Greetings from VKMfanHuey!!!

Welcome to the Gingerology blog for the 1930 Paramount film, Young Man Of Manhattan!!!

This film was Ginger Rogers' first appearance in a 'full length feature', portraying the character of Puff Randolph, a textbook flapper gal who has designs on free-wheeling sports columnist Toby McLean (Norman Foster)... which is a problem, since Toby is hitched to his sweet writer wifey Ann (Claudette Colbert).

Please note the 'menu' above, which has various information regarding the film; to the right (just below the Gingerology link) there are additional links regarding the film.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any general info, pics, or just to say hi!

...And be sure to check out our 'main site', Gingerology - just click on the Ginger pic to the right. There you'll find a list of ALL of Ginger Rogers' films; click on any one, and you will be directed to a 'dedicated' blog about that film (not unlike this blog).

Keep It Gingery, y'all!



Huey's Review - February 1, 2011

"Young Man of Manhattan"(May 17, 1930 - Paramount)

Run time (approximate): 82 minutes

Directed and Produced by: Monta Bell.

Written by: Katherine Brush, Robert Presnell, and Daniel Reed.

Also Starring: Claudette Colbert (as Ann Vaughn), Norman Foster (as Toby McLean), Charles Ruggles (as Shorty Ross), Leslie Austin (as Dwight Knowles), H. Dudley Hawley (as the doctor), The Four Aalbu Sisters (as the Four Sherman Sisters).

Ginger's Character: "Puff Randolph"

Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 10 min, 38 sec. (12.8% of the film)

Ginger Tunes: "I Got 'It', But 'It' Don't Do Me No Good", "Good N' Plenty"

Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (7.5) - Very cute 'freshman' effort by Ginger, playing a 'ditsy' flapper to perfection...although 'Puff' ultimately is the source of 'adversity' of the film. The piano scene (which by all accounts she actually played while singing), along with the subsequent 'kiss' scene, is the apex of the Gingery Goodness.

GingerFilm Ranking: #1 of (1) Reviewed

Film Quality (1-10): (6.0) - Video is a bit grainy, but not too bad for the age...a few 'skips', and the audio/video 'sync' is a bit off - not too distracting except for Ginger's piano scene... and the audio 'track' is on one 'side' only.
Available From: eBay, YouTube

Huey's Review for Gingerology: The story begins as Newspaper reporter Ann Vaughn (Claudette Colbert) crosses paths with Sportswriter Toby McLean (Norman Foster) at a boxing match... after the event, she is trying to gather up her story, and Toby talks her into using his typewriter in his nearby apartment (in Manhattan, where the Young Man Toby resides...hence the name of the film... yup yup yup...) ...well, dude proposes quicker than Jimmy Stewart did in Vivacious Lady (dang, they worked quick back then... guess they didn't want to get bogged down with 'wedding details'...sorry, ladies...)
So, of course they get hitched, and soon Ann realizes that dude is not bringing in that many greenbacks... so, she decides to go back to work for a newspaper outfit, while Toby is all over the place with his 'sports beat', which evidently pays peanuts. In St. Louis, he is introduced to Miss Puff Randolph (Ginger Rogers), a quintessential 'flapper' who is out for no good...she is 'loosely' attached to a dude named Shorty (which is probably a nickname...) Ross (Charles Ruggles), who happens to work the same reporter circles Toby does... well, of course, Toby and Puff are introduced one to another, and you just know they will be seeing more of each other at a later date.
Puff is headed to school in NYC (what are the chances...) Jumping ahead to NYC, Puff runs into Toby and Ann at another sporting venue... of course they all go out gallivanting around, and the seed is planted for the Toby-Puff rendezvous... Ann, meanwhile, is getting a lot of play from her new boss, Leslie Austin (Dwight Knowles)...he just KEEPS scheduling 'working dinner engagements', which Ann feels pressured to keep... this keeps Toby 'home alone' one night, which inevitably leads to his calling on Puff the Magic Flapper for a fun night out... well, she flaps her cute little flappers (?) on over to his place, and begins to wail away on the keyboard (piano, that is...) with a Toby ukulele accompaniment...pretty neat stuff. Well, they smooch, and then trek off to other realms unbeknownst to our gentle audience.
The next morning, Toby tells Ann about the night with Puff, and she seems to have no prob with it...well, ALLLLRIGHT-y, then... Could it be that Ann has a fancy to frolic as well? hmmm...her boss man has been reoccurring quite a bit, so...
All of this carefree existence has its limits, alas, as Toby finds Ann to be not as 'generous' the second time he mingles mightily with Ms. Randolph... a large fight ensues, and it's splitsville for Toby and Ann... of course, neither one is happy about it, and as Ann falls ill, Toby reconciles with her just as she has recuperated fully... all's well that ends well... they live quite a few more years in Manhattan, have a few kids, then retire down to Miami, where they sip Mai Tai's while watching Jai-Alai... Of course, Puff went on to become...well, who really knows... I'm sure it was simply spiffy, tho...
TYPICALLY, I will try to not do any 'spoiler' deals on reviews...but c'mon, the end of this one you could smell a mile away...but a pretty neat film, nevertheless.

