Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Love Trouble (1948)

I Love Trouble is a swell little detective noir starring Franchot Tone as Stuart Bailey, a good-natured, witty private detective who is hired by politician Ralph Johnston to investigate Johnston's wife. Also starring Glenda Farrell, Janet Blair, and Adele Jergens, the film was based on the book Double Take by Roy Huggins. You may be familiar with the character of Stuart Bailey since actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. reprised the role on television in 77 Sunset Strip.

Franchot appeared to be enthusiastic about I Love Trouble. He said:
I don’t even use rough stuff when I corner the murderer. I use my wits instead. I go about solving this murder in strictly a mental way. Just like the detectives in real life. I’m keeping my face tan with a sun lamp. My only concession to the traditional screen dick is to wear a suit that doesn’t fit. Well, it fits but not the wonderful way my clothes in the playboy pictures did.
Tone also talked about the story's writer Roy Huggins:
He operated a statistics gathering office for factories to help them reconvert. After they reconverted, he told his staff their last job would be to reconvert him. They gathered a lot of figures and discovered the boss could make the most money with the least effort writing mysteries
Because the film fell into the public domain, it is readily available online on most video sites. Unfortunately, the picture quality is not very good. There are even brief moments when the screen is black and the scene lost. Please watch the film anyway! It is a well-written, well-acted mystery that will hook you despite the film's quality. Franchot gives a convincing and entertaining performance as the investigator with a keen eye for clues and pretty ladies.

In the film, Bailey thinks he's uncovering the mysterious past of a politician's missing wife. He soon finds that no one and nothing is what it seems. As he chases leads, Bailey begins to believe that he's the one who is actually being followed. Is he setting the trap or falling into one? I've embedded the full video at the end of this post so that you can watch the film in its entirety.

If you are unable to see the embedded video below, you can access the movie on Youtube and Internet Archive.

Mosby, Aline. "Franchot Tone to Play Flicker Role of Good-Natured Detective." Herald-Journal. June 1, 1947.

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