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Just before Christmas, Joe Miracle, a returning WWII war hero, comes home to learn that gangster Barney Teener has taken over his nightclub and murdered Joe's partner. Joe loots the club's safe for $100,000 and then finds sanctuary in a settlement house ran by Jenny Jones. Mistaking him for a down-and-out musician, she helps him understand the importance of her work. "Early" Byrd, a newspaper columnist, learns Joe's true identity and writes a column that puts Barney on his trail. The gangsters recover the money, after setting fire to the settlement house, but Joe steals it again, and returns to the gutted welfare house disguised as Santa Claus, and gives the money to Jenny to rebuild. There, Tenner and his gang catch up to Joe. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not bad, but too heavy on the schmaltz to be anything more than a time-passer
"Mr. Soft Touch" is an odd sort of film. It's like merging a film noir movie with a schmaltzy family film--and the results are far from great. Now I am not saying it's a bad picture--but it could have easily been a lot better--mostly because of its saccharine script.
The film begins with Glenn Ford on the run. It seems he held up a nightclub and stole $100,000. But was it exactly stealing? It seems that the club had belonged to Ford but while he was off fighting in the war, it was stolen out from under him. So, the money is just payback for what was rightfully his--at least in his mind. The problem is that the mobsters who now run the place are not about to let him get away with it...and Ford needs to get out of the country ASAP.
Now here is where it gets bizarre. His boat doesn't leave for a day so Ford tries to get himself locked up for the night--as he figures at least he'll be safe. But a do-gooder social worker feels sorry for him and gets the police to agree to release him to her program--something Ford really doesn't want. And, after a while, Ford's tough-guy persona is slowly eroded as he starts to think of others and care about the people in this Salvation Army-like setting. What's next? Well, it is predictable but a bit ridiculous--so watch it if you are really, really curious. I wouldn't.
Ford's character is a bizarre enigma. He's supposed to be tough and nasty--and he's good at that. But later, he's supposed to be a softy--and this just never range true. Nor, for that matter, did the script.
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