Manhattan Parade (1931)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Satire  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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"There is never a suggestion of subtlety in this tale" was the New York Times' acidic but accurate assessment of the Technicolor comedy Manhattan Parade. Winnie Lightner plays Doris, the wife and business partner of Herbert (Charles Butterworth), owner of a theatrical costume store. When Herbert scampers off to parts unknown in the company of flashy blonde Charlotte (Greta Granstedt), Doris takes over the management of their store. She has a pretty rough time of it until European impresario Vassiloff (Luis Alberni) rents every costume in the store for a lavish stage spectacular. Alas, the show folds after one night, but Herbert saves the day by returning in the nick of time with a big moneymaking scheme. Child actor Dickie Moore has a cute bit in which he lulls Winnie Lightner to sleep with a bedtime story, a gag later expanded upon by Laurel & Hardy in Pack Up Your Troubles. Otherwise, Manhattan Parade is pretty slow going, save for the Jewish-dialect patter of comedians Smith & Dale (the real-life counterparts for Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys).

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Keywords

stage, backstage, behind-the-scenes, director, eccentric, employer/employee, producer [showbiz]