6.8/10
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Manpower (1941)

Passed | | Drama | 9 August 1941 (USA)
Two friends, who are members of a road crew employed by a Los Angeles power company, battle the elements to restore electrical power and trade punches over the same woman.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Richard Macaulay (original screenplay), Jerry Wald (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Egon Brecher ... Pop Duval
Cliff Clark ... Cully
Joseph Crehan ... Sweeney
Ben Welden ... Al Hurst
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Storyline

Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay Duval in a clip joint, but tensions start to show in the road crew as rivally between Hank and Johnny increases. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Raft and Robinson are at the brawling point!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard to Handle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While visiting his friend George Raft on the set, Bugsy Siegel was introduced to Virginia Hill. In the scene where Raft gets into a brawl with Barton MacLane, Hill appears as the hat-check girl to whom Raft gives a piece of leg from a smashed chair as he leaves the nightclub. The brawl scene and Bugsy Siegel's first meeting with Virginia Hill on the gas station movie set are recreated in Bugsy (1991). See more »

Goofs

After Johnny bails Fay out of jail, they are seen walking together down a stairway at the police station. When they arrive at the first landing, as they turn and continue to descend the stairs, the shadow of the microphone boom can be seen on the wall behind them. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Marshall: [the phone rings] I'll get it. Oh, if it's that blonde, are you in or out?
Hank 'Gimpy' McHenry: Well if it's her, I'm in and ready to go out!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Summer of '42 (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

All in Favor Say 'Aye'
(uncredited)
Music by Cliff Friend
Played as dance music at the 28 Club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A woman comes between two best friends
24 November 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Manpower" is a 1941 Warner Brothers film directed by Raoul Walsh. Walsh said that Jack Warner used to call him to his office and say, "You have to direct this film for me." Walsh would ask, "Who's in it?" "Oh, I don't know," Warner would moan. One wonders if "Manpower" was one of those films, though it would be pretty hard to forget that you had a film with Marlene Dietrich scheduled.

The story is that of a typical love triangle. Hank (Robinson) and Johnny (Raft) are linemen; Hank falls hard for Dietrich, who works at a clip joint. He proposes and though she tells him up front that she doesn't love him, she accepts. Then she finds herself in love with Johnny.

Dietrich is stunningly beautiful though I was distracted by a wig that seemed to overpower her face. And when was the last time you heard her described, as Raft does, as "just a dame?" Hardly. She is very good as Fay, who, while she gives it a go with Hank, wants her chance at real happiness. Robinson, who could play pathetic like nobody's business, gives us a pretty pathetic Hank here - injured so that instead of working on the power lines, he's now a manager, unlucky in love and dumpy looking. For a guy who could play mean as dirt, he portrayed these blustery, insecure men very well. Raft is a very dapper Johnny, a nice contrast to Robinson.

With the exception of an exciting ending, there really isn't anything exceptional about "Manpower" except the cast and the fact that it rains a lot. Definitely worth seeing for the unique casting.


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