Adventure in Manhattan


1h 13m 1936

Brief Synopsis

A hotshot reporter and a temperamental actress clash when he investigates the backer of her latest show.

Photos & Videos

Adventure in Manhattan - Publicity Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Scene Stills
Adventure In Manhattan - Lobby Cards
Adventure in Manhattan - Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Oct 8, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Purple and Fine Linen" by May Edginton in Collier's (6 Feb 1926).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

To cover the theft of the Koor-Hal ruby, newspaper editor Phil Bane calls in ace crime reporter George Melville. George arrogantly predicts to his fellow reporters the next crime to occur and is proven correct, as always. When an accident takes place outside the pool hall where the reporters congregate, George follows a suspicious woman, Claire Peyton, whom he sees begging one moment, then exiting a store in fancy dress only minutes later. George forces her to have dinner with him, and during the meal, she explains that she left a cruel husband for another man and then left him. That evening, she explains, she is to be allowed to see her daughter for the first time in years, but upon arrival, at her ex-husband's house she discovers only a coffin. Claire faints, and George takes her back to his apartment. On awakening, Claire asks him to fetch her daughter's ring, but when he returns to the house, he finds it locked and the coffin empty. While investigating, he is caught by Blackton Gregory, an apparent lunatic, who reveals that the entire scheme was a practical joke concocted by his jealous newspaper buddies. Next door, meanwhile, the famous Van Hyne painting is stolen by accessories of Gregory, who is actually the famous thief, Belaire. Gregory has convinced everyone except George that he is dead and wants to outwit him. To that end, he is producing a World War I play, called Fury's Road , starring Claire, while his men dig a tunnel from the theater to a bank across town. Later, George persuades Claire to join him for lunch, then takes her to his apartment for a can of beans. George predicts to Claire that the Sunburst diamond will be stolen on Saturday, and has Phil prepare an extra edition. However, when Claire innocently mentions the prediction to Gregory, he has the date of the play's opening and the robbery delayed. The morning after the supposed robbery, George enters the newspaper's office, humiliated, and is fired. Claire tries to cheer a bewildered George, and she and Gregory find him alone on the stage, strangely listless and distracted. Claire, now in love with George, believes he is going insane and sends him to the mountains. When the play opens, the rattle of gunfire in a scene involving trench warfare drowns out the explosions in the nearly completed tunnel. Claire, however, observes Gregory's strange actions and becomes suspicious. When his henchmen forget the Van Hyne painting, he returns to get it and is captured. Claire fears for George's life, but learns from Phil that he is fine, having suspected Gregory all along and gone to the police.

Photo Collections

Adventure in Manhattan - Publicity Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Publicity Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Scene Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Scene Stills
Adventure In Manhattan - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Adventure in Manhattan (1936). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Adventure in Manhattan - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Columbia Pictures' Adventure in Manhattan (1936), starring Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Oct 8, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Purple and Fine Linen" by May Edginton in Collier's (6 Feb 1926).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

Adventure in Manhattan


Adventure in Manhattan (1936) is a breezy crime thriller that stars Joel McCrea as a renowned criminologist newspaper writer named George Melville who boasts of being able to predict crimes before they happen. Melville brings a touch of class to blue-collar crime solving, a blue-collar Sherlock with the English dick's famed arrogance and unflappable self-confidence in his mastery of the art of detection. (Melville may have been Columbia's possible answer to the amateur detective Nick Charles in MGM's successful The Thin Man series.) Through a prank conducted by his often-jealous colleagues, Melville meets actress Claire Peyton (Jean Arthur) and producer Blacktop Gregory (Reginald Owen). But Blacktop has more behind the stage curtains than meets the eye, and it's Melville sleuthing behind those curtains that makes the story fun to watch.

Since Jean Arthur was a contract player at the time, Adventure in Manhattan was her second of three pictures she made for Columbia in 1936. Also, it was the second of three pictures that Arthur and Joel McCrea appeared in together. The first was The Silver Horde (1930), the latter being The More the Merrier (1943). Thomas Mitchell appears in a supporting role as Melville's exceedingly cranky managing editor who seems to be on the verge of a massive coronary, a typical trait for newspapermen in the movies at the time. Mitchell would later work with Jean Arthur in two pictures, both released in 1939: Only Angels Have Wings and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And the classy Reginald Owen, whom Variety noted as "role-proof...as usual," rounds out the cast as the charming villain.

Adventure in Manhattan was based on a story by Joseph Krumgold, suggested by May Edginton's "Purple and Fine Linen." Sidney Buchman, Harry Sauber and Jack Kirkland were hired to shape the screenplay, and Edward Ludwig directed. Buchman, a contract writer for Columbia Studios since 1934, was one of Columbia chief Harry Cohn's favorite writers. It was here at Columbia that Buchman contributed some of the best work of his career, notably for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Talk of the Town (1942), both starring Jean Arthur.

