|Some of my favorite screenshots I've been able to capture of Franchot!|
As Robert Stevens in Frank Lloyd's 1941 film This Woman is Mine, Franchot Tone gets the chance to display a bit of stubble and throw a few punches. The sea-based action film is slightly reminiscent of Mutiny on the Bounty as Franchot's character is a gentle novice learning the ropes of sailing and the threat of mutiny is afloat. That being said, it is not so similar to Mutiny that you shouldn't watch and enjoy this film.
It has its own plotline concerning a female singer named Julie who is duped by the womanizing, but likeable Ovide into stowing away on the ship until he can marry her. Julie is played by actress Carol Bruce, who I had never seen before and liked very much. She only made a handful of movies, but she has a lifelong list of credits in theater and television (her most famous being the Broadway revival of Showboat in the late 40s). Carol struck me as having a very modern look and sound for the 1940s. Ovide is a rascal, portrayed with humor and heart by John Carroll.
Franchot Tone's character Robert Stevens is wrongly blamed for Julie's presence on the ship after she is discovered by the captain in Robert's quarters. Robert, a quiet, bookish man, goes out of his way to protect Julie. Because of this, Robert continues to irk the captain and receive punishment. While Robert's feelings for Julie grow, Ovide tries to woo her at every open opportunity. Realizing Ovide has no intention of marrying her, Julie begins to develop feelings for the kind, steady Robert.
When a trade with Native Americans goes badly, Robert steps into action, proving himself just as tough as his fellow shipmates. This Woman is Mine is a great little action-adventure film and those who have only seen Franchot in tails and top hat should check it out to see him in a different role.
At the time of this writing, This Woman is Mine can be viewed on Youtube.