Trouble for Two


1h 15m 1936
Trouble for Two

Brief Synopsis

Before he can marry, a European prince gets mixed up with a suicide club.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Suicide Club
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Mystery
Release Date
May 22, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson in The Suicide Club (London, 1895).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

In the nineteenth century, Prince Florizel of Carovia is unhappy at the prospect of his impending marriage to Princess Brenda of Irania. They have not seen each other in fifteen years, and the engagement was arranged by their fathers. The King decides to give Florizel a holiday in London before the wedding, accompanied by the faithful Colonel "Gerry" Geraldine. On the boat to England, Florizel, assuming the name Mr. Theopholus Godall, is asked by the mysterious Miss Vandeleur to guard some papers for her. In her cabin, they are confronted by a man wanting the papers, but Gerry, who has assumed the name Major Alfred Hammersmight, and the captain interrupt. Gerry is concerned, but Florizel is intrigued and welcomes the new adventure. When the boat docks, they look for Miss Vandeleur, but can't find her, then discover that her cabin was listed as unoccupied and the "documents" are merely blank paper. In London, while Florizel and Gerry dine, a young man with cream tarts, whose real name is Cecil Barnley, enters the restaurant and offers the pastries, and says that he is ending his life. Florizel invites Barnley to join them, and the young man relates his story of a misspent youth and says that he will find a way to end his life without disgracing his family. Florizel then proposes dying together and Barnley tells him about a suicide club in which the mode is selected but one's own hand is not used. Thinking that the club is a joke, Florizel determines to join, despite Gerry's objections. Meanwhile, Miss Vandeleur secretly overhears their conversation and follows them. The president of the suicide club admits Florizel after hearing his fabricated story. Miss Vandeleur arrives just as a deal of the cards takes place to determine who will receive the ace of spades, signifying victim, and who will receive ace of clubs, signifying executioner. Barnley receives the ace of spades and Miss Vandeleur the ace of clubs. Florizel wants to follow her, but she quickly departs by a secret door. Florizel realizes that the club is not a joke when Barnley's death is reported in the newspaper. He then determines to return to the club to see if Miss Vandeleur really is a murderer. Florizel draws the ace of spades that night, and Miss Vandeleur again draws the ace of clubs. They then go to the zoo where he is supposed to be ripped apart by lions. She unlocks the cage door, but when it opens, she starts to cry and tells him to go away. She then reveals that she didn't kill Barnley but talked him out of suicide and gave him money to go to Paris. When they hear gunshots, they find refuge in a cottage and she reveals that she is trying to avoid marriage to "a pig in the poke" and has been following him. The next evening, Florizel convinces Miss Vandeleur to go to the suicide club again. They then discover that the club's president, whose real name is Dr. Franz Noel, was exiled from Carovia, and plans to try Florizel for treason. Gerry then pretends to throw a bomb, which is really a plum pudding, and a brawl erupts. Florizel escapes and summons a constable, but when they return, the club is vacant. Noel then writes Florizel a letter, challenging him to a duel to release Gerry. That night, Florizel gathers a number of well-known gentlemen. He leaves for the duel and finds that Noel plans to hang him instead of giving him a sporting chance. While Florizel stalls Noel, the gentlemen arrive and their presence allows Florizel to go through with an honest duel, during which Noel is killed. Finally, back in Carovia, when Princess Brenda, who turns out to be Miss Vandeleur, is presented at court and pretends not to know Florizel, who winks when their engagement is announced.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Suicide Club
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Mystery
Release Date
May 22, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson in The Suicide Club (London, 1895).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Trouble For Two


Americans Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell get the royal treatment in Trouble For Two (1936). They each play an heir to the throne of a fictitious European country and are scheduled to wed in an arranged marriage. But neither Prince Florizel (Robert Montgomery) nor Princess Brenda (Rosalind Russell) are excited about the union.

Trouble For Two was the second of five successful Montgomery and Russell pairings. The other films they made together are: Forsaking All Others (1934), Night Must Fall (1937), Live, Love And Learn (1937) and Fast and Loose (1939).

Most of Trouble For Two takes place around London, where both Florizel and Brenda escape, unbeknownst to each other, for a pre-wedding vacation. Naturally, the would-be lovers' paths intersect. But fifteen years have passed since their last meeting, and they don't recognize one another.

What begins as a comedy then takes a darker turn for the film is actually based on three short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson called The Suicide Club. Prince Florizel and Princess Brenda both join the club, thinking it's all an elaborate joke. But after a club member is murdered, they soon learn that the rules of membership are deadly.

The Suicide Club had first been filmed in 1909 by director D.W. Griffith. A British version followed in 1914. But the 1936 Montgomery-Russell version was the first feature length, sound treatment of the story. Originally, it was Universal who announced plans to make a film of the Stevenson work. But apparently the studio lost interest, and MGM took on the picture. Another interesting note on the film: in the reviews written at the time of release, Virginia Weilder was credited as playing Miss Vanderleur (Princess Brenda) as a child, with David Holt portraying Florizel as a boy. But apparently this opening sequence was cut before wide release. Neither Weilder nor Holt appear in the credits or on the print submitted for copyright.