KIG, Y'all!

Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): "Cigarette Me, Big Boy!" became somewhat of a 'catch phrase' of the day; but she is just slap cute throughout this one...
Ginger's first line in her first major role is at the 12:12 mark, at the baseball game - "Wanna buy a sash for the Junior League?"

Also, the entire piano scene - cute singing/playing. And just after the tunes, the 'kiss' scene...Ginger is quite 'Gingery' here... her expressions and smile in that scene really foreshadow her overall persona we all know and love... good stuff!

And a final fav moment for Huey is simply when she answers the (freaky nude dude) phone at the 36 minute mark - a very cute 'Hello' - very foreshadowing of her future 'phone salutations' - such as her 'Hello' in "The Major and the Minor" when Major Kirby rolls into Stevenson...
Other Reviews: "...Ginger Rogers, in the part of Puff, the young girl who chases Toby about with 'irritating regularity' attractive and bright and sings well." -New York Times

"Charles Ruggles and Ginger Rogers, a newcomer, both also do excellent work." -Screen Play

"...Ginger Rogers in her interpretation of a modern flapper who talks baby-talk will make a big hit. She is not annoying like Helen Kane, the Boop-A-Doop lady. Ginger rogers makes no effort to be cute - but gives a legitimate characterization of a predatory college girl." -The Film Mercury

"Ginger Roger's Puff Randolph out-Kaned Helen at her best. She came within an ace of purloining the picture and filching the film." -Hollywood Filmograph

From Ginger: My Story: "Monta Bell, the director, instructed me to puff furiously on a cigarette during a scene in which I was supposed to pace up and down the room nervously. This was my very first feature film and I was eager to be as obedient as possible, but I didn't know how to smoke. Monta pointed to the corner of the stage and said "Go over there and learn!" I went to the far corners of the stage and practiced, lighting one cigarette after another, puffing on each one. I soon turned green and sick as a dog. My mouth felt like a barnyard floor. Why would anyone want to puff on this weed?"

Miscellaneous Stuff:
--- Ginger's reoccuring demand, "Cigarette me, big boy!" caught on as a 'catch phrse' throughout the nation.
--- The film was shot on a Paramount soundstage in Queens (NOT in Manhattan...).
--- The film's 'headliners', Norman Foster and Claudette Colbert, were at the time married in real life; this is the only film they worked on together.
--- Stock footage was used for the various sporting events shown throughout the movie; some of the 'real-life' athletes briefly shown include Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney.

Well, that's it for YMOM...please leave any feedback as to the format - it is greatly appreciated!

9 Gingery Comments:
  1. Very nice review, Huey! Its fun to watch these early performances and see the stars develop their craft. I like how you added Ginger's thoughts on the movie as well. :)
  2. You just inspired me to look this flicker up on YouTube. And I find it great. It's even more than a Ginger film. It answers a lot of my questions about that crazy, scatterbrained flapper generation. Kinda Hippies, just drifting. And don't ask/tell them anything seriously: They will either be astonished, or giggle you down. Drifting until the big crash and depression happens -- I had already felt that when I was in the twenties last summer. THIS film here would have been the ideal stuff. I had so much 20s music, but no 20s films. Well, someday I'll go back to the 20s and I'm already collecting YouTube links anyway (this film is one of'em)....

    I'm quite sure Ginger never was a real Flapper, but she certainly had watched them as teenager. And I find it absolutely fascinating how she embodies such a scatterbrained girl: No rules, no limits and no tomorrow -- just today.

