MR. SOFT TOUCH
1949, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 93 min, USA, Dir: Henry Levin, Gordon Douglas

This ultra-rare comedy-noir hybrid features Glenn Ford as a returning WWII vet who knocks over the Frisco nightclub he used to own. When the gangster owners come gunning for him, Ford finds sanctuary by getting arrested for a misdemeanor - only to find himself back in hot water when he’s sprung by a do-gooder social worker (Evelyn Keyes) for the holidays. Directed by Henry Levin and Gordon Douglas, this is one of the oddest combinations we’ve ever seen: romantic comedy, schmaltzy sentiment and hardboiled noir. “In headlong flight he paused… to live a lifetime in 36 thrill-packed hours… with this woman!” Not on DVD!


FRAMED
1947, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 82 min, USA, Dir: Richard Wallace

In this rarely seen piece of prime-grade pulp, taciturn Glenn Ford barrels his broken-down truck into a rural California town and is quickly engulfed in adultery, embezzlement and murder. Janis Carter is the long, tall drink of delicious poison he can’t resist, a frosty sample of pure ’40s film noir femme fatale. Barry Sullivan is his usual sly self as the not-so-unwilling cuckold. The script by Ben Maddow (THE ASPHALT JUNGLE) hits all the notes originated by James M. Cain, and director Richard Wallace has a good time playing them. Not on DVD!


NEW ORLEANS UNCENSORED
1955, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 76 min, USA, Dir: William Castle

William Castle takes his crew on location to the Big Easy for this entry in the 1950s exposé sweepstakes. Discharged Navy vet Arthur Franz (THE SNIPER) catches on as a longshoreman and quickly learns things on the docks are crooked as hell. When his buddy is killed in a suspicious accident, Franz decides to go undercover for the cops to take down local crime boss Michael Ansara. Of course, this means tussling as well with “Big Easies” Beverly Garland and Helene Stanton. “Filmed at White Heat… At the bottom of Desire Street!” Not on DVD!


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