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Romance in Manhattan

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A charming, starry-eyed Czech immigrant arrives in America expecting the golden land of opportunity. What he discovers instead, in this breezy comedy, are the harsh realities of New York City.

Ginger Rogers stars as Sylvia Dennis, a bouncy chorus girl who comes to the aid of Karel Novak (Francis Lederer), a lonely and somewhat lost illegal alien who just jumped ship to find his dream in America. But the dream turns sour when he takes the job of a scab driver during a taxi-cab strike and gets a punch in the nose for his trouble. Sylvia, taking pity on Karel and enchanted by his undying optimism, allows him to camp on the roof of her apartment building – a situation that sparks romance against the backdrop of the glittering Manhattan skyline.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ginger Rogers, Francis Lederer, Arthur Hohl
  • Directors: Stephen Roberts
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007XTDXGE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,790 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Forster Keck on March 9, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This is a charming film. There are some dark undertones, but they intensify the drama and romance.
Frances Lederer is apparently best known on the West Coast as a beloved and excellent coach, but he started out in silent films, one of those able to make the transition to the "talkies". (Look for him in "Pandora's Box", with Louise Brooks.) Two sound films I recommend are "Midnight" and "The Gay Deception".
Ginger Rogers plays a showgirl but not a star, a chorus girl trying to make ends meet. No Fred Astaire here, this was one of her first efforts without him after their partnership was established.
The film gives a reasonably accurate picture of Depression-era New York, for Hollywood, and shows some of the hardships even the lucky had to endure. There's a bit of stock footage, too.
See this if you ever have the chance. The last scenes alone are worth the price of admission!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rsoonsa VINE VOICE on April 30, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This delightful work details the struggle of a Czech illegal immigrant, Karel Novak (Francis Lederer), to remain in the United States during the Depression, with a sparkling script limning the cultural impact of New York City upon the newcomer. Stephen Roberts directs with his customary skill in one of his final films (he died shortly after at the age of 40) and avoids both the hyperbolic and hypocritical, particularly significant when we are given the insincerity which marks the current immigration debate with its rough moral equivalence. The Bohemian-born Lederer's strong performance is quite probably his best, with an excellent and witty scenario providing the cast, which includes many of RKO's many contract players, an opportunity to create characterizations that are well-defined. Ginger Rogers nicely portrays Lederer's love interest and there is excellent acting from Sidney Toler and J. Farrell MacDonald as two of a contingent of New York's Finest (all Irish, of course) whose assistance is crucial to the process of bringing the complicated events to a suitable climax. Superlative editing by Jack Hively must be recognized as must the top-flight camera-work of Nick Musuraca, each contributing mightily to a film which should be better known.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Burton on February 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This wonderful little gem of a film stars Ginger Rogers and Francis Lederer. Both of their roles are perfect for them, and their chemistry together is superb! The importance of this movie in the careers of the two stars shouldn't be overlooked--the film was a breakthrough for Francis Lederer and solidified Ginger Rogers star power. I won't spoil your enjoyment of the film by giving away the plot; what Maltin said is probably too much already! As a sidenote, it's a real shame that Turner has allowed so many (including this title) of Ginger's best films to go out of print; it makes them so hard to find!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven L. Katz on October 27, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
this is a wonderful little movie with charming performances by rogers and lederer. Rogers os adorable as a chorine taking care of her kid brother. Lederer is irresistible as an illegal imigrant. This is relatively early in rogers career, (considering she worked til the 60s) so she still has that baby charm to her with those bouncing blond curls! She and lederer have great chemistry. the sexiest scene is when they're answering a telephonme together, and he starts to lick the inside of a chocolate-covered spoon while looking at her. If you don't understand this metaphor, than you are incredibly dense.All in all, this is a great movie , but mostly recommended ofr old film buffs, just because they may appreciate it more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Angela Burton on December 31, 2012
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I have never seen a Ginger Rogers movie that I didn't like. And that's the truth.
Ginger was a fabulous dancer, but she was also a great actress. Once again in this film,
she exhibits her flair for drama. She is one of the greats, no doubt about it.
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Format: DVD
Honestly, I never really cared for the roles Francis Lederer played, until I watched this film. He is just perfect as the optimistic Czech immigrant, Karel Novak, who is so glad to be landing in America. The Great Depression doesn't scare him, he's willing to do anything and figures he can triumph over any adversity. Fate is about to hand him that chance as he faces just about every adversity an immigrant can face. First he arrives in New York with less than the money required to get in - he thought it was fifty dollars, instead it is two hundred. Instead of being deported, he jumps out of the window of the cabin he is confined in and gets ashore before he can be discovered missing.

Hungry and broke, Karel is befriended by chorine Sylvia (Ginger Rogers), when she spots him chowing down on the donuts and coffee that she and the other girls in the show were breakfasting on. Although not dismal, Sylvia is realistic about how hard times are. An orphan and only 19 herself, Sylvia is taking care of a younger brother, Frank, who is going to be put in an orphanage if he skips school again. Frank is not skipping school to hang out with some local gang though, he just wants to work selling more papers to help out his big sister whom he can see is working so hard to support them both. Karel helps Sylvia see life a bit differently, through the eyes of an immigrant who is so happy to be in bustling New York where he believes anybody can become a millionaire.

So Frank, Sylvia, and Karel become a real threesome. Karel sells papers during the day, then gets a job as a taxi driver, and things are looking up. He's hoping to get the two hundred dollars together to give the immigration people before they catch up to him, and his bank balance is rising. But then everything begins to go wrong.
Read more ›
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