MANHATTAN MELODRAMA (1934) B/W 93m dir: W.S. Van Dyke II

w/Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Leo Carillo, Nat Pendleton, George Sidney, Isabel Jewell, Muriel Evans, Claudelle Kaye, Frank Conroy, Mickey Rooney, Jimmy Butler

Gable and Powell are two pals who grow up on opposite sides of the law, and Loy is the lovely lady caught between them.

From The Movie Guide: "A splendid example of 1930s hardboiled melodrama, notable historically for two very different reasons: it marked the first of fourteen pairings of the legendary team of William Powell and Myrna Loy, and it also reportedly marked legendary gangster John Dillinger for death --- literally. A big Myrna Loy fan, Dillinger sneaked into the Biograph Theatre [in Chicago] on July 22, 1934 to watch her in this film. He was spotted, the police were called, and he was gunned down after the picture was over. ...

"Director W.S. ('Woody') Van Dyke II directs with all the breezy assurance which distinguished so many of his films, and the screenplay by [Oliver H.P.] Garrett and [Joseph L.] Mankiewicz [based on the story 'Three Men' by Arthur Caesar] is full of tasty one-liners. Gable (as the most sympathetic crook imaginable) and Powell (virtue never looked so good) perform the male-bonding routine with gusto, and Loy has great rapport with both her co-stars. (Don't forget that she made seven films with Gable.) The plot would go on to inspire such other well-remembered efforts as ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, but this early rendition is still worth catching."

Caesar received an Oscar for Best Original Story.