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Trouble for Two

(1936 b 75')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, a prince joins a suicide club in this macabre romantic comedy.

The king (E. E. Clive) sends Col. Geraldine (Frank Morgan) to get Prince Florizel (Robert Montgomery). The king wants Florizel to marry Princess Brenda; but she rejected him. The king orders Geraldine to watch over the prince. On a ship Miss Vandeleur (Rosalind Russell) asks Florizel to take her dangerous documents; but he and Geraldine find the papers are blank. A servant tells Vandeleur where Florizel is dining. Young Cecil Barnley (Louis Hayward) shares cream tarts with Florizel and Geraldine, saying his life is useless. Florizel says they want to die too, and Barnley explains the Suicide Club that costs 100 pounds each. Vandeleur follows them. The club's President (Reginald Owen) denies it until he learns their reasons for wanting to die. Florizel sees Vandeleur there. A card is dealt to each person; the ace of clubs is the executioner, and the ace of spades is the "fortunate" victim. Barnley gets the ace of spades, and Vandeleur gets the ace of clubs. They leave alone.

Florizel reads that Barnley died. The President commends Vandeleur and deals the cards. Florizel gets the ace of spades, and Vandeleur gets the ace of clubs again. The President instructs Vandeleur. She and Florizel take a carriage to a zoo; but she can't open the lion's cage and cries. She says she saved Barnley and sent him to Paris. Someone shoots at them. Vandeleur says she refused to marry a prince, and Florizel realizes she is Brenda. Geraldine finds Florizel after following the President. Brenda joins them for breakfast. They learn the waiter's dog is being tried for murdering a parrot. Brenda warns Florizel about going.

The President is the pardoned traitor Franz Noel, and he asks Florizel how he pleads to a treason charge, saying he will be hanged without a trial. Geraldine holds up a phony bomb, and Florizel fights his way out and brings back a policeman; but all are gone. Florizel gets a letter challenging a duel, or Geraldine will be killed. Florizel takes two military men in a carriage to a club, where Brenda is sorting them out. Florizel goes and is searched, seeing two men digging a grave. He proposes rapiers; but Noel says it's a rope, claiming he is a patriot. The military men come in with guns and rapiers for the duel in which Florizel drives Noel into the grave. In the final scene the king announces the marriage of Florizel and Brenda.

This mixture of several genres is a light-hearted look at royal politics and revolutionary assassination by a peculiar method, providing escapist entertainment.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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