Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Glenn Ford and Evelyn Keyes
MR. SOFT TOUCH (1949). Directors: Gordon Douglas; Henry Levin.

A man with the unlikely moniker of Joe Miracle (Glenn Ford) returns from service and discovers that hoods have taken over his nightclub and murdered his partner. We never actually see Miracle learning about this -- we're introduced to him after he steals money (his money rightfully, he feels) from the nightclub safe and is on the run from the police. He eventually winds up befriended by a do-gooder named Jenny Jones (Evelyn Keyes), who works for a settlement house where there are numerous cute youngsters and the comparatively stern but warm-hearted Mrs. Hangale (Beulah Bondi), not to mention a handyman played by Percy Kilbride (The Egg and I). John Ireland (Raw Deal) is cast against type as a bespectacled reporter who wants to get info from Miracle. The trouble with Mr. Soft Touch is that it tries for equal amounts of sentiment, comedy, and action, but these elements simply never jell. Ford's character is so unlikable for the most part that the actor gives one of his few charmless performances. Keyes and Bondi come off better, but the movie just doesn't work, and you find yourself not only not caring for anyone but even for what happens. It seems to take forever to just end.

Verdict: A misfire on virtually all levels, deservedly forgotten. **.

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