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Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Velvet Touch (1948)

An actress (Rosalind Russell) unintentionally kills her producer and lover (Leon Ames) when he attacks her after she tells him she is leaving him for another man (Leo Genn). She gets away with the killing but her conscience begins to trouble her especially when another woman (Claire Trevor) is suspected of the murder. Though one can't exactly call it a murder mystery since we know who the murderess is from the very beginning, the film nonetheless keeps us in suspense as to whether or not she will break down and confess. Being a 1940s Hollywood film, we can be fairly sure of the outcome but the film is greatly aided by its backdrop, the world of the Broadway theater which gives the film a unique touch. Russell is suitably neurotic, Trevor does her usual spot on bruised woman number and Sydney Greenstreet is a delight as the police inspector investigating the case with a taste for fine food and good theater. Yet one can't help feel that it could have been better. But where does the blame go? Perhaps to director John Gage whose only film this is. With Martha Hyer, Lex Barker, Frank McHugh, Theresa Harris, Esther Howard and Dan Tobin.

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