The Velvet Touch (1948)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  13 July 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 556 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 8 critic

Broadway star Valerie Stanton, breaking up with her producer-lover Gordon Dunning, unintentionally kills him. In flashback, she recalls meeting new flame Michael Morrell, and Dunning's ... See full summary »


(as John Gage)


(screen play), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Valerie Stanton / Actress in 'Hedda Gabler': Hedda Gabler
Michael Morrell
Marian Webster
Captain Danbury
Gordon Dunning
Ernie Boyle
Walter Kingsford ...
Peter Gunther
Dan Tobin ...
Jeff Trent
Paul Banton
Nydia Westman ...
Susan Crane
Theresa Harris ...
Russell Hicks ...
Judge Brack / Actor in 'Hedda Gabler': Judge Brack
Irving Bacon ...
Esther Howard ...
Pansy Dupont
Harry Hayden ...
Mr. Crouch


Broadway star Valerie Stanton, breaking up with her producer-lover Gordon Dunning, unintentionally kills him. In flashback, she recalls meeting new flame Michael Morrell, and Dunning's machinations leading to the fatal argument. The next day, it appears that Valerie's former rival Marian Webster is the prime suspect. Or is suave police Captain Danbury just playing cat and mouse with her? Nicely catty dialogue. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 July 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Voz da Consciência  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 10, 1949 with Rosalind Russell and Sydney Greenstreet reprising their film roles. See more »


In scenes set in Sardi's restaurant, many of framed caricatures on wall are full-figure sketches; in reality, all of Sardi's famous caricatures are face-only portraits. See more »


Jeff Trent: I'll give you the lead in tomorrow's column.
Marian Webster: Thanks, I'll settle for a drink.
See more »


The Velvet Touch
by Mort Greene Leigh Harline
Sung behind credits by male chorus
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User Reviews

How are you going to buy off your conscience, Valerie?
2 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Undeservedly obscure, efficiently made little drama with a twist of noir thrown in. Told mostly in flashback after a tense opening this has a breezy charm in its first half that lessens as matters become more serious.

That's all to the good since the material is being handled by acting masters. The main quartet of players, Rosalind Russell, Claire Trevor, Sydney Greenstreet and Leon Ames, are great as a group and individually.

Ames has less screen time but makes the most of what he has. A gifted supporting actor who could play warm, understanding men, usually fathers and venal bastards with equal skill. He's the latter here and manages to not make him one note but there's no question he's a low deceitful man.

Sydney Greenstreet doesn't show up until almost the middle of the picture but he's absolutely terrific as the jovial police inspector. Bending his established screen persona slightly from ominous malevolence to convivial affability with a razor sharp perception laying underneath he and Rosalind do a fascinating dance of cat and mouse.

Now to the ladies, Rosalind taking a break from her customary comedies is properly anguished as the chic actress whose desperate act sets the film in motion. She's classy and able to handle both the lightness necessary at the beginning as well as the tension needed to sustain the mood of the story as it progresses.

Claire Trevor in a pivotal role gives one of her very best performances in a career full of them. She shades Marian with so many emotions, often within a single scene, she's riveting when on screen and you miss her when she's gone. She and Roz spark off each other and make their scenes crackle, the hospital scene positively seethes with loathing.

Injecting a note of much needed levity into the film is Dan Tobin as an acid tongued gossip columnist Jeff Trent, he's a delight whenever he pops in. The only real dud is Leo Genn as Roz's new paramour, a fine actor and he's not really bad but his part is a filler and up against such great actors working at top speed he slips into the woodwork.

Smoothly paced and directed in a straightforward manner by John Gage in his only theatrical feature. It's the great performances from Rosalind Russell, Claire Trevor and Sydney Greenstreet plus an enjoyable story with a great ending that makes this one well worth seeking out!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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