The Law of Contact

Manhattan Love Song (April 30, 1934)

Manhattan Love Song

Released on April 30, 1934: When wealthy sisters lose their fortune, their driver and maid teach them how to live on the cheap.

Directed by Leonard Fields

The Actors: Robert Armstrong (Tom Williams), Dixie Lee (Geraldine Stewart), Nydia Westman (Annette), Franklin Pangborn (Garrett Wetherby), Cecil Cunningham (Pancake Annie Jones), Harold Waldridge (Phineas Jones), Helen Flint (Carol Stewart), Herman Bing (Gustave), George Irving (Kenbrook), Emmett Vogan (doctor), Harrison Greene (Joe Thomas), Edward Dean (Sam), Nick Copeland (Al Kingston), Tom Ricketts (rich man), Edward Peil Sr. (employment agent), Hal Price (Gil, taxi driver), Frances Morris (chorus girl), Broderick O'Farrell (judge).


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So there are two wealthy sisters living in a luxury apartment in New York City in the midst of the Great Depression. Lots of people are out of work, lots of millionaires have lost their fortune, but their father invested his fortune wisely before he died, and they are eating caviar and hob-nobbing with the creme of society. But alas, the famous investment advisor that has been investing all of their money has actually swindled all of his customers, and all of their money is gone . . . . honest, this isn't a story from 2010, but from 1934. Yup, there were investment swindlers even back then. But this could have happened today, and most certainly has happened recently, and will probably happen again. Pop a big bowl of hot buttered white-kernel popcorn and enjoy a story from today, filmed in 1934.

The characters in this drama are wealthy sisters Geraldine and Carol, living the easy life on Fifth Avenue in New York City. They have a driver named Tom, a maid named Annette, and a cook named Gustave. A family friend drops in to tell them that their fortune is gone because the famous investment advisor that was handling their money has swindled all of his clients. Fortunately the rent is paid on their luxury apartment till the end of the year, so they at least have a place to live. When they tell the driver, maid and cook that they cannot pay them their wages, and will not have any money to pay them in the future, the cook leaves, but Tom the driver, and Annette the maid decide that they will stay in the apartment in lieu of getting their back pay. Tom the driver takes charge of things, and teaches the sisters how to fend for themselves in a world without easy cash.

We also meet 'Pancake Anne' and her prissy son Phineas, and before this depression era drama ends, everyone will find not only the money that they need to live well, but the loves of their lives . . . except maybe for Tom the driver, and younger sister Geraldine, who we want to see together, but fate seems to be pushing them apart . . . right up to the happy ending.