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Man Wanted

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A WB / First National Pictures Production
Directed by William Dieterle
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Kay Francis, David Manners, Andy Devine, Una Merkel, Edward Van Sloan

Kay Francis, although largely forgotten today, was one of the top female movie stars of the early 1930's. Raven-haired and beautiful, she also had a delicate lisp that was her trademark. In 1932 she left Paramount and signed with Warner Brothers enjoying success opposite William Powell in One Way Passage. By the end of the decade however, Bette Davis had eclipsed her star power and she soon found herself in B pictures.

In Man Wanted Francis is cast as Lois Ames, the no-nonsense editor and publisher of the fashionable 400 Magazine. When Tom Sherman (DM) comes to her office to sell her an exercise rowing machine, she hires him as her personal secretary to fill the position. Married to a philandering playboy, Freddie, (Kenneth Thomson) the magazine is Lois' whole existence and Tom soon becomes her "right-hand man" even sharing business decisions. As her confidence in him grows, he begins to fall in love with her and finally decides to leave the magazine and marry Ruth, (Una Merkel) his annoying and self-centered sweetheart. Meanwhile, Freddie announces his intention to divorce Lois and during a showdown with Ruth at his last night at work, Tom finds out and declares his love for his boss. The film ends with the couple beginning their new life together.

Panned at the time as having, "A very frail theme, and plenty of long stretches where the story threads are conspicuously bare," Variety also noted, "Miss Francis also suffers slightly in comparison with Manners. His youth emphasizes a maturity in her screen personality which, charming as it is, should not be so endangered." In fact, she was only a year older than DM. The Variety opinion is a bit harsh, as the two actually work well together and Kay Francis is really quite alluring. DM later said Francis was difficult to work with and even walked off the set until he and fellow co-star Andy Devine "quieted down." Kenneth Thomson is effective as the despicable Freddie and Dracula veteran Edward Van Sloan has one early scene as DM's sales manager.

Man Wanted Man Wanted

Man Wanted Man Wanted Man Wanted

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Purchase Man Wanted in DVD format through this Amazon.com link and a portion of the sale goes to the David Manners web site. Help support this site with your purchase!
DVD format
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Site Author: John Norris johnnorris@davidmanners.com
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