Child of Manhattan (film)

Child of Manhattan is a 1933 American pre-Code melodrama film based on the play Child of Manhattan by Preston Sturges, which was presented on Broadway in 1932. The film was directed by Edward Buzzell and written for the screen by Gertrude Purcell, and stars Nancy Carroll, star of musical comedies at Paramount, John Boles, and cowboy star Charles "Buck" Jones.

Child of Manhattan
theatrical poster
Directed byEdward Buzzell
Written byPreston Sturges (play)
Gertrude Purcell
StarringNancy Carroll
John Boles
Buck Jones
CinematographyTed Tetzlaff
Edited byJack Dennis
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 11, 1933 (1933-02-11)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

This was the second of Sturges' plays to be adapted into a film, after Strictly Dishonorable. "Most of the wittier and more pungent lines were lost in translation."[1]


Taxi dancer Madeleine McGonegle (Nancy Carroll) attracts the attention of millionaire Paul Vanderkill (John Boles), and when she becomes pregnant, they get married to avoid a scandal. When the baby dies at birth, Madeleine runs away to Mexico, to give Paul the divorce she thinks he wants. There, she meets "Panama Canal" Kelly (cowboy star Buck Jones), an old friend who proposed to her before he went west. Undeterred by her recent past, he asks her again to get married, and she eventually agrees. When Paul discovers where she is, he shows up just as the couple is about to be wed. When Panama overhears Madeleine confess her love to Paul, he bows out of the picture.[1][2][3]



This film was in production from 12 November through 6 December 1932.[4] The movie shot for two weeks with Neil Hamilton playing the part of "Paul", before he was replaced by John Boles.[5]

The film had a limited release on 4 February 1933, and went into general release in New York on 11 February.[6] It was marketed with the taglines: The World called her BAD because she dared to LOVE! and Women called her Sinner! Men called her Siren! He called her Sweetheart![7]


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