Black SplatThe Mad Miss Manton (1938)

"Listen before I met you I disliked you intensely. When I met you I disliked you intensely. Even now I dislike you intensely. That was the sensible, sane portion of me. But there’s an insane portion of me that gets a little violent every time I think of you."

The Mad Miss Minton - Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck

Description: Henry Fonda as Peter Ames shouts his discontent of dizzy débutante Melsa Manton (Barbara Stanwyck) in the motion picture The Mad Miss Manton (1938). Melsa replies, "Getting out of a million dollar lawsuit wouldn't have anything to do with your change in affection, would it?" Peter responds, “You’re a nasty creature. But, in time, I’ll beat it out of you.”

Melsa Manton claims to have seen a dead body in the empty house owned by Charles Lane, a wealthy banker and his wife, Sheila Lane. When the police come to investigate, they find no body and suspect the whole story was just a prank pulled by a bored socialite who wanted to get some attention. A newspaper article written by Peter Ames, editor of The Morning Clarion echoes the same sentiments. But Melsa, who threatens to sue Ames for libel, did see a dead body.

"Miss Manton, I don't know what your game is but I know this - either your education or your spankin's been neglected. Now I can't do anything about spankin' ya, or can I?" - Lt. Mike Brent

To salvage her reputation, and prove to both Peter Ames and police detective Lt. Michael Brent that she is innocent, Melsa sets out to uncover the truth with the help of her fellow female socialites.

The Mad Miss Manton - Melsa's Posse

"Police! All they know is to blow a whistle and hold up traffic!" - Melsa Manton

When the corpses of Charles Lane and Melsa's friend Ronnie Belton are found, Melsa becomes a prime suspect in a murder case. Peter Ames joins the investigation looking to get an exclusive scoop, and in doing so he falls in love with Melsa.

Edward Norris: Don't speak to anyone. I don't want to kill an innocent bystander.
Peter Ames: Ya know that's what I like about crazy men; that fine sense of distinction.
Edward Norris: You think I'm insane?
Melsa Manton: [Protecting Peter] Oh, he's says that to everybody.

In the end, Melsa solves the mystery and Edward Norris (Stanley Ridges), a convicted murderer confesses to the crimes. He was once married to Sheila Lane who was having an affair with Ronnie Belton. A blackmailing scheme was the catalyst for all the ensuing mayhem.

The Mad Miss Manton - Movie Poster

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