With “Public Enemies” entering its second weekend in theaters, and inspired by a brief but typically wonderful post on Myrna Loy by cinephile superstar Campaspe, a vintage trailer for the legendary last movie seen by John Dillinger just prior to his death seems fitting.
“Manhattan Melodrama” starred thirties A-listers Clark Gable and William Powell, in the first of his many films opposite Loy, but is not often seen these days in comparison to later films featuring any of the three. Nevertheless, it’s grand, ultra-corny Hollywood entertainment of the most egregious sort. (Glenn Erickson suggested the title should really be “Manhattan Fairy Tale,” and he’s not wrong.) MGM was always the studio of excess glamor and wholesome values, and they brought that even to a gangster picture. Abandon cynicism, maintain your irony, and check it out some time.