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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mr. Soft Touch (1949)

Returning home from WWII, a pilot (Glenn Ford) finds that the nightclub he co-owned has been taken over by gangsters and his partner murdered. He robs the club of $100,000 that belongs to him but both the mob and the police go after him. Planning on skipping the country, he hides out at a rescue mission for the next 24 hours until his ship sails. But a pretty social worker (Evelyn Keyes) throws a wrench in his plans. This piece of whimsy tries to be both tough and sentimental, an odd mixture to be sure and only really succeeds in the latter. Anyway you look at it, it's a pretty forgettable programmer. Inexplicably, the film has two directors. Henry Levin (WHERE THE BOYS ARE) and Gordon Douglas (IN LIKE FLINT) but neither man is able to do much with the material. Maybe if just one of them had directed it, it would have had a more cohesive feel to it but the material is pretty derivative. It actually feels more like a 1930s Warner film than a late 1940s Columbia movie but Ford and Keyes make for an attractive coupling. However, the film's dated attitude toward domestic violence seems rather cavalier by today's standards. With John Ireland, Beulah Bondi, Ted De Corsia, Angela Clarke, Percy Kilbride and Clara Blandick.

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