Manhandled is a story which originated in the brain of S.R. Kent, general sales manager of Paramount. It was first conceived as a picture story, turned over to Arthur Stringer to write, and when completed sold to The Saturday Evening Post. By the time it appeared, however, the picture was almost completed.
It is of a typical hick salesgirl in the basement of a department store, one of those tough, gum-chewing slang slingers. She manages to climb out of the cellar into the Bohemian set through the fact that an author who wishes to make an experiment pulls her out of the place and introduces her to artists, sculptors and a gown creator. Each warns her against the other, and all three are trying personally.
Gloria Swanson reveals unsuspected qualities as an actress. Tom Moore plays the young mechanic hero and handles it very well.
Director Allan Dwan has shown some clever work. His subway rush-hour scene is true to life and one of the funniest that have been screened of the underground. The studio parties also have touches of comedy here and there that are enjoyable.