Toast of New York, The (1937): Cary Grant’s First Period Film, Co-Starring Frances Farmer

Rowland V. Lee directed The Toast of New York, the first period film of Cary Grant, co-starring Edward Arnold, Frances Farmer, and Jack Oakie.

The Toast of New York
The Toast of New York Film Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

The script of this fictionalized account of financiers James Fisk and Edward S. Stokes was based on The Book of Daniel Drew by Bouck White and the story “Robber Barons” by Matthew Josephson.

In post-Civil War America, unscrupulously ambitious partners Jim Fisk (Arnold) and Nick Boyd (Grant) talk businessman Daniel Drew (Donald Meek) into selling them his shipping company, paying with worthless Confederate bonds.

Later, worried that his longtime rival, Cornelius Vanderbilt (Clarence Kolb), is trying to take control of his railroad, Drew seeks help from Fisk, but the latter turns the situation to his own advantage.

Fisk and Boyd eventually become powerful players on Wall Street.  Meanwhile, both men fall in love with entertainer Josie Mansfield (Farmer), who agrees to marry Fisk out of gratitude, but she really loves Boyd.

When the greedy Fisk ignores Boyd’s warnings, Boyd turns against him, worried that his conduct will threatens the country’s financial system.  The federal government finally intervenes by releasing its gold reserves, which bankrupts Fisk.

Edward Arnold as Jim Fisk
Cary Grant as Nick Boyd
Frances Farmer as Josie Mansfield
Jack Oakie as Luke
Donald Meek as Daniel Drew
Thelma Leeds as Fleurique
Clarence Kolb as Vanderbilt
Billy Gilbert as Photographer
George Irving as Broker
Russell Hicks as Lawyer


Directed by Rowland V. Lee
Produced by Edward Small
Screenplay by Dudley Nichols, John Twist, Joel Sayre, based on The Book of Daniel Drew by Bouck White and “Robber Barons” by Matthew Josephson
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Cinematography Peverell Marley
Edited by George Hively
Samuel E. Beetley
Distributed by RKO Pictures

Release date: July 22, 1937
Running time: 109 minutes
Budget $1.07 million
Box office $1.05 million


TCM showed the movie on Sep 14, 2020.