28 January 2007 | blanche-2
A down and out man is set up to take a fall
Glenn Ford is Mike Lambert in "Framed," a 1947 noir also starring Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan, and Edgar Buchanan. Ford plays a man who takes a job driving a truck that ends up having no brakes. Once at his destination, he enters a bar/restaurant called La Paloma and comes to the attention of waitress Paula Lambert (Carter) - and vice versa. Turns out she's been waiting for someone like Ford to come along. Well, hasn't every woman? Paula and her boyfriend, Steven Price, need someone to be identified as Price in a car accident/explosion so that she and Price can take off with the $250,000 Price has embezzled from his bank. Unfortunately for them, they're pretty sophomoric, and Mike gets suspicious.
I can't share the deep thrill others have expressed about this film, though I love Glenn Ford's combination of gentleness, toughness, and sexiness. He had really just hit big stardom around the time of this film. As beautiful, slender and accomplished a Broadway performer as Janis Carter was, I thought her acting was - well, awful is the only word for it. This is a Lizabeth Scott/Ann Sheridan type of role - smoky, mysterious, ambiguous as to motive. Carter had none of these shadings, offering instead wooden line delivery with nothing going on underneath. A better actress would have made this a much stronger film.
The plot (to me anyway) was very predictable, in part due to the casting. As for the denouement, there was no explanation as to how it all came together, i.e., there were holes.
Ford and Edgar Buchanan, who plays a miner hoping to get a loan from Barry Sullivan's bank, are very good in their roles. Sullivan is fine, but he has a non-showy part. A stronger female lead and a little more developed script at the end would have helped "Framed" immensely.