Murder at Monte Carlo

Murder at Monte Carlo is an English 1934 mystery crime thriller film directed by Ralph Ince and starring Errol Flynn, Eve Gray, Paul Graetz and Molly Lamont, the production was Flynn's debut film in a lead role in England.[1][2] The film is currently missing from the BFI National Archive, and is listed as one of the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" lost films.[3]

Murder at Monte Carlo
Directed byRalph Ince
Produced byIrving Asher
Written byMichael Barringer, John Hastings Turner
Based onnovel by Tom Van Dycke
StarringErrol Flynn
CinematographyBasil Emmott
Production
company
Warner Bros. First National
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • January 1935 (1935-01) (UK)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Plot

A Fleet Street reporter (Errol Flynn) investigates the claim of Dr Becker, a professor of mathematics, to possess an infallible system of beating the roulette wheel at Monte Carlo. He refuses to take his fiancee Gilian (Eve Gray) along, but she decides to go anyway and report on the story for a rival paper. Dr Becker winds up dead and it looks like suicide, but Gilian is convinced it is murder. The finale involves Gilian getting all the suspects into one room and re-enacting the crime.[4]

Cast

Production

The film was a "quota quickie" made by Warner Brothers at their Teddington Studios in Middlesex, on the edge of London.[5] Flynn had been discovered by Irving Asher, the Managing Director of the studios, who put him under a seven-year option contract after cabling his head office in Hollywood: "He is the best picture bet we have ever seen. He is twenty-five, Irish, looks like a cross between Charles Farrell and George Brent, same type and build, excellent actor, champion boxer & swimmer, guarantee he's a real find". Before this, Flynn had done some work as an extra at the Studios in the film I Adore You in 1933, and had then spent several months as an acting trainee with a repertory theatre company in Northampton, before returning to Teddington seeking a way to break into movie acting.[6] The film was completed in November 1934 and Flynn left England for Hollywood soon afterwards.[7]

Release

The film was never released theatrically in the US. But in February 1956, Jack Warner sold the rights to all of his pre-December 1949 films to Associated Artists Productions (which merged with United Artists Television in 1958, and later was subsequently acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in early 1986 as part of a failed takeover of MGM/UA by Ted Turner).

According to Filmink magazine:

It was pretty impressive of Flynn to have bagged another movie lead but it must be remembered this was the era of wet fish British leading men – Barry Barnes, Leslie Banks, etc – and Flynn would have stood out among the alternatives on offer; he had the smooth appearance and cultured voice so beloved by British producers of the time, but he also had an athletic, virile appearance… Also, it was a cheap movie – they weren’t taking that much of a risk giving him a chance. [8]

See also

References

  1. "Murder at Monte Carlo (1935)". British Film Institute.
  2. "Murder at Monte Carlo". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  3. "Murder at Monte Carlo / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute.
  4. "Promising Australians / Fame Around the Corner". The Argus. 30 September 1935. p. 4.
  5. "Teddington Studios Introduction". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  6. Connelly, Gerry 'Errol Flynn in Northampton' (Pub. Domra, 1998)
  7. Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer, Clifford McCarty, The Films of Errol Flynn, Citadel Press, 1969, p. 23
  8. Vagg, Stephen (2 November 2019). "The Films of Errol Flynn". Filmink.
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