My sweet mother-in-law loves all things techy and loves gadgets. I really think my husband and his brother inherited their engineering skills from her! A couple years ago, when ipads were brand new products on the American market, she bought one. Jumping ahead to a year ago, she had decided that she didn’t really use the ipad much and gave it to our family, as we didn’t have one, and she knew our 5 kids still at home would use it. Jump ahead to 4 months ago, and the ipad is mostly used by me, as a tv. When I am cleaning up the kitchen, I grab the ipad and tune in to Youtube and watch episodes of Have Gun Will Travel-all 6 seasons have been nicely posted there and the family has grown accustomed to the show’s opening music and the ending song, about Paladin, where will you roam?
A week ago, one of my twin daughter’s was chastizing me about all of the movies I placed on our dvr list via TCM. She suggested I look for some of them on Youtube and watch them on the ipad. I thought about her suggestion and decided to do that, cleaning up the dvr list in the process. One classic film on Youtube that I stumbled upon by accident, was a tight little film noir, with a good cast, 1947’s Framed.
Noir’s are usually set in dark cities, back alleys, and smoke-filled rooms. Not Framed-it’s set in the post-WWII sundrenched Southwestern US. Glenn Ford stars as Mike Lambert, a down on his luck GI, who has recently graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering, but hasn’t had success in finding that first engineering job. He has been working as an over the road truck driver and when he’s got enough money saved up, he’ll begin searching for that engineering job.
When the truck Mike is driving brakes fail, he accidentally hits a car owned by Jeff Cunnignham(the always great Edgar Buchanan) a local miner trying to find that mother lode. The cops arrest Mike as he’s forgotten to have his driver’s license in his wallet or in the truck, and it’s off to jail he goes. A very attractive barmaid, Paula Craig(Janis Carter) pays the fine to get Mike out of jail. He wonders why, but we soon find out…she and her married banker boyfriend(Barry Sullivan) have a criminal plot lined up and all they needed was a foil to make the plan work. Run, Mike, run!!!!!
I was very unfamiliar with Janis Carter. A beautiful blonde, she is great in this role as the duplicitous Paula-a femme fatale up there with the best of them. I could see her battle with Bette Davis’s femme fatale in The Letter, and Janis would probably win! She is good at playing coy with Ford’s Mike, demanding with Sullivan’s Steve, the bank manager, managing to keep her affair with Steve on the downlow which if you’ve ever lived in a small town is pretty near impossible. She’s also excellent at putting on the charm, which helps her get what she wants all the time. I could easily see her throwing both Steve and Mike off a cliff to get the money and just fly off into the sunset.
Ford is good as the innocent Mike. I don’t mean innocent in that his character is naive, but innocent as he doesn’t know about the crime Paula and Steve are plotting to commit. He does start to figure something isn’t on the up and up with those two, especially when his new friend, miner Jeff, gets framed for a murder. Mike knows Jeff is being framed and he sets out to find the real killer.
Barry Sullivan is really young in this movie-I mainly know him from his tv roles which he played when he was a senior citizen. He’s good in a smallish part, and I loved the scene where his wife, suspecting the affair, slaps him a good one across the face. You rock, Mrs. Price!!! (Mrs. Price was played by Karen Morley.)
If you want to experience a fast-paced film noir, with a good plot, good acting, and not a bad video transfer onto Youtube, seek out 1947’s Framed. Distributed by Columbia Pictures. Directed by Richard Wallace. Screenplay by Ben Maddow and John Patrick, from a story by John Patrick. Cinematography by Burnett Guffey. Interestingly, this film came out after Ford’s starring in Gilda, with Rita Hayworth. So, Columbia, trying to cash in on Ford via Gilda, for Framed’s movie posters and ads, pretty much all show Ford gripping Carter to show he’s in control of this woman. However, when one watches Framed, it’s pretty much Carter’s character controlling Ford’s character up to the midpoint of the film. Movie posters can be very misleading!!