Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Director: WS Van Dyke
Starring: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy

Two childhood friends grow up on opposite sides of the law, leading one to the governor's mansion and the other to death row.

From my experience thus far, I've come to associate the films pairing William Powell and Myrna Loy with comedy, but this is more of a (melo)dramatic example. This was the first of the fourteen films the two were paired up for and their chemistry already shows. Clark Gable brings the charm as usual and forms a strong triad with Powell and Loy. The story is basically Goofus and Gallant played for (melo)drama. The character dynamics of the power trio are intriguing and even if the story gets a bit schmaltzy, "melodrama" is right there in the title, so there's no false advertising. This film is notorious for getting John Dillinger killed. (I've come to like Myrna Loy as an actress, but I don't know if I'd risk my neck going to see one of her movies.) It's enjoyable enough and if you want to see William Powell's dramatic chops, he shows them off rather well here. Give it a watch. Just don't watch it with a woman in red.

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