Film Noir Review: Manhandled (1949)

Classic Movie HubHere’s the latest from the Classic Movie Hub Blog

by Danilo Castro

Sterling Hayden never quite fit. Primed for stardom at the height of the studio system, he was dubbed “The Beautiful Blond Viking God” by Paramount Pictures and dropped into star-studded dramas like Virginia and Bahama Passage (both 1941). The sales pitch didn’t stick. It was audiences that were reluctant to embrace the “Viking God,” mind you, it was Hayden himself. He felt like a phony, and decided to reestablish his personal standard of authenticity by fighting in World War II.

Hayden was gone for a whopping six years, and when he returned to the states, he had a fresh outlook on Hollywood. “I feel a real obligation to make this a better country,” he told the press. “And I believe the movies are the place to do it.” Hayden made good on his word. During the 1950s, he starred in a series of noir films that rank among the most acclaimed and influential of all time: The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Crime Wave (1954), and The Killing (1956), just to name a few…

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