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The Velvet Touch (1948)

Unrated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 13 July 1948 (USA)
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
... Peter Gunther
... Jeff Trent
... Paul Banton
... Susan Crane
... Nancy
... Judge Brack / Actor in 'Hedda Gabler': Judge Brack
... Albert
... Pansy Dupont
... 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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"You can get away with anything if you've got it...Anything"


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 July 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Voz da Consciência  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the first films to mention the 'New Look', with which Dior had altered all of fashion the year before. As Valerie leaves the theater, an extra is heard to say, 'She's got the New Look, it sure suits her.' See more »


When the play Hedda Gabler is performed on stage, it ends without its famous last line: "People don't do such things." See more »


Marian Webster: The trouble with her is that she's here today and here tomorrow.
See more »


The Velvet Touch
Written by Mort Greene & Leigh Harline
[Title song sung by male chorus during opening title and credits]
See more »

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User Reviews

Great film. Must see for fans of witty dramas
29 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

THE VELVET TOUCH is a great witty drama about Valerie Stanton (Rosalind Russell), a Broadway actress living the high life who's wrought with guilt when she kills her lover/impresario Gordon (Leon Ames) after he threatened to end her career. We see the deadly confrontation at the beginning and thanks to some flashbacks we see how it all led to that moment and the rest of the film is spent on how Valerie deals with her guilt while the murder is being investigated. THE VELVET TOUCH is NOT a murder mystery because we see Valerie killing Gordon at the beginning. Sydney Greenstreet is the investigator involved in solving the crime. He's a big fan of Valerie and the story is about how privileged people living in a privileged world are treated somewhat differently in these circumstances than the average folk. Because it's not a standard murder mystery with the usual penchant for suspense, this story is much more complex and actually asks questions that standard mysteries or film noirs wouldn't ask, all with wit and intelligence. The McGuffin in THE VELVET TOUCH is Valerie's guilt: how can she live with herself? Will she ever tell that she's the killer? How will she tell? Who already knows she's the murderer and the fact that they don't care. Very interesting points rarely touched in films of those days or even today. The lack of focus on suspense is refreshingly original and sorta anti-Hitchcock.

The witty dialogue, certainly during the first hour, is some of the best writing I've ever heard in any film. It's positively brilliant and delivered to perfection by the stellar cast: Russell, Claire Trevor, Greenstreet and certainly Leo Genn all shine. Theresa Harris, as Valerie's dresser is also good in a supporting role. The ending is poignant without being sappy or melodramatic.

Aside from the script and the cast, there are two things that really standout in THE VELVET TOUCH: Rosalind Russell and the B&W cinematography. Rosalind looks amazing and underplays what could have been a role that could have easily fallen into melodramatic nonsense. Her confrontations with Claire Trevor are priceless. She's truly a star in this film and towers over so many other actresses of her time whom are more well-known than her.

And lastly, the black & white cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. The levels of black here are truly rich and well, velvety. It's a beautiful film to look at and makes me wish more B&W films were made today.

The only sour note in THE VELVET TOUCH is the theme song. It's all wrong. But that's just a minor point in an otherwise excellent production.

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