Manhattan Madness

1815. MANHATTAN MADNESS (1916-usa). WITH douglas Fairbanks, jewel carmen. Directed by allen dwan. Before becoming the movies’ premier swashbuckling hero Of the 1920s, Douglas Fairbanks gained fame for portraying the optimistic, all-American go-getter: an exuberant character who was never without a smile, and whose courage and hearty disposition made him the idealized American male. He plays the role to perfection in this peppy comic/romantic adventure which pits East-the man-made canyons Of Manhattan, with skyscrapers towering over bustling urban byways-against West-canyons that are the products Of nature, along with mountains and cactus, wild horses and colorful six-gun-toting legends. Fairbanks is cast as the appropriately named Steve O’Dare, presently Of Nevada, who brings a train-load Of war horses consigned to a Count who’s repÂresenting a foreign government. It seems that Steve, a boisterous, hard-living chap, is a product Of New York’s high society; he had forsaken his roots, travelled out West, and become a rough-and- tumble cowboy. To Steve, New York “is all wrong-superficial, un-American, overcrowded,” a place where he can neither eat nor breathe. One Of his college chums bets him $5,000 that, if he hangs around for another week, he’ll experience the thrill Of a lifetime. They shake hands on it, and wouldn’t you know that Steve immediately finds himself immersed in a mystery involving the Count, a stolen necklace, a butler, a maid, and a pretty girl whose life is endangered. Along the way Fairbanks performs-without benefit Of a stunt double-some most impressive acrobatics; also includÂed as the scenario unravels is some fascinating footage Of the streets Of New York as they looked way back in 1916. “Silent” film with original music score, correct projection speed. 47 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Comedy-Adventure