Director:

Writers:

(novel), (titles) (as Malcolm S. Boylan) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Tiger Shark (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Mike is a great tuna fisherman though he lost a hand to a shark years earlier saving Pipes Boley. Now Mike is happily married to Quita and doesn't notice that Pipes and Quita are falling ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Richard Arlen, Zita Johann
War | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

World War I ace Dick Courtney derides the leadership of his superior officer, but Courtney is soon promoted to squadron commander and learns harsh lessons about sending subordinates to their deaths.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Neil Hamilton
Fazil (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An Arab prince born and raised in the desert and a beautiful Frenchwoman from Paris fall in love and marry, but the tremendous differences in their backgrounds and the cultural differences between their two different societies put strains on their marriage that may well prove irreparable.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Charles Farrell, Greta Nissen, John Boles
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two sailors with a rivalry over chasing women become friends. But when one decides to finally settle down, will this mysterious young women come between them?

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Robert Armstrong, Louise Brooks
Paid to Love (1927)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American banker goes to a small Balkan country looking to invest his bank's money and shore up the country's weak economy in order to maximize the return on their investment. Towards ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: George O'Brien, Virginia Valli, J. Farrell MacDonald
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Directors: Howard Hawks, Lewis Seiler
Stars: Arthur Lake, David Rollins, Sue Carol
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

May McAvoy is a woman who is blinded in an auto accident and relies on prayer to regain her sight.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: May McAvoy, Leslie Fenton, Ford Sterling
Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Famous motor-racing champion Joe Greer returns to his hometown to compete in a local race. He discovers his younger brother has aspirations to become a racing champion and during the race ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Louise Fazenda, Ethel Wales, J. Farrell MacDonald
Today We Live (1933)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

During WWI, two officers, one a pilot and the other in the navy, compete for the same beautiful young woman.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Stars: Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Robert Young
Fig Leaves (1926)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the modern day (1920s) story, Adam, a plumber, is happily married to Eve, a wardrobe-obsessed housewife, until she accidentally meets a supercilious fashion designer. At the prompting of... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: George O'Brien, Olive Borden, Phyllis Haver
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An ambitious lumberjack abandons his saloon girl lover so that he can marry into wealth, but years later becomes infatuated with the woman's daughter.

Directors: Howard Hawks, William Wyler, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Raymond Hatton ...
...
Lawrence Gray ...
Nicholas Soussanin ...
Martin
Anita Garvin ...
Ottilie Dunois
Edgar Kennedy ...
Inspector Murch (as Ed Kennedy)
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armuke või mõrtsukas?  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was in production when most of the films of the period were being shot in sound, but Fox did not secure the sound rights for the film and allowed it to be shot as a silent picture. Director Howard Hawks claimed that Fox decided this film was going to be a dud and gave him a shoestring budget, so he decided to "have a little fun" with the production. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The movie Howard Hawks didn't want you to see
28 December 2013 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

In autumn of this year director Howard Hawks was honored with a comprehensive retrospective of his work at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY. The festival presented all of Hawks' surviving features, including the rare, seldom-screened silent ones. When I went to the museum for my first viewing of Trent's Last Case, the director's final silent film, I kept my expectations low for several reasons. For starters, Hawks himself was said to regard it with disdain. 'Trent,' which was based on a mystery novel published in 1913, was produced as a silent picture just as talkies were taking over the market. Hawks was eager to make it with full sound, but, unfortunately, when the story department honchos at Fox, the director's home studio, arranged to purchase the property, they secured only the silent film rights -- NOT the talkie rights. (During this period, when the transition to sound was upending the rules, such oversights were probably not uncommon.) Deeply angry, Hawks came to regard the project as an unwelcome chore, and decided to turn it into a send-up. As far as I'm concerned, that in itself isn't a deal-breaker—a send-up with this cast could be great fun— but even so, there were other reasons to approach the film warily. Hawks' biographer Todd McCarthy, who knows as much about the director and his work as anyone, trashed Trent's Last Case in his book, and pronounced it the worst film Hawks ever made. And on top of that, surviving prints of the film are incomplete: about two reels' worth of material is missing from the middle section. O joy, a murder mystery with missing footage!

