stevedore who unwittingly led him to a group of labor anarchists. Sabotage soon turned these bedfellows into agents of the other's tragic end. How America entered World War 1 playfully plays out through archival images and the theatrical rendition of lives as they might have been lived.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History | War



Official Sites:

Official Site




Spanish | English

Release Date:

February 2018 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Indy Director Uses Smart Budget Saving Strategies
23 April 2018 | by lchadbou-326-26592See all my reviews

At the only third screening of her latest history based speculation here in Chapel Hill,director Cathy Lee Crane shared several strategies that allowed her to make an interesting work on a limited budget.First,so as not to draw attention to the sparseness of her sets,she filmed most of the acted scenes with close shots.Second,as the current US copyright provisions put films made before 1923 in the public domain,her choice of a story set in the World War I era a!lowed her to use extensive footage from archives rather than have to spend money on re-enactments.She didn,t have to pay hefty fees for only seconds of a clip but could use sequences of greater length.This technique of combining documentary with fiction,the deliberate artifice and un-realism of the story scenes,creates a kind of tension,Though not one that always works.I liked Crane,s emphasis on the radical labor ferment in our country during this period,but a subplot based on her own family background about orphan children doesn't, really add anything useful to the mix of themes.After having seen her approach in The Manhattan Front, I am curious to watch her earlier films on Pasolini and Simone Weil.

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