2 July 2013 | bkoganbing
Playing the title role of The Girl From Manhattan is Dorothy Lamour who came over from Paramount to do this independent film released by United Artists. Her leading man here is George Montgomery slipping out of his western and action features to play a young minister assigned to a parish by Bishop Charles Laughton. Montgomery is excited about going to a parish which is about to get a brand new spanking church. The problem is that it is going to be built on the site of a boardinghouse which Ernest Truex owns. Truex is also Dorothy Lamour's uncle.
Montgomery is urged to board there by Laughton for a bit and he's caught in quite a dilemma. Of course that's nothing compared to the jackpot Truex is in. His generous easy going ways have put him in debt to Raymond Largay. In fact the only two guests that are paying regular are Lamour and Montgomery. The rest to be brutally frank are a gang of deadbeats. But they are delightful deadbeats like Constance Collier, Hugh Herbert, Frank Orth and more. It's just like the Vanderhof house in You Can't Take It With You.
Truex's jackpot is similar to the one Lionel Barrymore is in in the Frank Capra film. The tone here is far more whimsical than the one George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart took with their story. I wish there had been more of Charles Laughton. He isn't given much to do, but does create an interesting character in his Bishop with very little to work with.
The Girl From Manhattan is a pleasant bit of viewing, but could have been better.