Aside from an ABC television movie in the 70's, Stevenson's tale would not be brought to the screen again until 1988 when Mariel Hemingway and Lenny Henry starred in a version. Reportedly, there is a new version of the film in the works starring Jonathan Pryce.

Producer: Louis D. Leighton
Director: J. Walter Ruben
Screenplay: Manuel Seff
Production Design: Edwin B. Willis
Cinematography: Charles Clarke
Film Editing: Robert J. Kern
Original Music: Franz Waxman
Cast: Rosaline Russell (Miss Vandeleur/Princess Brenda), Robert Montgomery (Mr. Godall/Prince Florize), Frank Morgan (Colonel "Gerry" Geraldine), Reginald Owen (Dr Franz Noel), Louis Hayward (Cecil Barnley), E.E. Clive (The King), Pedro de Cordoba (Sergei).
BW-75m.

by Stephanie Thames
Trouble For Two

Trouble For Two

Americans Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell get the royal treatment in Trouble For Two (1936). They each play an heir to the throne of a fictitious European country and are scheduled to wed in an arranged marriage. But neither Prince Florizel (Robert Montgomery) nor Princess Brenda (Rosalind Russell) are excited about the union. Trouble For Two was the second of five successful Montgomery and Russell pairings. The other films they made together are: Forsaking All Others (1934), Night Must Fall (1937), Live, Love And Learn (1937) and Fast and Loose (1939). Most of Trouble For Two takes place around London, where both Florizel and Brenda escape, unbeknownst to each other, for a pre-wedding vacation. Naturally, the would-be lovers' paths intersect. But fifteen years have passed since their last meeting, and they don't recognize one another. What begins as a comedy then takes a darker turn for the film is actually based on three short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson called The Suicide Club. Prince Florizel and Princess Brenda both join the club, thinking it's all an elaborate joke. But after a club member is murdered, they soon learn that the rules of membership are deadly. The Suicide Club had first been filmed in 1909 by director D.W. Griffith. A British version followed in 1914. But the 1936 Montgomery-Russell version was the first feature length, sound treatment of the story. Originally, it was Universal who announced plans to make a film of the Stevenson work. But apparently the studio lost interest, and MGM took on the picture. Another interesting note on the film: in the reviews written at the time of release, Virginia Weilder was credited as playing Miss Vanderleur (Princess Brenda) as a child, with David Holt portraying Florizel as a boy. But apparently this opening sequence was cut before wide release. Neither Weilder nor Holt appear in the credits or on the print submitted for copyright. Aside from an ABC television movie in the 70's, Stevenson's tale would not be brought to the screen again until 1988 when Mariel Hemingway and Lenny Henry starred in a version. Reportedly, there is a new version of the film in the works starring Jonathan Pryce. Producer: Louis D. Leighton Director: J. Walter Ruben Screenplay: Manuel Seff Production Design: Edwin B. Willis Cinematography: Charles Clarke Film Editing: Robert J. Kern Original Music: Franz Waxman Cast: Rosaline Russell (Miss Vandeleur/Princess Brenda), Robert Montgomery (Mr. Godall/Prince Florize), Frank Morgan (Colonel "Gerry" Geraldine), Reginald Owen (Dr Franz Noel), Louis Hayward (Cecil Barnley), E.E. Clive (The King), Pedro de Cordoba (Sergei). BW-75m. by Stephanie Thames

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Robert Louis Stevenson's "Suicide Club" short stories were first printed in his collection New Arabian Nights (London, 1882). Pre-release titles of the film were The Suicide Club and Suicide Club. According to news items in Hollywood Reporter in late 1935, a film based on Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Suicide Club" was going to be produced by Universal Pictures in 1934. When Universal dropped the idea and M-G-M started their own film based on the Stevenson work, screenwriters Manuel Seff and Edward E. Paramore, Jr. were given the assignment to combine the three original stories into one. According to contemporary reviews, Virginia Weidler played the role "Miss Vanderleur as a child," and David Holt portrayed "Florizel as a child," in the film's opening sequence, however, this sequence was not on the viewed print, nor was it included in the cutting continuity submitted for copyright. Neither onscreen credits nor the cutting continuity include Weidler or Holt in the cast. Though the exact date that the original opening sequence was removed has not been determined, all preview reviews and reviews for the New York opening include Weidler and Holt in the cast. Hollywood Reporter production charts include George Hassell, Lionel Belmore and Edgar Norton in the cast, however, their appearence in the completed film has not been confirmed. Other films based on Stevenson's stories include a 1909 Biograph film called The Suicide Club, 1914 and 1932 British films of the same title, and a 1973 television movie of the same title produced for the ABC Television Network.