The Toast of New York (1937)

The Toast of New York Poster

After the American Civil War, Jim Fisk, a former peddler and cotton smuggler, arrives in New York, along with his partners Nick and Luke, where he struggles to make his way through the treacherous world of Wall Street's financial markets.

Film Overview
"The Toast of New York" is a 1937 American biography-drama film directed by Rowland V. Lee. The film starred Edward Arnold, Cary Grant, Frances Farmer, and Jack Oakie in leading roles. It is based primarily on considerable events in American financial history, especially the life of financier and business owner Jim Fisk.

Plot Summary
The film opens up during America's post-reconstruction period, in 1868. Edward Arnold plays the vibrant function of Jim Fisk, a flamboyant peddler who, alongside his partner, Nick Boyd (played by Jack Oakie), prospers by selling cotton illegally on the black market. When their fortunes unexpectedly fall apart due to a bluff by speculator Daniel Drew, they are left bankrupt.

Undeterred, Fisk proceed to New York where he reveals a new endeavor in the railway industry. He teams with Drew (played by Donald Meek), preparing to weaken deceitful mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was hoping to control the Erie Railway. Fisk's enthusiastic strategies consist of manipulating the stock exchange in a daring and risky business scheme.

Fisk and Boyd's friendship becomes strained when they both fall for the same female, beautiful performer Josie Mansfield (played by Frances Farmer). Fisk, married and older, pursues Josie aggressively, while Boyd, who really enjoys Josie, is sad. Josie is caught between the 2 guys, eventually picking to marry Fisk, leading to a long-term rift in between the 2 once-close business partners. In spite of his triumph in winning Josie's hand, Fisk's personal life suffers significant blows due to his ruthless business practices.

Climax and Resolution
At its climax, the film dramatizes the real-life "Black Friday" occasion (September 24, 1869) when Fisk and his associate Jay Gould attempted to corner the U.S. gold market, causing a monetary panic. The movie humanizes Fisk, making him a hero who attempted to save New York's economy when the U.S. gold market collapsed. Although the dangerous scheme eventually stops working, Fisk handles to break complimentary prior to being lynched by angry business people. However, he is shot down by a love rival, following a real-life scandal including Josie.

Artistic Value and Cultural Impact
"The Toast of New York" is a film that shows America's economic hazards and the extravagant lives of its enthusiastic financiers throughout the early reconstruction period. It explores styles of ambition, economic power, love, competition, and betrayal, and its portrayal of a monetary market crisis versus the backdrop of individual relationships has resonated over time.

Edward Arnold, in the role of Jim Fisk, masterfully embodies the audacious and charming character, bringing to life his intricacies as an ambitious man driven to manage wealth at the expenditure of commitment and love. Frances Farmer, as Josie Mansfield, likewise uses an amazing performance, regularly holding her ground in the male-dominated narrative.

Regardless of some historical mistakes, the movie stands as a timeless that both entertains and notifies, providing an intriguing and significant glance into a crucial period of American financial history.

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