Yes his wife has been murdered but surely he had nothing to do with it. Right? Or did he? Sure he did admit to his psychiatrist that he had been fantasizing about killing his wife in the exact way that she was found murdered, but that doesn't mean he's guilty, does it? Is he the only likely suspect? Manhandled is full of murder, betrayal, double-cross, twists and just some plain, downright bad characters. What will surprise you the most is the goofy laughs along the way.
Manhandled Movie Trailer
The Opening Scene
Manhandled hooks you right in the opening scene. The dramatic music seizes your attention and introduces you to the husband and wife characters, or at least, their feet, while you listen to their voices. This leaves you wanting to see the faces that belong to the voices and we wait expectantly for them. And then he says to her the words that put you on the edge of your seat "I'm going to kill you, Ruth. I have to."
Who Has Seen Manhandled
Have you seen Manhandled?
Starring In Manhandled
The cast of this ugly murder story is a bit of a surprise, pairing the two power-house performers Sterling Hayden and Dan Duryea with the top billed Dorothy Lamour. While Dorothy was, at that time, one of Paramount Studios top-ranked female stars, it is the leading men who's legacies are so well remembered today. Given the strength of each man's performance you soon almost forget about the plot and focus on watching these fellas find their way through the complications of dastardly deeds and frame-ups.
He Aint A Nice Guy
Karl Benson (played admirably by Dan Duryea) is a creepy guy. There is rarely a moment where his oily presence is on screen that doesn't make your skin crawl. His underhanded, always scheming, feral rat brain makes you cringe, yet his charm and his smile make you want to keep seeing more of him. As an ex-cop now turned private eye, he really steals the show.
Duryea is the undisputed master of playing low-life scumbags that you just can't help but love to watch. He's like a guilty pleasure that you relish indulging in, even if it is only to point out how bad a person he is and how much of a better person that you are. This role of the gumshoe in Manhandled really might be his best role of his impressive career. it let's him wallow in the seedy, underhanded behavior that he actually seems to enjoy. If this si your first time getting to experience his work, you will take it home with you. Every time you see someone who makes you feel dirty just by being in their presence, you will think of Duryea.
What Is Manhandled
Which Genre Fits Manhandled Best?
Sterling Hayden, Insurance Investigator
Sterling Hayden is just one of those guys that you can watch in anything. He comes on the screen and we wait to see what he is going to do. He's no different in Manhandled as he adds some flavor to even the simplest moments. His role as Jay Cooper, no-nonsense insurance investigator, is small, or at least too small for my liking, but he commands every scene that he is in. His aura of authority is assuming that he cannot help but steal every scene that he is in.
Manhandled came early in Hayden's career, something like only his sixth movie, and is not particularly well written to capitalize on the strengths of an actor of such talent but Hayden makes the most of it and will keep you entertained the whole time.
I'm going to kill you, Ruth. I have to.
Lose Lips Sink Ships
The Lips That Started It All
An interesting point to note about this grim tale of multiple murders is how simply and innocently it all starts. But isn't that always the way when it comes to these things, eh? Greed and the low moral fiber of the characters mulling around and the gasoline that turns into a blaze which burns everyone around it but it's an almost off-hand conversation between a girl and a boy that ignites that fire. Mel Kramer (Dorothy Lamour) somewhat innocently mentions to her boyfriend, Karl Benson (Dan Duryea) about one of her bosses clients who keeps fantasizing about murdering his wife. She also mentions that the wife owns some extremely valuable jewelry. And that is when the green eyed monster of greed raises it's trouble-making head.
Be Involved In The Movie
Upon it's release Manhandled received mixed responses from the audience. Some viewers felt that the events in the plot were too complicated and that there was too much going on and I think that is a fair criticism if you are are just looking for a popcorn flick. If you want to just slump down in front of the idiot box and have a series of moving images paraded in front of you to help you pass the time then this might not be what you're looking for.
However, if you want to be wrapped up in an engaging story with interesting characters then Manhandled is definitely the film for you. Each character has their own unique flavor for you to enjoy. You'll even enjoy the bumbling, old cop who seems to be cast in Daffy Ducks role as the comedy relief.
Watch Manhandled (Full Movie)
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