6.6/10
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Walk Softly, Stranger (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Drama | 14 October 1950 (USA)
An ex-hood hopes to start a new life under an assumed name in a small town but his past catches up with him when an old crime-buddy asks him to help with a casino heist.

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Writers:

(screen play), (based on a story by) (as Manny Seff) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Chris Hale aka Steve
...
Elaine Corelli (as Valli)
...
Mrs. Brentman
...
Whitey Lake
...
...
Gwen
...
Morgan
Howard Petrie ...
Bowen
...
A.J. Corelli
...
Miss Thompson
...
Mabel
Robert Ellis ...
Skating Boy
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Storyline

A charming, smooth-talking gambler calling himself Chris Hale arrives in Ashton, home of the Corelli shoe factory. Claiming to have lived there as a boy, he soon ingratiates himself with the townspeople... including attractive heiress Elaine Corelli, wheelchair-bound since a recent accident. Chris, hoping to leave crime behind, seems to have excellent prospects; but of course, his past catches up with him... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His dark past rolled in like a black fog. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Weep No More  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Completed in 1948, copyrighted in 1949, but not released until 1950. See more »

Quotes

Bowen: Why don't you sit down?
Chris Hale: I wouldn't sit on your death bed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: Jack Paar: 'As I Was Saying...' (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You Are Now Entering The Little Big City. Ashton.
18 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Walk Softly, Stranger is directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Frank Fenton. It stars Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Spring Byington, Paul Stewart and Jack Paar. Music is by Frederick Hollander and cinematography by Harry J. Wild.

Chris Hale (Cotton) arrives in Ashton, Ohio, with manipulation and a robbery on his mind. But when he meets wheelchair bound Elaine Corelli (Valli), it alters the course of his future plans…

It's the other Cotton and Valli movie, the one that isn't The Third Man. It's also the movie hat marked the wind of change at RKO as Howard Hughes breezed into the studio and promptly set about putting his own stamp on things, badly as it happens. Walk Softly, Stranger on the shelf for two years and subsequently got released in 1950, no doubt due in part to the success of The Third Man the year previously.

It's a strange blend of romantic melodrama – cum thriller – with some film noir edginess, something which doesn't all together work. It's very slowly paced and settles into a mood approaching disquiet, a femme fatale of sorts is nicely set up, and the whole "just one last job" vibe keeps interest in the story high. Acting from Cotton and Valli is strong, Paul Stewart is as usual good value when playing a twitchy loser bad guy type, and Byington almost steals the film from the leads with an ebullient show as the widow Brentman.

Unfortunately, come the final third the picture fails to deliver on its moody promise, choosing instead to rely on one action set-piece and a waft of optimism for pic's closure. It's not the pay off required or hoped for, a shame because as a production in general it's of good quality. 6/10


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