Footsteps in the Dark (1941)

93 or 96 mins | Comedy-drama | 8 March 1941

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Cinematographer:

Ernest Haller

Editor:

Owen Marks

Production Designer:

Max Parker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to information included in the file on the film in the USC Cinema-Television Library, Lazlo Fodor wrote a play in German called Katzenzungen under the pseudonym W. George Selous. The play was adapted into English by Bernard Merivale, with additional dialogue by Jeffrey Dell, and was given its only production in London. It was produced as Blondie White but different drafts of the play were variously titled The Case of Blondie White and Footsteps in the Dark as well as Blondie White . According to a 12 Jun 1940 news item in HR , Edward G. Robinson was to have starred in the ... More Less

According to information included in the file on the film in the USC Cinema-Television Library, Lazlo Fodor wrote a play in German called Katzenzungen under the pseudonym W. George Selous. The play was adapted into English by Bernard Merivale, with additional dialogue by Jeffrey Dell, and was given its only production in London. It was produced as Blondie White but different drafts of the play were variously titled The Case of Blondie White and Footsteps in the Dark as well as Blondie White . According to a 12 Jun 1940 news item in HR , Edward G. Robinson was to have starred in the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Mar 1941.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1941.
---
Film Daily
4 Mar 41
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Mar 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Jan 41
p. 45.
New York Times
15 Mar 41
p. 13.
Variety
5 Mar 41
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Blondie White by Bernard Merivale and Jeffrey Dell (London, Globe Theatre, 13 Oct 1937).
SONGS
"Cousins," Written by Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson, Performed by Vampire Weekend, Courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd, By arrangement with The Baggars Group
"Out in the Woods," Written and performed by Leon Russell, Courtesy of Capitol Records, Under license from EMI Film & TV Music
"Tailgating," Written by Thomas Hirschmann, Steven Stern and Stuart Hart, Performed by Tom Hirschmann, By arrangement with Selectracks
+
SONGS
"Cousins," Written by Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson, Performed by Vampire Weekend, Courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd, By arrangement with The Baggars Group
"Out in the Woods," Written and performed by Leon Russell, Courtesy of Capitol Records, Under license from EMI Film & TV Music
"Tailgating," Written by Thomas Hirschmann, Steven Stern and Stuart Hart, Performed by Tom Hirschmann, By arrangement with Selectracks
"Sundown Syndrome," Written by Kevin Parker, Performed by Tame Impale, Courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd., By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
"Panic in Detroit," Written by David Bowie, Performed by David Bowie, Courtesy RZO Music
"Win," Written by David Bowie, Performed by David Bowie, Courtesy RZO Music
"Milk Man," Written by Greg Saunier, Satomi Matsuzaki, Chris Cohen and John Dieterich, Performed by Deerhoof, Courtesy of Kill Rock Stars, By arrangement with Terrorbird Media
+
LITERARY
Based on the play Blondie White by Bernard Merivale and Jeffrey Dell (London, Globe Theatre, 13 Oct 1937).
SONGS
"Cousins," Written by Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson, Performed by Vampire Weekend, Courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd, By arrangement with The Baggars Group
"Out in the Woods," Written and performed by Leon Russell, Courtesy of Capitol Records, Under license from EMI Film & TV Music
"Tailgating," Written by Thomas Hirschmann, Steven Stern and Stuart Hart, Performed by Tom Hirschmann, By arrangement with Selectracks
+
SONGS
"Cousins," Written by Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson, Performed by Vampire Weekend, Courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd, By arrangement with The Baggars Group
"Out in the Woods," Written and performed by Leon Russell, Courtesy of Capitol Records, Under license from EMI Film & TV Music
"Tailgating," Written by Thomas Hirschmann, Steven Stern and Stuart Hart, Performed by Tom Hirschmann, By arrangement with Selectracks
"Sundown Syndrome," Written by Kevin Parker, Performed by Tame Impale, Courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd., By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
"Panic in Detroit," Written by David Bowie, Performed by David Bowie, Courtesy RZO Music
"Win," Written by David Bowie, Performed by David Bowie, Courtesy RZO Music
"Milk Man," Written by Greg Saunier, Satomi Matsuzaki, Chris Cohen and John Dieterich, Performed by Deerhoof, Courtesy of Kill Rock Stars, By arrangement with Terrorbird Media
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 March 1941
Production Date:
17 October--late November 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 March 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10292
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93 or 96
Length(in feet):
8,663
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Unknown to his friends and family, investment councilor Francis Warren secretly writes detective novels using the pseudonym F. X. Pettibone. One afternoon, Francis has an appointment with Leopold Fissue, a suspicious character who wants to convert his supply of uncut diamonds to cash. When Francis objects, Fissue threatens to expose his secret life, so Francis reluctantly agrees to meet Fissue later that evening. Fissue is late for the meeting, however, and eventually Francis leaves without seeing him. Police inspector Mason, who knows Francis as Pettibone, ridicules his latest novel, stating that real crimes are not so easily solved. When Fissue's body is found on his yacht, Francis, convinced that Fissue was murdered for his diamonds, decides to prove Mason wrong. A series of theater tickets leads Francis to burlesque dancer Blondie White, who has a habit of holding two matches together until they fuse. Having found two fused matches on the yacht, Francis is convinced that Blondie murdered Fissue, but her dentist, Dr. Davis, swears that she was in his office at the time of the murder. Meanwhile, Francis takes Blondie dancing as part of his investigation and is seen by friends of his wife Rita. Rita believes that Francis is having an affair and hires a private investigator. Blondie tells Francis that she must leave town to escape her ex-husband, Ace Vernon, and asks him for money. She also asks him to retrieve her suitcase from a storage locker. When Blondie does not show up, Francis rushes to her apartment, where the police, who have learned that Fissue was involved in a diamond smuggling ring, have found ... +


