It undoubtedly doesn’t arrive as late-breaking news that many film legends performed together in the same film. All you have to do is think of the famous screen teams, Gable and Lombard, Tracy and Hepburn, Bogart and Bacall, Astaire and Rogers, Garland and Rooney.
These pairings were, of course, carefully arranged and ballyhooed by the studios once the box office receipts were counted. (Have we left any big ones out?)
But what if one wanted to see a film that had more than two screen “legends” in it. Is that possible? Or, even desirable? (We think it definitely is.)
Hello, everybody. Your classic movie guys, Joe Morella and Frank Segers, here to ponder and then answer that burning question for you.
We can think of at least one film, 1942’s Tales of Manhattan from 20th Century Fox , which boasts several star luminaries in its cast. The film is actually five short stories about the effect of an “unlucky” dress tailcoat — that stylish garment worn on very formal occasions — has on its various wearers.
But the movie gives audiences a chance to see such stars as Rita Hayworth (yup, that’s Rita above), Charles Boyer, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda and Edward G. Robinson in the same film. To sweeten the deal, we have in addition: Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester, George Sanders, Caesar Romero, Roland Young (think Topper), and Thomas Mitchell.
But wait. There’s more. It also stars legendary black performers Ethel Waters and Paul Robeson (seen below). And Eddie (Jack Benny’s Rochester) Anderson.
Rounding out the cast are such supporting players as Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette, Marion Martin, Harry Davenport (think Dr. Meade), Victor Francen, James Gleason and J. Carroll Naish (the Life With Luigi lead in Fifties tv).
If anyone out there knows a film with a cast equal to this one — that is, with this many screen luminaries in the cast — we’d like to hear from you.
If you don’t know the film seek it out. Tales Of Manhattan, it’s well worth a look.