Thursday, June 20, 2013
I LOVE TROUBLE
Private eye Stuart Bailey (Franchot Tone) is hired by a man named Johnston (Tom Powers, the victim in Double Indemnity) to investigate his wife, who has been getting a series of letters threatening to expose her "past," and eventually disappears. Bailey discovers that Mrs. Johnston (Lynn Merrick) was once an entertainer known as Janie Joy, so he pursues that angle via some of her old associates, then gets warned off by a thug, Martin (Donald Curtis) in the employ of John Caprillo (Eduardo Ciannelli). Bailey encounters a young lady, Norma (Janet Blair), who claims that the woman he's after is her sister, even though she doesn't recognize a photograph of her. Then there's sexy "Boots" (Adele Jergens) who sometimes drinks too much; Reno (John Ireland), who runs a nightclub; and his boss, Keller (Steven Geray), all of whom may know more about the missing woman than they're saying. There are a couple of twists, a couple of murders, and a final confrontation in Bailey's apartment. I Love Trouble may not get high marks as a mystery nor film noir, but it's smooth and entertaining, and Tone is excellent, and has a highly adept supporting cast. Raymond Burr and Arthur Space have small roles [as muscle and cop, respectively], and an unrecognizable [perhaps slightly more subdued and older] Glenda Farrell is snappy as Bailey's very efficient secretary. Janis Carter [Night Editor] also is vivid in a pivotal role whose exact nature I won't reveal here. Simon also directed The Fuller Brush Man [which also had Blair and Jergens] and many others.
Verdict: Pleasant time-passer with some good scenes and a modicum of suspense. ***.