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Friday, June 24, 2011

Movie: The Mad Miss Manton



The Mad Miss Manton
Screenplay by Philip G. Epstein
1938


There's undeniably a strong element of mystery in The Mad Miss Manton, but if you were to suggest that it exists merely as a framework to hang the hilarity on you might be onto something.

When she happens upon a murder victim late one night, high society dame Melsa Manton (Barbara Stanwyck) decides to enlist a bunch of her friends to crack the case and in the process she crosses paths with newspaper editor Peter Ames (Henry Fonda). Sparks fly between the two, in more ways than one, but not before a few more stiffs turn up. The plot thickens and the proceedings are fraught with zaniness throughout. Not surprising, given that the screenplay is by Philip G. Epstein, who went on to co-write Arsenic and Old Lace.

As for the mechanics of the plot, well, I have to admit that my attention waned after while and I pretty much lost the thread of the thing. But that's just me and it's something that I find happening with a lot of mystery movies. In the majority of cases I tend to zone out at some point and reach for a book.

For a more in-depth review of this one be sure to head over to the Mystery File site and see what Michael Shonk had to say.

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