Man of Iron (1935)

Passed   |    |  Drama

Man of Iron (1935) Poster

Steel mill foreman Chris Bennett (Barton MacLane) is well-liked by his men. His rapport with them leads to his promotion to general manager, and then vice-president, over Ed Tanahill (John ... See full synopsis »


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3 May 2006 | aimless-46
| Unintentionally Ridiculous
Barton MacLane stars as Chris Bennett, a shop foreman in a machine shop who gets promoted to Vice President of the company; chosen over a jealous executive (Ed Tanahill played by John Eldredge). Tanahill is a snake in the grass who is able to manipulate his new boss into neglecting the business side of his job, which eventually leads to a walk-out by the workers and a minor riot in which Bennett is injured.

The contrived plot is an insult to your intelligence as Bennett is a total caricature, too good to be true as the foreman and completely over-the-top as a pretentious executive. MacLane's performance itself is fine, it's not his fault that the director wanted a character that rings this false. Dorothy Peterson is excellent as his put-upon earthy wife Bessie. Eldredge is excellent as the slimy villain, appropriately sporting a pencil thin mustache. Fans of Mary Astor will be disappointed, although receiving principal billing she has little more than a bit part as Vida, a secretary who seems to be in league with Tanahill.

"Man of Iron" is a fairly high budget production with some nice location shooting and above average production values. But this silly story must have seemed tired even in 1935. There is some historical interest in the realistic machine shop scenes and in the shots of Bennett's new house being built. If there had been a little more of this kind of stuff the film would have had some value as a documentary.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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