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The Velvet Touch (1948)

The Velvet Touch poster 1948

There’s something very satisfying about backstage dramas and this witty theatre thriller is no different. Bearing the mark of humorist Leo Rosten, the principal screenwriter, it delves into the egotistical lives of the luvvies who create hits on Broadway.  As Valerie Stanton the elegantly skeletal Rosalind Russell excels in a role which requires light comedy and high drama (and that’s just the roles she occupies onstage). The always reliable father figure Leon Ames is in a different gear here as the threatening producer while the worldly Leo Genn enters stage right as an architect to woo the star:  this followed their successful pairing in the previous year’s Mourning Becomes Electra. Meanwhile, the marvellous Sidney Greenstreet enters stage left to investigate a murder that opens the story, permitting everyone to fulfil their preordained destinies. Claire Trevor does her suffering in some style while the brilliant Esther Howard plays a small role with typical bluster. The late 1940s produced some great claustrophobic films and this is one of them.

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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