Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Overlooked Films: I LOVE TROUBLE (The Double Take) by Roy Huggins

I reviewed Roy Huggins' private eye novel The Double Take a couple of years ago (HERE). The novel introduced Stu Bailey, who went on to become my favorite TV detective in 77 Sunset Strip. At the time, I was surprised to discover the novel had been filmed, several years before the TV show, as I Love Trouble. My initial reaction was Franchot Tone?? What kind of name is that for a hardboiled private eye?

Chances of every seeing that movie seemed slight, so I gave it no further mind until it turned up on YouTube. Hallelujah! I'm happy to report that I was wrong about old Franchot. He does make a good hardboiled dick, and this is a pretty dang good film, with a screenplay written by Roy Huggins himself.

A word of warning: This copy of the film is in pretty bad shape. There are long stretches where it plays just fine, but in others it jumps and flutters and spatters and almost blacks out. But if you're willing to look past the flaws, you should have no trouble following the story and dialogue and imagine what it must have looked like in its prime. If (like me) you're a fan of The Double Take, it's well worth the annoyance.

I think I read somewhere that Huggins later adapted this story for an episode of 77 Sunset Strip. Maybe one of these days I'll get to see that, too, and compare his two treatments of the story.

Your Overlooked Films HQ is SWEET FREEDOM


Rick Robinson said...

I liked the book a lot, but I'll pass on the flick.

Evan Lewis said...


Todd Mason said...

Janet Blair is certainly cold in the first poster. I'm a fan of both stars, and Huggins...so thanks for the pointer (or, in Blair's case...no, that's too easy and cheap...not that I'm not...)

Cap'n Bob said...

Even with the dropped cells it's a good one. I really liked seeing the scenes of old L.A., too.