LAST NIGHT - CLASSIC MOVIES
MR SOFT TOUCH
WeReturning from WW II, gambler Joe Miracle (Glenn Ford) discovers that his partner is dead, his gaming house has been sold, and his fortune has been claimed by others. Forced to steal back money which is rightfully his, Joe takes refuge in a settlement house run by social worker Jenny Jones (Evelyn Keyes). The girl hopes to reform Joe; he plays along, intending to skedaddle when the heat is off.
Not unexpectedly, Joe begins to mellow as he learns the satisfaction of doing good for others. Meanwhile, investigative reporter "Early" Byrd (John Ireland) bides his time, hoping to expose Joe as a wanted fugitive and thus attain a big scoop. Two directors were credited for Mr. Soft Touch, though it's hard to discern where one ended and the other began. The film was released in England as House of Settlement.
Orson Welles considered The Trial one of his finest films. The plot is simple: Police arrest bank clerk Joseph K (Anthony Perkins) but refuse to tell him why. Perkins plays Joseph K, a man condemned for an unnamed crime in an unnamed country. Seeking justice, Joseph K is sucked into a labyrinth of bureaucracy (Welles once described the character as being a "little bureaucrat" himself, who deserves to be punished). Along the way, he becomes involved with three women -- Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli -- who in their own individual ways are functions of the System that persecutes him.
Perkins exhibits the right mix of confusion, vulnerability, and rebellion to present his character as a hapless victim. Because the film sometimes looks more like a Dali painting than a motion picture, many critics dismissed it as trumpery after it debuted. Decades later, however, some critics took a second look at it, concluding that it was a work of genius.