6.8/10
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The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 October 1938 (USA)
When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director:

Leigh Jason

Writers:

Philip G. Epstein (screen play), Wilson Collison (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Melsa Manton
Henry Fonda ... Peter Ames
Sam Levene ... Lieutenant Brent
Frances Mercer ... Helen Frayne
Stanley Ridges ... Edward Norris
Whitney Bourne ... Pat James
Vickie Lester ... Kit Beverly (as Vicki Lester)
Ann Evers ... Lee Wilson
Catherine O'Quinn Catherine O'Quinn ... Dora Fenton
Linda Perry ... Myra Frost (as Linda Terry)
Eleanor Hansen ... Jane
Hattie McDaniel ... Hilda (as Hattie McDaniels)
James Burke ... Sullivan
Paul Guilfoyle ... Bat Regan
Penny Singleton ... Frances Glesk
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Storyline

Madcap debutante Melsa Manton finds a body in a deserted house. Of course, the police don't believe her. Stung by Peter Ames's front page editorial decrying her "prank," Melsa enlists seven fellow debs to help her investigate. The wisecracking young ladies proceed to run circles around the police, the suspects, and the press. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Penny Singleton, who plays jealous lover Francis, later dyed her hair blonde and played the title role in Columbia Pictures' successful, long-running series of Blondie movies. See more »

Goofs

In a romantic scene in the middle of the film Melsa tells Peter, that "she's had dozens of cigarette lighters but none of them worked." However, at the start of the film when she snoops around the Lane house, she uses a WORKING cigarette lighter as a torch. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Peter Ames: We'll go to South America, for six months - maybe we'll never come back!
Melsa Manton: Can you afford it?
Peter Ames: No, but you can.
Melsa Manton: Isn't there a drop of red blood in your veins? I want to live on *your* income!
Peter Ames: That's foolish, who's going to live on yours?
[they kiss passionately]
Lieutenant Brent: Sullivan, my bicarb tablets.
Sullivan: Will you quit crawling up on me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a flashlight lights up each page of credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murder, My Sweet (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
Music by Daniel E. Kelley (1904)
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley (as Brewster 'Bruce' Higley) (1873)
Sung a cappella by James Burke
See more »

User Reviews

 
Stanwyck & Fonda better than Tracy and Hepburn
21 December 2001 | by TedFonteSee all my reviews

This movie, a warmup for Stanwyck and Fonda for the later The Lady Eve, is entirely enjoyable. A lighthearted piece of fluff, true, but everybody is having such a good time that it becomes totally infectious. Stanwyck, a rich deb, while walking her dogs in the middle of night, stumbles over a murdered man who disappears when she summons the police, of course. Fonda, a news editor/reporter, castigates her in print, and she threatens to sue. They, in the time-honored tradition of Hollywood comedy/mysteries, jointly, and sometimes separately and at loggers head, try to solve the mystery and find the murderer. Stanwyck is aided by a cohort of fellow debutantes, who do things helter-skelter en masse. The scene when Stanwyck sics 'em on Fonda ("Get him, girls"), with Fonda crawfishing as they advance, alone is worth the price of admission, as is the final avowal of love and proposal of marriage.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mad Miss Manton See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$383,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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