    Another point: That illegal prohibition liquor often was dangerous indeed. Claudette Colbert's character probably drank cheap, criminal stuff with methyl-alcohol in it -- very poisonous and can blind people. So this was one reason for FDR to stop the prohibition in December 1933. I found this example extremely interesting, above all that it really was a subject in motion pictures of that time.

    Thanks Huey, this film is highly interesting. I didn't see it completely yet, but I really must!
  3. There's really a lot on YouTube! I get this more and more. What great resource for our work!

    I'm using for example this page....
    .... to find out the films released in certain years. And then I look at YouTube. In November/December 1934 I will already get in distress, because the lady in my DVD-store doesn't order quick enough. I'll have to cancel my 1934 order, because next Wednesday will start September already. In 1935 I'll have even much more gaps, so YouTube, might be really important as last resort, in order to have a film every month of that year.

    Warner Bros. should be a more reliable partner, so people who work on films can buy anything. We do a lot of unpaid advertising and inspire other people to get interested in classic movies.
  4. Excellent review! Plus, I really appreciate the screen caps!

    This looks to be an excellent project...
  5. Looks great, Huey! I agree with JH about liking how you put her thoughts on the movie in the review.

    That photo of her at the top is very cute! I don't recall seeing it before.
  6. I've got something new and exciting for all the Ginger fans here -- a previously unpublished photo of her with Carole Lombard (and no, it's not the photo of them with the fashion designers). This image apparently belonged to Lombard, was part of her collection and was recently uncovered. It's not in the greatest of condition, but I think you'll enjoy it just the same...and anyone who knows more about the "friend" with Ginger, please let me know! The entry is

    Take care.
  7. JH: thanks for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed the review - hopefully it will be of some use to folks... I will get to ALL of them, in chronological order... it's not going to be CLOSE to finishing up by 07/16/11, but I'd rather make sure the reviews are done 'right'. Of course, there will be plenty more 'interstitial' posts between movie reviews. And yes, Giner pretty much had a paragraph or two on pretty much every movie she made, so 'excerpts' from her bio will be included for each one...

    CS: Glad you found a copy! You know, this was probably only the second time I watched it thru since I 'obtained' it, and I enjoyed it a lot more this time around... Ginger really has some pretty 'neat' moments in this one, and of course plays the 'foil', if you will... she is pretty dang good at being a Foyle, eh? :-)
    It's good to know that YouTube has a lot of these available...heck, I'm not sure why a lot of these 'classics' - public domain, to be sure - can't just be put on a 'free' site somewhere for 'instant viewing', like a 'Hulu' deal... perhaps one is out there i am unaware of... but I concur that the 'current' studios need to free up more of the classics for use...WB has done a pretty good job in their 'Archive Series', but I think a 'monthly service' you could see them whenever, like the 'instant play now' on YouTube', would be a nice setup.

    Ron: Thanks for the kind words! The 'screen cap' deal is awesome to me - this is the first time I 'meddled' with it - works a lot better than I thought it would...of course, the pics are not 'crystal clear', but hopefully show up well enough to 'capture' nice moments in the movie... I am going to keep rolling on the reviews, but it's a marathon, NOT a sprint, to be sure... realistically, one a week will be the rate of 'review posting', along with the 'normal' posts...

    PG: Thanks to you as well for the positive reaction! As for the 'top' pic, that is actually a screen cap from the actual movie, as all of the 'pics' are on this review... and most likely all subsequent reviews will consist entirely of 'screen caps', because the 'specific' fav movie moments detailed in the review can be somewhat 'caught' this way.

    VP: Now THAT is a pic I haven't seen before! Ginger with a chihuahua garbed in a fur? Priceless! Carole and Ginger must have been pretty good buds... nice to know that! As to the 'identity' of Ginger's critter, well, heck...she mentions quite a few in her bio, but I don't remember a chihuahua specifically mentioned... I'm pretty sure the little dog in 'Shall We Dance' was really hers - whatever breed that was... Thaks for the pic, VP!!!

    KIG, y'all!!!
  8. The Lombard/Rogers/Chihuahua photo is back, looking better than ever (thanks to an improved scanner). Check it out -- along with a photo of a film legend who never worked with either Lombard or Clark Gable sitting in between them -- at
  9. Thanks, VP!!! Will do so!


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