Footsteps in the Dark (film)

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Footsteps in the Dark
Footstepsinthedark.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lloyd Bacon
Produced by Hal B. Wallis (exec. producer)
Robert Lord (assoc. producer)
Written by Lester Cole
John Wexley
Based on 1935 play Footsteps in the Dark by Ladislas Fodor
1937 play Blondie White by Bernard Merivale & Jeffrey Dell[1]
Starring Errol Flynn
Brenda Marshall
Ralph Bellamy
Alan Hale
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Edited by Owen Marks
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • March 8, 1941 (1941-03-08)
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Footsteps in the Dark is a light-hearted 1941 mystery film starring Errol Flynn as an amateur detective investigating a murder.

Plot[edit]

Francis Warren (Errol Flynn) appears to have a normal life handling investments, but secretly he writes lurid detective novels under the pseudonym F.X. Pettijohn. His other career is unknown to wife Rita (Brenda Marshall) or to anyone but Inspector Mason (Alan Hale), who mocks the books, insisting that true crime is much more difficult to solve. A man named Leopold Fissue (Noel Madison) turns up, wanting Francis to help him turn uncut diamonds into cash. Fissue's body is then found murdered on a yacht. The trail leads Francis to burlesque dancer Blondie White (Lee Patrick), who becomes his prime suspect. But her dentist, Dr. Davis (Ralph Bellamy), gives her a solid alibi. Rita becomes sure that Francis is having an affair. Blondie turns up dead, though, after asking Francis to retrieve a satchel from a locker. Rita thinks Francis must have killed Blondie, while her husband believes just the opposite to be true. The diamonds are in the suitcase. Francis concludes that only one man could be behind all this—Davis, the dentist, who promptly tries to kill Francis before the police can figure things out.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film, heavily inspired by The Thin Man (1934), was originally announced as a vehicle for Edward G. Robinson.[2] However Errol Flynn had just done seven period films in a row and was pestering Warner's for a change of pace so he was cast instead.[3] Once Flynn came on board, Olivia de Havilland was announced as his co star.[4] She was replaced by Brenda Marshall.

Filming started in October 1940.

Reception[edit]

John Wexley and Lester Cole were reported as working on a sequel, Ghosts Don't Leave Footprints.[5] However no sequel resulted.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://drs.library.yale.edu/HLTransformer/HLTransServlet?stylename=yul.ead2002.xhtml.xsl&pid=beinecke:pauker&query=todd&clear-stylesheet-cache=yes&hlon=yes&big=&adv=&filter=&hitPageStart=176&sortFields=&view=c01_2
  2. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: WARNERS AND METRO IN STORY ROW OVER 'CALAMITY JANE'--MAURICE EVANS ARRIVING 'SAFARI' IS OPENING TODAY FAIRBANKS JR. AND MISS CARROLL STARRED IN FILM--REVIVALS AT 55TH ST. PLAYHOUSE", Churchill, Douglas; The New York Times. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 19 June 1940: 27.
  3. ^ Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer * Clifford McCarty, The Films of Errol Flynn, Citadel Press, 1969 p 102
  4. ^ "Lubitsch, Universal Both Sign Meredith", Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Sep 1940: A7.
  5. ^ "News in Hollywood" Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 19 Feb 1941: 25.

External links[edit]