Manpower

Overview

Manpower was Warner Bros' latest reworking of 1932's Tiger Shark, with power-company linemen substituting for tuna fisherman. While repair some downed lines in a heavy thunderstorm, Hank McHenry (Edward G. Robinson) saves the life of his best pal Johnny Marshall (George Raft). While Johnny emerges from the experience unscathed, Hank is permanently crippled. He takes this misfortune in stride, but Johnny vows to look after Hank's best interests for the rest of their lives. When Hank marries blowzy nightclub ...
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Overview

Manpower was Warner Bros' latest reworking of 1932's Tiger Shark, with power-company linemen substituting for tuna fisherman. While repair some downed lines in a heavy thunderstorm, Hank McHenry (Edward G. Robinson) saves the life of his best pal Johnny Marshall (George Raft). While Johnny emerges from the experience unscathed, Hank is permanently crippled. He takes this misfortune in stride, but Johnny vows to look after Hank's best interests for the rest of their lives. When Hank marries blowzy nightclub hostess Fay Duval (Marlene Dietrich), Johnny is disdainful, convinced that Fay is playing Hank for a sucker. While recuperating in Hank's home after a slight injury, Johnny confesses to Fay that he's in love with her, a feeling that turns out to be mutual. Out of loyalty to Hank, Johnny refuses to have anything to do with Fay, who finally decides to leave town rather than break up the men's friendship. But Fay cannot stay away from Johnny, forcing him to confront the ever-trusting Hank with the truth, leading inexorably to the film's violent conclusion on a precariously high utility pole. A few comic interludes aside, Manpower is virile, gutsy entertainment; the fact that Edward G. Robinson and George Raft did not get along at all during shooting-resulting in a well-publicized on-set fistfight-only adds to the film's crackling tension.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Whenever Warner Bros. needed a serviceable vehicle for some of their tough leading men, the powers that be trotted out the old wheeze about a couple of blue-collar workers -- sometimes they were brothers, sometimes best buddies -- fighting over the same dame. The titles changed -- Other Men's Women (1931), Tiger Shark (1932), Slim (1937) -- but the eventual outcome stayed the same. Raoul Walsh inherited the plot, now called Manpower, in 1941 and apparently had a whale of a time keeping Edward G. Robinson and George Raft from carrying it into real life. The main reason for the two stars' very public animosity toward each other, according to a photographer from Life who was present on the set, was the alluring presence of Marlene Dietrich. All this, of course, is neither here nor there for a modern audience who can only marvel over the fact that Fraulein Dietrich manages to keep her powder dry in the midst of a torrential downpour. Not only that, the German diva gets away with playing a down-on-her-luck American floozy without anyone questioning that Teutonic accent. Even when miscast, however, the lady is always an interesting spectacle no matter how inconsequential the surroundings.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/17/2009
  • UPC: 883316222294
  • Original Release: 1941
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 47,045

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Edward G. Robinson Hank McHenry
Marlene Dietrich Fay Duval
George Raft Johnny Marshall
Alan Hale Jumbo Wells
Frank McHugh Omaha
Eve Arden Dolly
Barton MacLane Smiley Quinn
Ward Bond Eddie Adams
Walter Catlett Sidney Whipple
Joyce Compton Scarlett
Lucia Carroll Flo
Egon Brecher Pop Duval
Cliff Clark Cully
Joseph Crehan Sweeney
Ben Welden Al Hurst
Barbara Pepper Polly
Dorothy Appleby Wilma
Murray Alper , Lineman
Jean Ames Thelma
Lynne Baggett
Leah Baird Matron
Muriel Barr Model
Diana Barrymore
Joyce Bryant Miss Brewster
Georgia Caine Head Nurse
Nat Carr Waiter
Eddy Chandler Detective
Chester Clute Clerk
Joe Devlin Bartender
Roland Drew Man
Ralph Dunn Man at Phone
Faye Emerson Nurse
Eddie Fetherstone Man
James Flavin Orderly
Brenda Fowler Saleslady
William Gould Desk Sergeant
Fred Graham
Carl Harbaugh Noisy Nash
John Harmon Benny
Harry Harvey Jr.
Al Herman
Herbert Heywood Watchman
Harry Holman Justice of the Peace
William Hopper
John Kelly Bouncer
Vera Lewis Wife
Frank Mayo Doorman
Pat McKee Bouncer
Gayle Mellott
William Newell
Lee Phelps Detective
Jane Randolph Coat Check Girl, Hat Check Girl
Drew Roddy
William Royle Cop
Cliff Saum Man
Jeffrey Sayre Man
Harry Seymour Piano Player
Charles Sherlock Man
Harry Strang Foreman
Robert Strange Bondsman
Charles Sullivan
Elliott Sullivan
Dorothy Vaughan Mrs. Boyle
Nella Walker Floorlady
Billy Wayne Taxi Driver
Dick Wessel Lineman
Joan Winfield Nurse
Isabel Withers Head Nurse
Beal Wong Chinese Singer
Technical Credits
Raoul Walsh Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Ralph Dawson Editor
Adolph Deutsch Score Composer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Byron Haskin Special Effects
Mark Hellinger Producer
H.F. Koenekamp Special Effects
Richard Macaulay Screenwriter
Max Parker Art Director
Dolph Thomas Sound/Sound Designer
Jerry Wald Screenwriter
Hal B. Wallis Executive Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
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