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Tales of Manhattan (TCF 1942, W.C.Fields, Rita Hayworth)

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Thirteen screenwriters (including Ben Hecht, Donald Ogden Stewart, and even an uncredited Buster Keaton) and a long list of stars come together for episodic narrative Tales of Manhattan about the path a tailcoat takes from swanky Manhattan soirees to scarecrow tatters and the effects it has on each owner.

The stories range from comedic to touching to ironic, dealing with various issues such as love and passion, crime and punishment. A W.C. Fields sequence was deleted because producers felt the comic scene–in which Fields spikes the punch at a temperance meeting–was not consistent with the more dramatic sections. The scene was reinstated in 1996.

The full list of scripters involved was Edmund Beloin, Henry Blankfort, Alan Campbell, Ladislaus Fodor, Laszlo Gorog, Ben Hecht, Samuel Hoffenstein, Buster Keaton, Ferenc Molnar, William Morrow, Donald Ogden Stewart, Lamar Trotti, Laszlo Vadnay

production details
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 118 minutes | 1942
Director: Julien Duvivier
Script: Ferenc Molnár, Lamar Trotti, László Vadnay, Henry Blankfort, Ladislas Fodor, Ben Hecht,

cast
James Gleason as Joe – Mission Aid Society
Charles Laughton as Charles Smith
Edward G. Robinson as Avery L. ‘Larry’ Browne
George Sanders as Williams
Thomas Mitchell as John Halloway
Elsa Lanchester as Elsa (Mrs Charles) Smith
Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson as Rev. Lazarus
Harry Davenport as Prof. Lyons
George Reed as Christopher
Ginger Rogers as Diane
Morris Ankrum as Judge
Gail Patrick as Ellen – Diane’s friend
Marion Martin as ‘Squirrel’ Grey
Charles Boyer as Paul Orman
Rita Hayworth as Ethel Halloway
Henry Fonda as George
Paul Robeson as Luke
Ethel Waters as Esther
Eugene Pallette as Luther – Orman’s butler
Cesar Romero as Harry Wilson
Roland Young as Edgar – Wilson’s butler
Victor Francen as Arturo Bellini – Symphony conductor
J. Carrol Naish as Burglar – Robber #1
W.C. Fields as Professor Pufflewhistle
Phil Silvers as First Salesman at Santelli’s
Margaret Dumont as Mme. Langehanke
Marcel Dalio as Second Salesman at Sandelli’s