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Man to Man (1930)

Eighteen years ago, John Bolton found the man who killed his brother Joe and shot it out. The man was killed and John went to prison. His son Mike is now a college track star and when the ... See full summary »


Allan Dwan


Joseph Jackson (dialogue), Joseph Jackson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Phillips Holmes ... Michael Bolton
Grant Mitchell ... John Martin Bolton - Barber
Lucille Powers ... Emily Saunders
Otis Harlan ... Rip Henry
Dwight Frye ... Vint Glade
Russell Simpson ... Uncle Cal
George F. Marion ... Jim McCord - Banker
Paul Nicholson ... Ryan
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Sheriff
John Larkin ... Bildad (as Johnny Larkins)


Eighteen years ago, John Bolton found the man who killed his brother Joe and shot it out. The man was killed and John went to prison. His son Mike is now a college track star and when the fraternity finds out about his father, he leaves college and goes back home to Hardinsville. About the only job he can get is at the Bank. At the bank, Emily takes a liking to Mike and that upsets Vint, who has his eye on Emily. Then John gets paroled by the Governor and returns to town. Mike is ashamed of his father and keeps away from him while Jim will not let him quit his bank job. All the old folks think that John did the right thing. When Mike is short $2000 at the bank, he believes that his father took the money when he was out of his cage, but cannot bring himself confront him. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Strangest Love Triangle the Screen Has Ever Known! (Print Ad- Amsterdam Evening Recorder, ((Amsterdam, NY)) 6 December 1930)


Crime | Drama







Release Date:

6 December 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barber John's Boy See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Vitaphone (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #4521-4528 and #4447 (trailer) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant Phillips Holmes and Grant Mitchell
4 January 2018 | by pauldeboefSee all my reviews

In 1930 many films were very static and stilted, but not "Man to Man". Allan Dwan was a great and inventive director. There are many scenes with camera movements of people walking down the streets. It's a beautifully photographed film. There are interesting psychological images : The bank teller of Mike is a giant cage, a prison, to convey that Mike is emotionally imprisoned. Mike or other people ascend the stairs when a revelation or something difficult is about to happen. It's an intense drama of powerful human interest. The action takes place in Hardinsville, a small southern town, where Barber John (Grant Mitchell), after 18 years in prison, returns to start life again. His son Mike (Phillips Holmes) is suffering and ashamed of his father's past. The manner in which both learn to love each other provides a story of compelling interest. This was Grant Mitchell's first appearance in a talking picture. He gives a performance of moving sincerity. The younger leads played by Phillips Holmes and Lucille Powers are also extremely well done. Phillips Holmes (good-looking as always) was at his best in a dramatic role, not in comedy. He was a quiet actor whose characters often came forth deeper than the role asked for. With a good director and a dramatic role he was a great actor. He could be very bland (in "Confessions of a Co-Ed"or "Caravan") and he could be brilliant (in "The Devil's Holiday", "American Tragedy" or "Broken Lullaby"). In this film he is perfect, totally convincing and intense in his repressed feelings, emotionally imprisoned and hiding his feeling away. He does not act but he IS his character. Only in the initial scenes in the fraternity house the actors are a bit awkward. Some of the opening scenes of the sport competition look like stock footage while in other takes it is really Phillips Holmes jumping over the hurdles.

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