6.7/10
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10 user 2 critic

Child of Manhattan (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 10 April 1936 (France)
Paul Vanderkill is extraordinarily wealthy because his grandfather happened to buy farmland in what was to become Midtown Manhattan. The Loveland Dance Hall is one of the tenants of the ... See full summary »

Director:

Edward Buzzell

Writers:

Gertrude Purcell (screen play), Maurine Dallas Watkins (screenplay) (as Maurine Watkins) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nancy Carroll ... Madelaine McGonagle
John Boles ... Paul Vanderkill
Buck Jones ... Panama Kelley (as Charles Buck Jones)
Jessie Ralph ... Aunt Minnie (as Jessie Rolph)
Clara Blandick ... Aunt Sophie
Luis Alberni ... Bustamente
Warburton Gamble ... Eggleston
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. McGonagle
Garry Owen Garry Owen ... Buddy (as Gary Owen)
Betty Grable ... Lucy
Nat Pendleton ... Spyrene
Edward LeSaint ... Dr. Schultz (as Edward J. LeSaint)
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Storyline

Paul Vanderkill is extraordinarily wealthy because his grandfather happened to buy farmland in what was to become Midtown Manhattan. The Loveland Dance Hall is one of the tenants of the Vanderkill estates. To reassure his aunt Sophie, Vanderkill visits Loveland to determine whether it is as disreputable as Sophie suspects. There he meets a dime-a-dance girl, Madeleine MacGonagal, who charms him with her quaint proletarian accent. They begin a secret affair, which turns into a secret marriage when pregnancy ensues. When the baby fails to survive, Madeleine decides that since he had married her only for the baby's sake, she should make haste to Mexico to secure a divorce. There she meets Panama Canal Kelly, a former suitor who now owns a silver mine. Her plans for divorce and quick remarriage are complicated when Vanderkill arrives to confront her. Written by Cameron Majidi <cmaj@prolifics.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The drama of a good girl with a bad name! (One-sheet poster). See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1936 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Taxi Girls See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Broadway production of "Child of Manhattan" by Preston Sturges opened at the Fulton Theater on May 1, 1932 and ran for 87 performances. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. McGonegal: [Speaking with a heavy Irish accent] He ain't no gintleman!
Madeleine McGonegal: He is so a gentleman; half the time I couldn't understand a word he was sayin'.
Mrs. McGonegal: Probably a Grake or an Eye-talian or somethin'.
Madeleine McGonegal: He's not a Greek, nor an Italian neither. He's from New York City, but he *is* a gentleman!
Mrs. McGonegal: Then look out! I seen plenty a gintlemen when I was a housemaid on Fifth Avenue afore I married your pa, rist 'is soul, and compared to ordinary men... huh!
Mrs. McGonegal: [after thinking for a moment] Say, niver, niver walk upstairs in...
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Soundtracks

Beautiful Love
(uncredited)
Music by Victor Young
(heard on player piano roll)
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User Reviews

 
far from classic pre-code has its moments
21 April 2007 | by mush-2See all my reviews

As other reviewers stated, this Columbia pre-code has some of Preston Sturges characteristic touches. But I especially enjoyed the dance hall matron and mentor "Aunt" Minnie, who is a salty, bawdy Jewish tough girl who curses in Yiddish,"mamzer"- bastard and steals every scene. The movie has its dull spots due probably to the unheralded director. It also suffers from Columbia's cheap budget. Although it does give us little luxe in one of the funniest scenes in an expensive dress shop . The owner/salesman makes no secret of his gay orientation as he says as he squeezes Nancy Carrols body,"Don't think of me as a man, think of me as an artiste!"

Nancy figures it out and minces, "Okay Dear!"

Nancy Carrol is pretty good in the leading role but the male actors are dull as dishwater. There are some interesting sociological/historical bits worth noting. A lot is made of Nancy's low class Brooklyn accent(she says apperntment and Greenpernt instead of appointment and Greenpoint). Archie Bunker spoke similarly. That pronunciation has practically vanished from New York of today. New Yorkers still have distinctive accents but some of the distinctions have disappeared over the years.

Also worth noting is the sexual attitudes. Nancy works in a dance hall but it is made clear that she is not a prostitute and she is told by her mother to try to refuse money if it offered to her. Her lazy brother calls her a tramp as soon as she moves in with her lover, without being married and she is soon punished with a dead baby for her sins. The sexual revolution of the 1960's changed attitudes and behaviors. But this movie is worth seeing for 1930's peak into the sexual attitudes of the day.


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