Manpower (1941)

102-103 mins | Drama | 9 August 1941

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Cinematographer:

Ernest Haller

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designer:

Max Parker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Hard to Handle , Hard to Get and Handle with Care . News items in HR add the following information about the production: Claire Trevor was considered for the Marlene Dietrich role. Broderick Crawford and Victor McLaglen were considered for the part played by Edward G. Robinson. According to memos and telegrams reproduced in a modern source, Humphrey Bogart was to have been cast in the role of "Hank McHenry," but George Raft refused to make the film if Bogart was his co-star. HR review mentions that a fistfight between Raft and Robinson was shot by a Life magazine photographer who was visiting the film's set.
       A letter from Warner Bros. executive Roy Obringer to the Screen Actors Guild, which is reproduced in a modern source, confirms that Raft made a strong verbal attack against Robinson regarding a line of Robinson's dialogue. After the attack, the letter continues, Robinson left the set and the production was stopped for several hours. Several days later, Raft pushed Robinson around the set and again verbally attacked him. Again filming was stopped, this time for an entire day. Modern sources add that Raft was romantically interested in Marlene Dietrich at the time and believed that Robinson was also interested in her. Some sources include a second song, "I'm in No Mood for Music," but only one song was credited on the film and only one song was heard in the viewed print. Although Richard Macaulay and Jerry Wald are credited with an original screenplay, the film's story closely resembles that of the 1931 ... More Less

The film's working titles were Hard to Handle , Hard to Get and Handle with Care . News items in HR add the following information about the production: Claire Trevor was considered for the Marlene Dietrich role. Broderick Crawford and Victor McLaglen were considered for the part played by Edward G. Robinson. According to memos and telegrams reproduced in a modern source, Humphrey Bogart was to have been cast in the role of "Hank McHenry," but George Raft refused to make the film if Bogart was his co-star. HR review mentions that a fistfight between Raft and Robinson was shot by a Life magazine photographer who was visiting the film's set.
       A letter from Warner Bros. executive Roy Obringer to the Screen Actors Guild, which is reproduced in a modern source, confirms that Raft made a strong verbal attack against Robinson regarding a line of Robinson's dialogue. After the attack, the letter continues, Robinson left the set and the production was stopped for several hours. Several days later, Raft pushed Robinson around the set and again verbally attacked him. Again filming was stopped, this time for an entire day. Modern sources add that Raft was romantically interested in Marlene Dietrich at the time and believed that Robinson was also interested in her. Some sources include a second song, "I'm in No Mood for Music," but only one song was credited on the film and only one song was heard in the viewed print. Although Richard Macaulay and Jerry Wald are credited with an original screenplay, the film's story closely resembles that of the 1931 Warner Bros. film Other Men's Women and the studio's 1932 film Tiger Shark (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3293 & F3.4651).
       The 1991 TriStar film Bugsy featured a sequence in which Ben Siegel pays a visit to his friend George Raft on the set of Manpower and meets actress Virginia Hill, who subsequently became his mistress. Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich and George Raft reprised their roles in a 16 Mar 1942 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Aug 41
p. 392.
Box Office
12-Jul-41
---
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1941.
---
Film Daily
7 Jul 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 41
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 41
p. 3.
Life
12 May 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald
5 Jul 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Jun 41
p. 158.
New York Times
5 Jul 41
p. 14.
Variety
9 Jul 41
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Herbert Haywood
De Wolfe Hopper
Al Herman
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Unit mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"He Lied and I Listened," words by Frank Loesser, music by Frederick Hollander.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hard to Get
Handle with Care
Hard to Handle
Release Date:
9 August 1941
Production Date:
late March--mid May 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 August 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10640
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
102-103
Length(in feet):
9,329
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While working on a high power line during a raging storm, Southern California lineman Hank McHenry sustains a permanent leg injury. No longer able to work on the lines, he is made foreman of a team that includes his friends Johnny Marshall and Antoine "Pop" Duval. One cold night, an ice storm downs some lines, and Pop is killed when he touches one. Hank, as foreman, must tell Pop's daughter Fay, who was recently released from prison, and he begs Johnny to accompany him. Johnny is angered by Fay's unsentimental acceptance of her father's death, but Hank is attracted to her and later delivers some money to her, claiming that it came from Pop's insurance. Fay, who works as a hostess in a Los Angeles nightclub, isn't fooled by Hank's ruse, but takes the money anyway. Despite Johnny's warnings, Hank continues to see Fay, and she, in turn, tolerates him because he is kind to her. Eventually Hank asks Fay to marry him, and although she is not in love with him, she agrees. Knowing that Fay cannot possibly love the uncouth Hank, Johnny offers to buy her off, but only succeeds in reaffirming her decision. At first, Fay tries hard to be a good wife to Hank. Then Johnny is seriously injured at work and Hank brings him home to recuperate. Fay falls in love with the handsome Johnny, but when she tells him about her feelings, he hurriedly leaves the house. Hank's team travels to work at Boulder Dam, and Fay takes advantage of Hank's absence to leave him. Seeking a contact at ... +


While working on a high power line during a raging storm, Southern California lineman Hank McHenry sustains a permanent leg injury. No longer able to work on the lines, he is made foreman of a team that includes his friends Johnny Marshall and Antoine "Pop" Duval. One cold night, an ice storm downs some lines, and Pop is killed when he touches one. Hank, as foreman, must tell Pop's daughter Fay, who was recently released from prison, and he begs Johnny to accompany him. Johnny is angered by Fay's unsentimental acceptance of her father's death, but Hank is attracted to her and later delivers some money to her, claiming that it came from Pop's insurance. Fay, who works as a hostess in a Los Angeles nightclub, isn't fooled by Hank's ruse, but takes the money anyway. Despite Johnny's warnings, Hank continues to see Fay, and she, in turn, tolerates him because he is kind to her. Eventually Hank asks Fay to marry him, and although she is not in love with him, she agrees. Knowing that Fay cannot possibly love the uncouth Hank, Johnny offers to buy her off, but only succeeds in reaffirming her decision. At first, Fay tries hard to be a good wife to Hank. Then Johnny is seriously injured at work and Hank brings him home to recuperate. Fay falls in love with the handsome Johnny, but when she tells him about her feelings, he hurriedly leaves the house. Hank's team travels to work at Boulder Dam, and Fay takes advantage of Hank's absence to leave him. Seeking a contact at the nightclub where she used to work, Fay is caught in a raid. Johnny takes the police call and drives down to bail her out of jail. When he learns that Fay was planning to leave Hank, he insists that she continue her marriage and drives her to the camp. There a bad storm blows in and the crew receives an emergency call. Because Johnny does not want to come between Hank and Fay, he quits his job, but this does not stop Fay from leaving Hank. Hank blames Johnny for the end of his marriage and, despite his lameness, climbs up the wires after his friend. The two men fight and Hank falls to his death. Before he dies, Fay tells him that he has falsely accused Johnny. She then leaves, but is joined by Johnny, who has decided to stay with her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.