Unknown to his friends and family, investment councilor Francis Warren secretly writes detective novels using the pseudonym F. X. Pettibone. One afternoon, Francis has an appointment with Leopold Fissue, a suspicious character who wants to convert his supply of uncut diamonds to cash. When Francis objects, Fissue threatens to expose his secret life, so Francis reluctantly agrees to meet Fissue later that evening. Fissue is late for the meeting, however, and eventually Francis leaves without seeing him. Police inspector Mason, who knows Francis as Pettibone, ridicules his latest novel, stating that real crimes are not so easily solved. When Fissue's body is found on his yacht, Francis, convinced that Fissue was murdered for his diamonds, decides to prove Mason wrong. A series of theater tickets leads Francis to burlesque dancer Blondie White, who has a habit of holding two matches together until they fuse. Having found two fused matches on the yacht, Francis is convinced that Blondie murdered Fissue, but her dentist, Dr. Davis, swears that she was in his office at the time of the murder. Meanwhile, Francis takes Blondie dancing as part of his investigation and is seen by friends of his wife Rita. Rita believes that Francis is having an affair and hires a private investigator. Blondie tells Francis that she must leave town to escape her ex-husband, Ace Vernon, and asks him for money. She also asks him to retrieve her suitcase from a storage locker. When Blondie does not show up, Francis rushes to her apartment, where the police, who have learned that Fissue was involved in a diamond smuggling ring, have found her dead body. The police turn up a taxi driver who remembers driving a woman from Blondie's apartment to Francis' house. Francis hurries home to beat the police and confronts Rita, who believes that he killed Blondie. Francis, on the other hand, thinks that Rita is the murderer and urges her to leave town. When the police finally arrive, Francis' double life is revealed, and Rita admits that she went to Blondie's apartment to talk to her about Francis. Having found the missing diamonds in Blondie's suitcase, Francis realizes who Blondie's killer must be. He accuses Davis, who then attempts to inject Francis with the same poison that killed Fissue, not knowing that Francis has replaced it with water. Tipped off by Francis' chauffeur, the police arrest Davis. Francis apologizes to Rita for keeping his writing a secret, but when he gets a call from Mason asking for his help in a new case, Rita is waiting to join him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.