The Mad Miss Manton

Overview

Wealthy socialite Melsa Manton Barbara Stanwyck is taking her pooches for a walk in the dead of the night when she stumbles upon a dead body and a car fleeing the scene of the crime. She alerts the police but the corpse has disappeared by the time they arrive, and the lieutenant, knowing of her madcap reputation, believes she was playing a practical joke. After newspaper editor Peter Ames Henry Fonda takes her to task in print, she sues him for libel and enlists the aid of her society friends in tracking down the...
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Overview

Wealthy socialite Melsa Manton Barbara Stanwyck is taking her pooches for a walk in the dead of the night when she stumbles upon a dead body and a car fleeing the scene of the crime. She alerts the police but the corpse has disappeared by the time they arrive, and the lieutenant, knowing of her madcap reputation, believes she was playing a practical joke. After newspaper editor Peter Ames Henry Fonda takes her to task in print, she sues him for libel and enlists the aid of her society friends in tracking down the body and finding the killer. Eventually, Ames comes around to believing Melsa's story and aids her in her search. It isn't long before the two antagonists find they're attracted to each other -- but they have to catch the murderer before they can settle down and live happily ever after. Fonda and Stanwyck would team up again in You Belong to Me and The Lady Eve.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The Mad Miss Manton is a prime example -- though not the best example -- of the screwball comedy. Director Leigh Jason moves the plot along quickly enough, and also manages some effective transitions of mood, from zany comedy to dark menace, at the proper moments. And the cast, right down to the supporting players, is delightful. But one also gets the sense that the lead players here are seldom working in higher than second gear, and the whole production is little more than a lark for them, particularly Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. That's not a problem, except that it prevents The Mad Miss Manton from ascending to the ranks of such top-flight comedies of its era as My Man Godfrey, It Happened One Night, etc. -- additionally, Stanwyck look, at moments, like she is chafing at the goofier, zanier aspects of her character. Still, this is a fun romp, offering the virtue of not only a lot of light-hearted laughs and entertaining by-play, but also some lively female-focused dialogue, reminiscent in tone of parts of The Women.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2009
  • UPC: 883316126714
  • Original Release: 1938
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,750

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Stanwyck Melsa Manton
Henry Fonda Peter Ames
Sam Levene Lt. Mike Brent
Frances Mercer Helen Frayne
Stanley Ridges Edward Norris
Whitney Bourne Pat James
Vicki Lester Kit Beverly
Ann Evers Lee Wilson
Catherine O'Quinn Dora Fenton
Linda Terry Myra Frost
Eleanor Hansen Jane
Hattie McDaniel Hilda
James Burke Sgt. Sullivan
Paul Guilfoyle Bat Regan
Penny Singleton Frances Glesk
Leona Maricle Sheila Lane
Kay Sutton Gloria Hamilton
Miles Mander Fred Thomas
John Qualen Subway watchman
Grady Sutton District Attorney's Secretary
Olin Howland Mr. X/Red the Safecracker
Otto H. Fries
Vinton Haworth Peter's Secretary
Charles Trowbridge
Pierre Watkin
Clarence H. Wilson
Buck Mack
Jack Arnold Peter's Secretary
Irving Bacon Spengler, the Process Server
Mary Jo Desmond Extra
Charles Halton Popsy, the Lawyer
George Magrill Policeman
Matt McHugh Waiter
Robert Middlemass District Attorney
Leonard Mudie Managing Editor
Ted Oliver Detective
Emory Parnell Doorman
Jack Rice Doctor
Walter Sande Investigator
David Ward D.A.'s Secretary
Eddy Chandler Detective
Technical Credits
Leigh Jason Director
James Barker Makeup
Pandro S. Berman Producer
Carroll Clark Art Director
Philip G. Epstein Screenwriter
Fred F. Finklehoffe Screenwriter
George Hively Editor
Nick Musuraca Cinematographer
Van Nest Polglase Production Designer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
Roy Webb Score Composer
P.J. Wolfson Associate Producer
Hal Yates Screenwriter
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