Manhattan Tower (December 1, 1932)

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Manhattan Tower
 

Released December 1, 1932: Love, lust, crime and comedy during an eight hour workday inside the Empire State Building.

Produced by A.E. Lefcourt

Directed by Frank R. Strayer

The Actors: Mary Brian (Mary Harper), Irene Rich (Ann Burns), James Hall (Jimmy Duncan, building mechanic), Hale Hamilton (David Witman, lawyer), Noel Francis (Marge Lyon), Clay Clement (Kenneth Burns), Nydia Westman (Miss Wood, Witman's secretary), Jed Prouty (Mr. Hoyt, bookkeeper), Billy Dooley (Crane Eaton), Wade Boteler (Mr. Ramsay), Walter Brennan (mechanic), Ralph Brooks (young mechanic), Kernan Cripps (Inspector Ned Connors), Oliver Eckhardt (information clerk), Adolph Faylauer (elevator passenger), Eddie Foster (crook), Raoul Freeman (janitor), Henry Hall (banker), Bert Howard (office clerk), Emmett King (Mr. Gellar, bank president), Tom London (mechanic)

 

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A Day in the Life . . .

A quarter of a million tons of stone, sixty thousand tons of steel, 102 stories tall, it is a city within a single building, with its own fire and police department, and capable of hosting fifty thousand workers. On March 17, 1930 construction on the Empire State Building was begun and on May 1, 1931 President Herbert Hoover pressed a button that turned on the lights and officially opened the building. On December 1, 1932 this picture opened in theaters across the country just in time for the Christmas movie season, as the whole country was still talking about the amazing Empire State Building. The movie opens with a montage that is designed to impress us with the size and greatness of a city building as tall as this one. I'm sure it was impressive in 1932, and you know what . . . it's kind of impressive to this country boy even today, even though there are now many larger buildings.

I am not surprised when I find an outstanding movie from one of the large, legendary film studios, but once in a while I stumble across a great move made by a small company that goes out of business after making only two motion pictures. This is one of those movies. Remington Pictures made this film and one more, called "Sleepless Nights," and then was never heard from again. The story has wonderfully developed characters, from the bad guy boss to the hilarious tuxedo-clad drunk searching from floor to floor for his Margie. It also has ‘elevator’ scene transitions that are pretty cool, even by today's standards. We will experience one day in the life of the city within one building, beginning at 9am when thousands of people are heading into the building to begin a day of work.

Secretary Mary and building mechanic Jimmy want to buy a house and get married. Mary’s boss Mr. Burns is a married man who grabs every girl he can get his hands on. Mary’s co-worker Marge is a party girl who only wants to have a good time with whomever is ready to fund her party. Lawyer Witman wants to marry the playboy boss’ neglected wife Ann. The lawyer’s dizzy secretary will nearly cause the bank to fail. The accountant for the playboy boss will consider jumping from the observation deck before the day is done. This will be a very busy day in the life of a city-building, and not all of the friends we meet this day will survive till quitting time. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Clay Clement and Irene Rich
Clay Clement and Irene Rich
Clay Clement makes love to Noel Francis
Clay Clement makes love to Noel Francis
Noel Francis meets Clay Clement
Noel Francis meets Clay Clement
Clay Clement
Clay Clement
Eddie Foster
Eddie Foster
Emmett King
Emmett King
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton holds Jed Prouty
Hale Hamilton holds Jed Prouty
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton
Irene Rich and Hale Hamilton
Irene Rich and Hale Hamilton
Irene Rich and Nydia Westman
Irene Rich and Nydia Westman
Irene Rich
Irene Rich
James Hall, Mary Brian and Clay Clement
James Hall, Mary Brian and Clay Clement
James Hall and Wade Boteler
James Hall and Wade Boteler
James Hall and Wade Boteler
James Hall and Wade Boteler
James Hall
James Hall
Jed Prouty
Jed Prouty
Jed Prouty and Clay Clement
Jed Prouty and Clay Clement
Jed Prouty
Jed Prouty
Kernan Cripps and Hale Hamilton
Kernan Cripps and Hale Hamilton
Kernan Cripps
Kernan Cripps
Mary Brian
Mary Brian
Mary Brian and James Hall
Mary Brian and James Hall
Mary Brian and Jed Prouty
Mary Brian and Jed Prouty
Mary Brian
Mary Brian
Noel Francis and Clay Clement
Noel Francis and Clay Clement
Noel Francis at the telephone switchboard
Noel Francis at the telephone switchboard
Noel Francis
Noel Francis
Nydia Westman
Nydia Westman
Nydia Westman and Hale Hamilton
Nydia Westman and Hale Hamilton
Nydia Westman and Hale Hamilton
Nydia Westman and Hale Hamilton
Nydia Westman
Nydia Westman
Raoul Freeman
Raoul Freeman
Walter Brennan and James Hall
Walter Brennan and James Hall