Monday, March 19, 2012

Young Man of the Movies

It was inevitable that a novel as successful as Young Man of Manhattan would find its way to the silver screen: it arrived in theaters the same year the book was published. In fact, the film rights had been sold even before the Saturday Evening Post serial had concluded! It seems quite astonishing today, the rapidity with which the studios managed to turn bestsellers into movies...such was the demand for talking pictures.

It was the era of raccoon eyes--I mean COATS!
Paramount's Young Man Norman Foster starred opposite his then real-life wife Claudette Colbert in a faithful and straightforward (albeit somewhat condensed) realization of Kay's original. And although it was quite universally lauded by the critics, one reviewer said he wished Miss Colbert had worn rather less eye makeup! 

The picture also starred Charles ("Charlie") Ruggles, best remembered today as the burbling grandfather in Disney's The Parent Trap (1961), and a young Ginger Rogers in her first feature-length motion picture. 

Charlie Ruggles must have been more popular
than Claudette Colbert in Brooklyn back in 1930!

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