Format: TCM Film Fest
Director: S. Sylvan Simon
I'd actually had a bit of trouble tracking down I Love Trouble (1948), a film I'd seen often referenced in writing about noir, but it just never crossed my path. I've seen reference to the film being lost for a few decades, but TCM was able to air it as part of the 2021 TCMFF. Honestly - the print is not great, but I've seen worse.
The plot itself is a windy murder mystery and from the same school as a Chandler mystery, but with more than a hint of Hammett. The cast is headlined by Franchot Tone, a guy who was a bug movie star at one point, but I tend to know as "that guy who was married to Joan Crawford in the 1930's"*.
I absolutely cannot talk about the plot without spoiling the movie - other than it's very much a quality gumshoe caper with all the trimmings. Tone as our shamus is actually rock solid here. I liked what he did as "Stuart Bailey" - an enjoyable riff on a familiar sort of tune, and playing the fast-talking PI with the moral code working his way through the underbelly of society.
He's joined by a bunch of actors you've likely never heard of - although noiristas will remember Janis Carter from Night Editor, Adele Jergens from Armored Car Robbery, Glenda Farrell from Little Caesar, Steven Geray from Gilda, and Tom Powers from... everything.
I'd love to see this one again sometime to enjoy watching it work rather than keeping up with details of the mystery.
*I mean, well done sir