Reviews of Adventure in Manhattan were mixed at the time. The New York Time critic Frank S. Nugent (later a Hollywood screenwriter) dismissed the film as "a lightweight and moderately diverting mystery tale which hurdles its absurdities with the greatest of ease and will be forgotten almost as soon as it fades from the screen." Time Magazine, referencing Columbia's recent success with the Academy Awards, noted that " Adventure in Manhattan, which is not the work of writer Robert Riskin and director Frank Capra, may conceivably prove to the producers of It Happened One Night (1934) that box-office success is not necessarily the reward of second-hand whimsy." But Variety admired the picture and hailed the climactic heist as "perhaps the most elaborate on record, and quite exciting."

Director: Edward Ludwig
Screenplay: Sidney Buchman, Jack Kirkland, Harry Sauber, Joseph Krumgold (story), May Edginton (novel).
Cinematography: Henry Freulich
Film Editing: Otto Meyer
Music: William Grant Still
Cast: Jean Arthur (Claire Peyton), Joel McCrea (George Melville), Reginald Owen (Blacktop Gregory), Thomas Mitchell (Phil Bane), Victor Kilian (Mark Gibbs), John Gallaudet (McGuire).
BW-73m.

by Scott McGee
Adventure In Manhattan

Adventure in Manhattan

Adventure in Manhattan (1936) is a breezy crime thriller that stars Joel McCrea as a renowned criminologist newspaper writer named George Melville who boasts of being able to predict crimes before they happen. Melville brings a touch of class to blue-collar crime solving, a blue-collar Sherlock with the English dick's famed arrogance and unflappable self-confidence in his mastery of the art of detection. (Melville may have been Columbia's possible answer to the amateur detective Nick Charles in MGM's successful The Thin Man series.) Through a prank conducted by his often-jealous colleagues, Melville meets actress Claire Peyton (Jean Arthur) and producer Blacktop Gregory (Reginald Owen). But Blacktop has more behind the stage curtains than meets the eye, and it's Melville sleuthing behind those curtains that makes the story fun to watch. Since Jean Arthur was a contract player at the time, Adventure in Manhattan was her second of three pictures she made for Columbia in 1936. Also, it was the second of three pictures that Arthur and Joel McCrea appeared in together. The first was The Silver Horde (1930), the latter being The More the Merrier (1943). Thomas Mitchell appears in a supporting role as Melville's exceedingly cranky managing editor who seems to be on the verge of a massive coronary, a typical trait for newspapermen in the movies at the time. Mitchell would later work with Jean Arthur in two pictures, both released in 1939: Only Angels Have Wings and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And the classy Reginald Owen, whom Variety noted as "role-proof...as usual," rounds out the cast as the charming villain. Adventure in Manhattan was based on a story by Joseph Krumgold, suggested by May Edginton's "Purple and Fine Linen." Sidney Buchman, Harry Sauber and Jack Kirkland were hired to shape the screenplay, and Edward Ludwig directed. Buchman, a contract writer for Columbia Studios since 1934, was one of Columbia chief Harry Cohn's favorite writers. It was here at Columbia that Buchman contributed some of the best work of his career, notably for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Talk of the Town (1942), both starring Jean Arthur. Reviews of Adventure in Manhattan were mixed at the time. The New York Time critic Frank S. Nugent (later a Hollywood screenwriter) dismissed the film as "a lightweight and moderately diverting mystery tale which hurdles its absurdities with the greatest of ease and will be forgotten almost as soon as it fades from the screen." Time Magazine, referencing Columbia's recent success with the Academy Awards, noted that " Adventure in Manhattan, which is not the work of writer Robert Riskin and director Frank Capra, may conceivably prove to the producers of It Happened One Night (1934) that box-office success is not necessarily the reward of second-hand whimsy." But Variety admired the picture and hailed the climactic heist as "perhaps the most elaborate on record, and quite exciting." Director: Edward Ludwig Screenplay: Sidney Buchman, Jack Kirkland, Harry Sauber, Joseph Krumgold (story), May Edginton (novel). Cinematography: Henry Freulich Film Editing: Otto Meyer Music: William Grant Still Cast: Jean Arthur (Claire Peyton), Joel McCrea (George Melville), Reginald Owen (Blacktop Gregory), Thomas Mitchell (Phil Bane), Victor Kilian (Mark Gibbs), John Gallaudet (McGuire). BW-73m. by Scott McGee

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A Hollywood Reporter production chart dated June 15, 1936 mistakenly lists Dorothy Arzner as director and Edward Chodorov as supervisor. Hollywood Reporter corrected its error the following day. This story was first filmed as Three Hours in 1927 by Corinne Griffith Productions. (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.5657).