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Laughing at Trouble (1936)

A man convicted of murder escapes from jail and hides out in the home of a small town newspaper publisher who has befriended him. She knows who the real killer is.


Frank R. Strayer


Robert Ellis (screenplay), Helen Logan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Jane Darwell ... Glory Bradford
Brook Byron ... Mary Bradford (as Delma Byron)
Allan Lane ... John Campbell
Sara Haden ... Mrs. Jennie Nevins
Lois Wilson ... Alice Mathews
Margaret Hamilton ... Lizzie Beadle
Pert Kelton ... Ella McShane
John Carradine ... Deputy Sheriff Alec Brady
James Burke ... Sheriff Bill Norton
Russell Hicks ... Cyrus Hall
Eddie Acuff ... Jamie Bradford (as Edward Acuff)
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Larson
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Wilbur (as William Benedict)
Edward McWade ... Harvey


John Campbell, in love with Mary Bradford, is arrested and convicted of the murder of the town philanthropist. Glory Holden, editor of the small-town local newspaper and the mother of Mary, senses an injustice and carries on a relentless crusade in her newspaper to bring about Campbell's exoneration and find the guilty person. She discovers that the murdered man, shortly before his death, placed in his will a $10,000 bequest to a charitable institution. With this as a clue, the determined editor exposes the true killer by playing upon the jealousy of a woman in love with an unscrupulous lawyer. But first she has to hold off single-handed an enraged lynch mob which has pursued Campbell to her home after he make a jail break. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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WITH SMILE OR FROWN SHE RULED THE TOWN! (original poster-all caps) See more »


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Release Date:

11 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Laughing at Death See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed late August-September 16, 1936, released December 11. See more »

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User Reviews

Jane Darwell and John Carradine
21 May 2010 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1936's "Laughing at Trouble" stars Jane Darwell as Glory Bradford, a newspaper editor whose niece is in love with John Campbell (Allan "Rocky" Lane, later the voice of MISTER ED), unjustly accused of murdering his wealthy uncle with a knife. After the jury returns a guilty verdict, Campbell escapes from prison and hides out at Glory's home, with the alert Sheriff (James Burke) following close behind. Leading the chase with his German Shepherd in tow, is hot headed Deputy Sheriff Alec Brady (John Carradine), determined to replace his boss as the town sheriff, who doesn't hesitate to shoot the elusive Campbell against the Sheriff's orders. The local doctor (Frank Reicher) gives Campbell the okay to remain at Glory's due to his near-fatal injury, while Brady resigns and begins to work up the townspeople into an outraged mob over their harboring of an escaped criminal. During the evening, a remark from unmarried gossip Lizzie Beadle (Margaret Hamilton), about $10,000 in Treasury bonds belonging to Campbell's late uncle, helps lead Glory to the true identity of the real murderer. Three years before their excellent work in "The Grapes of Wrath," Jane Darwell and John Carradine team up in this long-forgotten (even in its day) little 'B' film, based on an unproduced play called "Glory," the name of its indomitable protagonist. Darwell is in fine form, snapping off witty remarks about everyone around her, especially Carradine, playing the kind of villainous role that audiences first became accustomed to seeing him in. This was the last film he did in 1936, a busy year that saw the bit actor gain character status in John Ford's "The Prisoner of Shark Island" (the hissable Sergeant Rankin), "White Fang" (with Jane Darwell), "The Garden of Allah," "Dimples," "Ramona" (also with Darwell), "Daniel Boone" (as Simon Girty, one of his most despicable villains), with a couple of sympathetic roles in John Ford's "Mary of Scotland" (as Katherine Hepburn's guitar-strumming consort, stabbed to death in her bed), and "Winterset" (as Burgess Meredith's falsely accused father). John Carradine's distinguished career was only just beginning.

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