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Man of Iron (1935)

Approved | | Drama | 21 December 1935 (USA)
Steel mill foreman Chris Bennett (Barton MacLane) is well-liked by his men. His rapport with them leads to his promotion to general manager, and then vice-president, over Ed Tanahill (John ... See full synopsis »


William C. McGann (as William McGann)


William Wister Haines (screen play), Dawn Powell (based on a story by)


Complete credited cast:
Barton MacLane ... Chris Bennett
Mary Astor ... Vida
John Eldredge ... Ed Tanahill
Dorothy Peterson ... Bessie Bennett
Joseph Crehan ... Tom Martin
Craig Reynolds ... Mr. Harry Adams
Joe Sawyer ... Crawford (as Joseph Sawyer)
Joe King ... Harrison Balding (as Joseph King)
John Qualen ... Collins - a Factory Worker
Bill Elliott ... Charlie Fagan (as Gordon Elliott)
Florence Fair Florence Fair ... Mrs. Balding
Edward Keane ... Mortgage Man




Steel mill foreman Chris Bennett (Barton MacLane) is well-liked by his men. His rapport with them leads to his promotion to general manager, and then vice-president, over Ed Tanahill (John Eldredge), cousin of Harrison Balding (Joseph King), the mill's owner.

Bitter about being passed over, Tanahill and his secretary, Vida (Mary Astor), plot to keep Chris from interacting directly with the workers. With Tanahill's encouragement, Chris spends his time golfing and monitoring progress on the construction of his expensive new house. His old friends in the mill feel abandoned. Only Tom Martin (Joseph Crehan) is sure that Chris is still on their side.

Chris's wife Bessie Bessie (Dorothy Peterson) is also unhappy about the change in their life. She misses her old friends and begs Chris to return to his former job. When Balding takes a vacation, leaving Chris in charge, things completely fall apart at the mill. The men are angry that they must work overtime for no extra money to repair a ...

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


IT'S POWERFUL! IT'S GRIPPING! It's rough-tough drama with never a let-up in action..! See more »





Did You Know?


The following actors are listed in studio records as appearing in this film, "Man of Iron (1936)" but were not seen in the print: George Reed (as Waiter), Budd Fine, Eddie Shubert, Gordon Carveth, Dick Bitgood, Sam Appel, George Magull, and Bert Lindley. George Magull may have been a misspelled George Magrill. See more »


Spoofed in Man of Tin (1940) See more »


My Wild Irish Rose
(1899) (uncredited)
Written by Chauncey Olcott
Sung by Barton MacLane in a shower, twice, men at the country club
See more »

User Reviews

Unintentionally Ridiculous
3 May 2006 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

Barton MacLane stars as Chris Bennett, a shop foreman in a machine shop who gets promoted to Vice President of the company; chosen over a jealous executive (Ed Tanahill played by John Eldredge). Tanahill is a snake in the grass who is able to manipulate his new boss into neglecting the business side of his job, which eventually leads to a walk-out by the workers and a minor riot in which Bennett is injured.

The contrived plot is an insult to your intelligence as Bennett is a total caricature, too good to be true as the foreman and completely over-the-top as a pretentious executive. MacLane's performance itself is fine, it's not his fault that the director wanted a character that rings this false. Dorothy Peterson is excellent as his put-upon earthy wife Bessie. Eldredge is excellent as the slimy villain, appropriately sporting a pencil thin mustache. Fans of Mary Astor will be disappointed, although receiving principal billing she has little more than a bit part as Vida, a secretary who seems to be in league with Tanahill.

"Man of Iron" is a fairly high budget production with some nice location shooting and above average production values. But this silly story must have seemed tired even in 1935. There is some historical interest in the realistic machine shop scenes and in the shots of Bennett's new house being built. If there had been a little more of this kind of stuff the film would have had some value as a documentary.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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Release Date:

21 December 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Country Boy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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