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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>
Two directors, a mix of noir and comedy - someone changed his mind...
A war hero returns from the service and winds up stealing his own money back from the mob in "Mr. Soft Touch," a 1949 film starring Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes, John Ireland, and Ted de Corsa.
Ford plays Joe Miracle (shortened from his Polish name) who comes home before Christmas and finds out his partner in a club has been murdered by the mob, and the mob has taken his money. Joe retaliates by breaking into the club and stealing $100,000 from the safe. With everyone looking for him, Joe has a friend buy him a ticket to Japan, but the ticket is for a later date. So he takes off and enters a settlement house run by Jenny Jones (Evelyn Keyes). Jenny thinks Joe is a musician down on his luck. Meanwhile, a newspaper columnist who knows what happened wants Joe's story and is trying to track him down. In writing about Joe, the mob picks up his trail.
Given the cast, Mr. Soft Touch was obviously intended to be a noir but turns into kind of a Christmas romance with comic aspects. For some reason it failed to hold my interest, even though I love Glenn Ford. The acting was good all around, but I preferred the beginning noir and wish it had stayed on that route. The original director was replaced, possibly to change the direction of the movie.
Someone on this board mentioned that John Garfield would have been better in this role. He would have been very good as he always was, but he and Ford were different kinds of types and actors. Garfield looked and acted tough, and Glenn Ford was Everyman. I think his casting in this is the better choice. Joe is a likable, nice guy who was ripped off by the mob while he was off serving his country. Glenn Ford didn't have Garfield's range, but in the right role, he was very effective. And, I might add, easy on the eyes.
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