Monday, April 19, 2010
Manpower(1941). Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft. The memorable posters for the movie stated, "Robinson - He's mad about Dietrich. Dietrich - She's mad about Raft. Raft - He's mad about the whole thing." The film was written by Richard Macauley and Jerry Wald. Director: Raoul Walsh. Robinson and Raft, got into a fistfight on the set that made the front pages of the newspapers. Victor McLaglen, was going to play Robinson's role, which would have made it a supporting part and Raft did not want to share the leading man status on the film. As a result Robinson was cast instead.
Raft chose Manpower over the remake of the 1931 Pre-Code version of, The Maltese Falcon and the role of "Sam Spade" went to Humphrey Bogart instead.
The script is one of many reworkings of the plot line for a 1932 Robinson movie called Tiger Shark, in which Robinson played the same part, only as a tuna fisherman instead of an electric power lineman. The supporting cast of Manpower includes Alan Hale, Sr., Frank McHugh and Eve Arden.
The story begins, while lineman Hank McHenry, is working on a high power line during a rain storm, he falls ending up with a permanent leg injury. No longer able to work on the lines, he is made foreman.
A bad storm downs some lines and one of his men is killed on the job. Hank, must tell his friends daughter Fay, who just got out of prison. Hank, hands her some money, claiming that it came from her fathers insurance.
Fay, who works in a nightclub, isn't fooled by Hank's kind gesture, but takes the money anyway. Johnny's warns Hank not to see Fay.
After a short time, Hank asks Fay to marry him, although she is not in love with him, she agrees. Trying to protect his friend Hank, Johnny, offers to buy her off, but fails.
Soon after, Johnny is seriously injured at work and Hank brings him home so they can help him with his recovery.. Fay falls in love with Johnny, but when she tells him about her feelings, he becomes angry with her.
Hank's team travels to work at Boulder Dam and Fay decides this would be the best time to leave Hank. Looking for work at the nightclub where she used to work, Fay is caught in a raid. Rivalry between the two friends Hank and Johnny get out of hand.. Who will come to Fay's rescue?
Manpower (1941) Movie Clip.
I thought it was a very entertaining movie with a strong cast. I also enjoyed Eve Arden, in her usual role as the wisecracking best friend of the leading lady..