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22 user 14 critic

Walk Softly, Stranger (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 November 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.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
Joseph Cotten ... Chris Hale aka Steve
Alida Valli ... Elaine Corelli (as Valli)
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Brentman
Paul Stewart ... Whitey Lake
Jack Paar ... Ray Healy
Jeff Donnell ... Gwen
John McIntire ... Morgan
Howard Petrie ... Bowen
Frank Puglia ... A.J. Corelli
Esther Dale ... Miss Thompson
Marlo Dwyer ... 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:

A Strange Lie! A Strange Love! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Weep No More See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film bombed at the box office, resulting in a loss to RKO of $775,000 according to studio records, making it one of the biggest flops of the year. 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

 
Decent noir cops out at end.
20 May 2009 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

On the run gambler, con man Chris Hale Joseph Cotton inveigles his way into a small All- American town to lie low for awhile. He charms his way into the good graces of locals and begins a relationship with a local shoe titan's wheel chair bound daughter (Valli). While he envisions starting anew in this town he can't resist making one more big score by ripping off a vicious thug. The theft is cleanly pulled off and Hale disappears back to his small community where he has assumed another identity. Unfortunately his unstable partner in the robbery tracks him down and from here things begin to unravel.

Fresh from their Third Man pairing Joseph Cotton and Valli made this stylish little noir that at times evokes masterworks of the genre such as Shadow of a Doubt and Out of the Past. It has some tightly edited and well filmed suspenseful moments and Cotton as always gives a strong understated performance. Valli on the other hand is still in her post war Vienna funk so enigmatic in Third Man but dull and lifeless here. Upbeat Spring Byington and especially surly and troubled Paul Stewart provide effective opposite examples of the human condition that pull at Hale's conscience.

Unfortunately in it's final scene, Walk Softly Stranger takes advice from its title and signs off with a mawkish tacked on ending that obliterates the impact of the previous scene which is infinitely more compatible to the overall doomed mood of story and character.


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