Manhattan Melodrama

Manhattan Melodrama is a 1934 American pre-Code crime film, produced by MGM, directed by W. S. Van Dyke, and starring Clark Gable, William Powell, and Myrna Loy. The movie also provided one of the earliest roles for Mickey Rooney, who played Gable's character as a child. The film is based on a story by Arthur Caesar, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Story. It was also the first of Myrna Loy and William Powell's fourteen screen pairings.

Manhattan Melodrama
Theatrical release poster
Directed byW. S. Van Dyke
George Cukor (uncredited)
Screenplay byOliver H. P. Garrett
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
David Ogden Stewart (uncredited)
Story byArthur Caesar
Produced byDavid O. Selznick
StarringClark Gable
William Powell
Myrna Loy
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byBen Lewis
Music byWilliam Axt
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
  • May 4, 1934 (1934-05-04)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.2 million[1]

Notorious criminal John Dillinger attended a showing of the film at Chicago's Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934. After leaving the theater, he was shot to death by federal agents.[2] Myrna Loy was among those who expressed distaste at the studio's willingness to exploit this event for the financial benefit of the film. Scenes from Manhattan Melodrama, in addition to Dillinger's death, are depicted in the 2009 film Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp as Dillinger.