TALES OF MANHATTAN (1942)
Once much admired episodic film was made in Hollywood with an all-star cast by the French director Julien Duvivier, there during WWII. It is about tail coat and its successive users. Episode 1, involves French heartthrob Charles Boyer and his affair with married Rita Hayworth, is suave and dark in tone. Number 2 is a silly farcical affair with Ginger Rogers and "dim" Henry Fonda who is hard to take seriously as a romantic figure. Numbers 3 and 4 are sentimental kitsch, respectively about the triumph of poor musical genius Charles Laughton and the redemption of down-and-out ex-Ivy Leaguer E.G. Robinson. In 5, thrown from a plane by a burglar, the coat, with $41,000 in it, lands among poor black sharecroppers (Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters, et al) who put it to good use. This last part, judged by many (especially later on) a racially demeaning, speaks loudly about the insensitivity of the times. Film has creamy black and white photography and no less than 13 scriptwriters.