Footsteps in the Dark

Overview

Footsteps in the Dark is a comedy/mystery, starring Errol Flynn as a wealthy investment counselor who secretly doubles as a dilettante detective, the better to write mystery novels. Brenda Marshall plays his wife, who can't understand why he is never home and begins to suspect hanky-panky. In fact, Flynn is investigating the murders of a jewelry smuggler and an exotic dancer. The trail of evidence leads to the Least Likely Suspect -- portrayed, as is often the case, by an actor who's always the one who "did it" ...
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Overview

Footsteps in the Dark is a comedy/mystery, starring Errol Flynn as a wealthy investment counselor who secretly doubles as a dilettante detective, the better to write mystery novels. Brenda Marshall plays his wife, who can't understand why he is never home and begins to suspect hanky-panky. In fact, Flynn is investigating the murders of a jewelry smuggler and an exotic dancer. The trail of evidence leads to the Least Likely Suspect -- portrayed, as is often the case, by an actor who's always the one who "did it" in murder mysteries. Not nearly as funny a film as the producers seem to think it is, Footsteps in the Dark is an obvious attempt by Warner Bros. to create a "Nick and Nora Charles" team, in emulation of MGM's popular Thin Man series. Footsteps ends with wife Marshall vowing to join hubby Flynn in his next murder mystery, leaving the door wide open for a sequel...which was never filmed.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As a mystery, Footsteps in the Dark is only middling, but the presence of Errol Flynn in a rare comedic role raises it a notch. Certainly the ingredients are there for a promising film -- a wealthy, society-connected banker who spends his nights sleuthing and writing mysteries, all unbeknownst to his wife, who studiously disapproves of the books he publishes under a pseudonym. But Lloyd Bacon directs without a firm grasp of style, and the writers neither take full advantage of the comedic possibilities nor do their work well enough setting up a surprising mystery. Instead of coming together, all the ingredients float around separately, waiting for someone to find a way to make them fit into one film. None of this, fortunately, affects Flynn, who rises above the material and gives a deft, light performance that will surprise those who feel he can only do derring-do. Even better is Ralph Bellamy, whose villainy is nicely orchestrated. Brenda Marshall is fine as Flynn's wife, but can't overcome the poor writing that follows her character around. (The same goes for Lucile Watson.) Footsteps doesn't come together, but Flynn and Bellamy make it worth watching.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/2010
  • UPC: 883316289624
  • Original Release: 1941
  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 37,669

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Errol Flynn Francis Warren
Brenda Marshall Rita Warren
Ralph Bellamy Dr. Davis
Alan Hale Inspector Mason
Lee Patrick Blondie White
Allen Jenkins Wilfred
Lucile Watson Mrs. Archer
William Frawley Hopkins
Roscoe Karns Monahan
Grant Mitchell Carruthers
Maris Wrixon June Brewster
Noel Madison Fissue
Jack LaRue Ace Vernon
Turhan Bey Ahmed
John Dilson Coroner
Sarah Edwards Mrs. Belgarde
Betty Farrington Mrs. Jenkins
Frank Faylen Gus
Creighton Hale Harlan
Winifred Harris Miss Perry
Harry Hayden Willis
William Hopper Police Secretary
Olaf Hytten Horace
David Newell June Brewster's Escort
Garry Owen Jackson
Frank Wilcox Harrow
Sonny Boy Williams Tommy
Technical Credits
Lloyd Bacon Director
Hugh MacMullen Director
Lester Cole Screenwriter
Jeffrey Dell Screenwriter
Ladislas Fodor Screenwriter
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Frederick Hollander Score Composer
Robert Lord Associate Producer
Owen Marks Editor
Max Parker Art Director
Francis J. Scheid Sound/Sound Designer
Howard Shoup Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Vreeland Choreography
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
John Wexley Screenwriter
Rex Wimpy Special Effects
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