NORMAN FOSTER IN TALKIE; He Stars in "Young Man of Manhattan" at the Paramount.Norman Foster, as Toby McLean, the leading character of "Young Man of Manhattan," gives an honest and restrained interpretation of a sports writer for a metropolitan daily newspaper in the film at the Paramount.
Katharine Brush's work transcribed to the screen has many faults. In the earlier parts the collection of newsreel interpolations depicting the events which the reporter is supposed to be covering for his paper seem somewhat irrelevant.
Toby McLean is one of those newspaper men who are always on the point of writing something "big" but never get around to it. He marries Ann Vaughn whom he meets while covering the Dempsey-Tunney bout in Philadelphia. Their marital quarrels, because he feels Ann is earning more money at her writing than he, results in a separation. She goes to Hollywood to write a film gossip column and he to Florida to report the Yankees' baseball camp.
Ann returns home, ill with a cold. She drinks some liquor Toby left behind and goes blind. Toby returns on learning that Ann is ill and, in order to pay the physician's and hospital bills, works industriously at a novel, succeeding in selling it. Ann comes back and Toby, believing her in love with Knowles, her publisher, offers to free her. But she remains.
The first third of the film, while suggesting legitimate background, lacks continuity. It follows Toby from press table to press room, dragging in all of the alcoholic sequences popularly associated with newspaper yarns. Mr. Foster emerges from these as an unaffected, genuine player whose naturalness before the cameras make his an outstanding performance.
Claudette Colbert, in comparison with Mr. Foster's easy playing, is given, sometimes, to overacting. As Shorty, Toby's friend, Charles Ruggles repeats, with droll effrontery, his hilariously bucolic film character. And Ginger Rogers, in the part of Puff, the young girl who chases Toby about with "irritating regularity," as Shorty puts it, is attractive and bright and sings well.
Paul Ash is on the stage in "Dude Ranch," with Burns and Kissen and the Darling Twins, two clever young dancers.
YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN, with Norman Foster, Claudette Colbert, Charles Ruggles, Ginger Rogers, Leslie Austin; directed by Monta Bell from the novel by Katharine Brush.