The Velvet Touch (1948)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

The Velvet Touch (1948) Poster

A Broadway star unintentionally kills her impresario but keeps mum about it when the police investigator targets a rival actress.


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7 February 2016 | hitchcockthelegend
| Where did you get your luck, Valerie? Or does God pity the wicked?
The Velvet Touch is directed by Jack Gage and collectively written by Leo Rosten, Walter Reilly, William Mercer and Annabel Ross. It stars Rosalind Russell, Leo Genn, Claire Trevor, Sydney Greenstreet and Leon Ames. Music is by Leigh Harline and cinematography by Joseph Walker.

Ah, now then, is this a murder mystery in reverse? At the beginning we are shown the crime of murder, so we know the main character is guilty. The rest of the picture thrives on if Valerie Stanton (Russell) will either get caught by the law, own up, or become a victim of crime herself? The screenplay contains a flashback and that grand old devil of someone else being pegged for the murder. There's witticisms abound, with some wonderfully choice lines delivered with relish, while the cast turn in decent shows - Greenstreet doesn't show up till the 45 minute mark, but promptly waddles in and steals the film!

Set to the background of the theatre it's unsurprising to find this is something of a theatrical drama rather than a film noir of the era. It has found its way into a couple of film noir reference books, without really being film noir as such. Certainly the photography is appealing to noir fans, and there's a dark passage of play that definitely comes out of noirville, but really it's a marginal entry. But hey! It's still a very good film that's recommended. 7/10

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$1,400,000 (estimated)

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