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Manhattan Melodrama

Clark Gable , William Powell , George Cukor , W.S. Van Dyke    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Melodrama with a Bite Jan. 7 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Melodramatic, yes, but this movie has some meat to it that I wasn't expecting. Clark Gable and William Powell play childhood friends who grow up to be a hood and a respected judge, respectively. Both have a thing for Myrna Loy, but the expected rivalry for which this plot would seem to be tailor made never comes. Instead, there's a refreshingly serious story about the boundaries of loyalty and friendship. When Gable is accused of murder and sentenced to the death penalty, it is Powell's duty to decide whether or not to let his personal feelings for Gable interfere with his practice of legal justice.
Loy pops up throughout, but, unfortunately, she's window dressing. (Side note: My wife and I decided to have a Myrna Loy theme to our New Year's movie night, and rented this and "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer." We couldn't have picked two Myrna Loy movies that do a worse job of showing off Myrna Loy). No, this movie belongs to the men, and the whole affair is better than I expected it to be.
Grade: B+
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5.0 out of 5 stars GANGSTERS IN NEW YORK CITY Jan. 3 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Footnoted in American history as the film in which John Dillinger had watched just before he was gunned down outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago, MANHATTAN MELODRAMA is a fast moving and most enjoyable diversion. Clark Gable plays Blackie Gallagger, a rebellious roustabout with the unpolished airs of a sophisticated gent; he's drawn to Eleanor (Myrna Loy), a beautiful girl whom he sets up as his mistress. Blackie's gansterish ways alienate him from Eleanor however, and she falls for Gable's upright friend, Jim Wade (William Powell). MANHATTAN MELODRAMA proved popular with both the public and critics alike when it was released in 1934 and producer David O. Selznick was rightfully proud of this "class film".
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4.0 out of 5 stars His last film Jan. 6 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Besides being a great film starring William Powell and Clark Gable, it was the last film that John Dillinger saw. After viewing the film at the Biograph Theater in Chicago, Dillinger walked outside with "The Woman In Red" and into the sights of Melvin Purvis.
Dillinger was killed just south of the theater in the alley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic example of the genre Jan. 19 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"Manhattan Melodrama" is almost more interesting for the "story behind the story." John Dillinger, a Myrna Loy fan, was killed immediately after seeing this movie in Chicago. The Powell/Loy magic is very much in evidence here, and Clark Gable is at his peak. Lots of fun!
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By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) presents "MANHATTAN MELODRAMA" (1934) (93 min/B&W) -- Starring: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Leo Carrillo, Nat Pendleton, George Sidney, Isabel Jewell, Muriel Evans, Thomas E. Jackson, Isabelle Keith, Frank Conroy, Noel Madison, Jimmy Butler, Mickey Rooney, Shirley Ross

Directed by W.S. Van Dyke

Orphans Edward "Blackie" Gallagher (Gable) and Jim Wade (Powell) are lifelong friends who take different paths in life. Blackie thrives on gambling and grows up to be a hard-nosed racketeer. Bookworm Wade becomes a D.A. vying for the Governorship. When Blackie's girlfriend Eleanor (Loy) leaves him and marries the more down to earth Wade, Blackie harbors no resentment. In fact, their friendship is so strong that Blackie murders an attorney threatening to derail Wade's bid to become Governor.

The morally straight Wade's last job as D.A. is to convict his friend of the murder, and send him to the electric chair. After he becomes Governor, Wade has the authority to commute Blackie's death sentence-- a decision that pits his high moral ethics against a lifelong friendship.

Direction, casting, acting, editing, photography, storyline, all flawless in a class by themselves.

William Powell, showing more depth and sensitivity than in most of his films, especially in the climactic scene.

And what a performance by Clark Gable was outstanding and compelling from start to finish. We were secretly rooting for him toward the end credits.

I feel the picture is underrated and highly recommend to all who want good drama and a story you can sink your teeth into.

Watch for a young Mickey Rooney who always gives an outstanding performance.
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