Romance in Manhattan


1h 20m 1935
Romance in Manhattan

Brief Synopsis

A New York chorus girl helps an illegal immigrant build a new life in the big city.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
Jan 11, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

When Czechoslovakian immigrant and would-be farmer Karel Novak arrives at Ellis Island, he discovers that the entrance fee has been raised to $200, $142 more than he has in his wallet. Hauled back to the steamship for deportation, Karel jumps overboard and swims ashore but loses his money on the dock. Penniless, he wanders the Manhattan streets until he meets Sylvia Dennis, a pretty nineteen-year-old chorus girl who catches him stealing doughnuts from the rehearsal hall. Sylvia takes Karel to her apartment and introduces him to her young brother Frank, whom she cares for and supports. After selling newspapers with Frank, Karel, who sleeps on Sylvia's rooftop each night, gets a job as a cab driver and dreams of becoming a millionaire so that he can marry Sylvia. When Frank is caught for truancy, the presiding judge orders him to live at the Benton Institution until the now unemployed Sylvia gets married. Desperate to help Sylvia but worried about his illegal alien status, Karel contacts Halsey J. Pander, a crooked lawyer who secretly reports him to the authorities for money. On the day that Frank is taken away, Karel is picked up and sent to the police station with Sylvia. Although Pander insists that Karel be deported, Murphy, a sympathetic policeman, rallies his fellow officers to thwart the shyster and make Karel a citizen and Sylvia's husband before the morning deadline.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
Jan 11, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Romance In Manhattan - Romance in Manhattan


In the heartwarming 1935 romantic comedy Romance in Manhattan Francis Lederer plays Karel Novak, a wide-eyed illegal immigrant who makes his way to New York without a penny to his name. When he falls in love with beautiful chorus girl Sylvia (Ginger Rogers), Karel is determined to become a legitimate U.S. citizen so he can marry her and stay in America.

Ginger Rogers began filming Romance in Manhattan for RKO just five days after completing her second film with Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee (1934). It was the first and only film in which she co-starred with the accomplished Czech actor Francis Lederer. "He was handsome, genuine, and very professional;" she wrote in her 1991 autobiography My Story, "I predicted stardom for him. Alas, it didn't come. The studio didn't know how to handle him or how to buy stories for him. His career never took off."

In a 1996 interview the then 97-year-old Lederer had nothing but good things to say about Rogers. "She was adorable, adorable," he said, "and I became acquainted with both her and her mother. [Making Romance in Manhattan] was a marvelous experience."

Reviews of Romance in Manhattan were enthusiastic. The New York Times called it "a friendly wisp of romantic comedy" and Time magazine said, "Pleasantly played by its principals and directed by Stephen Roberts in the Capra tradition, all this makes an entertaining small-fry comedy, distinguished by its skyline and a few exceptionally funny sequences."

Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Director: Stephen Roberts
Screenplay: Jane Murfin, Edward Kaufman; Norman Krasna, Don Hartman (story)
Cinematography: Nick Musuraca
Art Direction: Charles Kirk, Van Nest Polglase
Music: Alberto Colombo (uncredited)
Film Editing: Jack Hively
Cast: Francis Lederer (Karel Novak), Ginger Rogers (Sylvia Dennis), Arthur Hohl (Halsey J. Pander), Jimmy Butler (Frank Dennis), J. Farrell MacDonald (Officer Murphy), Helen Ware (Miss Anthrop), Eily Malyon (Miss Evans), Lillian Harmer (Mrs. Schultz - Landlady)
BW-77m. Closed Captioning.

by Andrea Passafiume
Romance In Manhattan - Romance In Manhattan

Romance In Manhattan - Romance in Manhattan

In the heartwarming 1935 romantic comedy Romance in Manhattan Francis Lederer plays Karel Novak, a wide-eyed illegal immigrant who makes his way to New York without a penny to his name. When he falls in love with beautiful chorus girl Sylvia (Ginger Rogers), Karel is determined to become a legitimate U.S. citizen so he can marry her and stay in America. Ginger Rogers began filming Romance in Manhattan for RKO just five days after completing her second film with Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee (1934). It was the first and only film in which she co-starred with the accomplished Czech actor Francis Lederer. "He was handsome, genuine, and very professional;" she wrote in her 1991 autobiography My Story, "I predicted stardom for him. Alas, it didn't come. The studio didn't know how to handle him or how to buy stories for him. His career never took off." In a 1996 interview the then 97-year-old Lederer had nothing but good things to say about Rogers. "She was adorable, adorable," he said, "and I became acquainted with both her and her mother. [Making Romance in Manhattan] was a marvelous experience." Reviews of Romance in Manhattan were enthusiastic. The New York Times called it "a friendly wisp of romantic comedy" and Time magazine said, "Pleasantly played by its principals and directed by Stephen Roberts in the Capra tradition, all this makes an entertaining small-fry comedy, distinguished by its skyline and a few exceptionally funny sequences." Producer: Pandro S. Berman Director: Stephen Roberts Screenplay: Jane Murfin, Edward Kaufman; Norman Krasna, Don Hartman (story) Cinematography: Nick Musuraca Art Direction: Charles Kirk, Van Nest Polglase Music: Alberto Colombo (uncredited) Film Editing: Jack Hively Cast: Francis Lederer (Karel Novak), Ginger Rogers (Sylvia Dennis), Arthur Hohl (Halsey J. Pander), Jimmy Butler (Frank Dennis), J. Farrell MacDonald (Officer Murphy), Helen Ware (Miss Anthrop), Eily Malyon (Miss Evans), Lillian Harmer (Mrs. Schultz - Landlady) BW-77m. Closed Captioning. by Andrea Passafiume

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the Screen Achievements Bulletin, the script of this film was developed from an original idea "proposed" by Don Hartman and a "screen story" by Norman Krasna. A plot synopsis in Motion Picture Herald's "In the Cutting Room" differs considerably from the actual screen story. In the pre-release synopsis, the Francis Lederer character is a young Balkan shepherd who, after being fleeced of his money by a crook selling sheep in Central Park, becomes a star singing waiter, marries a girl from the country, loses her, then gets her back the American way, through divorce. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, director Stephen Roberts replaced Sidney Lanfield, who had been replaced on the 1933 RKO film Melody Cruise by Mark Sandrich, who was originally slated to direct this production. The New York Times review mentions the use of the Dunning process of rear projection in this film. Modern sources credit Mel Berns with makeup and John Miehle as still photographer and add the following additional cast members: Christian Rub (Immigrant), Frank Sheridan (Customs inspector), Irving Bacon (Counterman), Andy Clyde (Scottish liquor store owner).