But I went to see it anyway. And here's my verdict: Trent's Last Case is an oddity, all right, and far from great, but nonetheless surprisingly enjoyable. (Going in with low expectations surely must have helped.) Fans of the novel will need to look elsewhere for a serious adaptation, for this 'Trent' plays like a goofy sketch on the Carol Burnett Show. But what's wrong with that? The material lends itself to comedy. Our story concerns a cruel millionaire named Sigsbee Manderson (played by Donald Crisp), whose beautiful young wife (Marceline Day) is having an affair with Manderson's handsome secretary, Jack Marlowe. Manderson learns of the affair and decides to avenge himself on his wife and her lover by committing suicide, arranging the details to suggest he was murdered by Marlowe. Amateur sleuth Philip Trent (Raymond Griffith) shows up to crack the case, but only muddies the waters, until at last the correct solution is revealed. Frankly, the plot suggests self-parody from the get-go, so it's no surprise the filmmakers chose to play it that way. And incidentally, the chunk of missing footage midway is no great hindrance to following the story. A running gag develops as Trent repeatedly accuses the wrong person of murder, finds that he's mistaken, then accuses someone else. Because of the lost footage, which comprises perhaps ten or fifteen minutes of material, some of these accusations are missing, so the routine is somewhat truncated, but it's not a huge loss.

The actors look like they're having a blast. Donald Crisp, in particular, gives an outrageously hammy, teeth-gnashing, eye-rolling performance which must be seen to be believed. Despite the presence of such estimable players as Edgar Kennedy and Anita Garvin, Crisp steals the show. His spirited emoting stands in sharp contrast with the low-key underplaying of leading man Raymond Griffith. The dapper Mr. Griffith, who starred in several popular light comedies in the mid-20s, specialized in dry, sophisticated humor. He comes off here as something of a straight man to the other characters, for his sleuth is a solemn fellow with a tinge of melancholy. Perhaps the solemnity reflected Raymond Griffith's real-life career situation when the film was made. Due to injured vocal chords Griffith spoke in a husky whisper; he must have known that talkies would end his career, and that Trent's Last Case would most likely mark his final bow as a star of feature films. (As it happens, Griffith would continue to work behind the scenes in Hollywood for many years as a producer.) While 'Trent' doesn't measure up to Griffith's other surviving vehicles, it does provide him with a suitable farewell role and a nicely staged final scene.

Whatever its modest merits, Trent's Last Case made very little impression on audiences on its initial release. In his biography of Hawks, published in 1997, Todd McCarthy flatly states that the film was released only in Europe, not in the United States. Subsequent research has revealed that 'Trent' did indeed play in some regions of the U.S. during the summer of 1929 (specifically in Pennsylvania and Florida), but Fox scarcely bothered to promote it, and in the excitement over talkies the film was quickly forgotten. It did not resurface until a print was discovered in the early 1970s. 'Trent' was screened for the first time in many years at the Pacific Film Archive in 1974, with Hawks in attendance. The aging director was not pleased about the film's rediscovery, and, according to McCarthy, expressed himself in no uncertain terms during the screening, when he stormed the projection booth in mid-show and ordered the projectionist to destroy the print! In a way, I can understand why he was so upset. The loopy, over-the-top style on display was meant to be satirical, but modern viewers—especially ones unfamiliar with the general run of silent films—could easily (and mistakenly) regard it as unintentionally campy. Even so, Hawks needn't have overreacted. Taken for what it is, this version of Trent's Last Case is entertaining and amusing, a rare treat for movie buffs. I for one am glad the projectionist ignored Hawks' instructions!


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Trent's Last Case (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?