Friday, December 27, 2013

The Light Touch (1952)

Director: Richard Brooks

Writers: Richard Brooks, Jed Harris, Tom Reed

Composer: Miklos Rozsa

Starring: Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli, George Sanders, Kurt Kasznar, Joseph Calleia, Larry Keating, Rhys Williams, Norman Lloyd, Mike Mazurki, Ben Astar, Hans Conried

More info: IMDb

Tagline: If she knew what he was, she'd never give him her youth and innocence!

Plot: Sam and Felix are art thieves. Sam has just stolen a picture from a museum in Italy, but told Felix that it was lost in a boat accident. He wants copies made to sell while he will sell the original and get paid both ways. To find an artist, they pick the young, beautiful, naive Anna. When Anna has doubts, Sam strings her along and then marries her and go to Sicily on their honeymoon. Anna finds out that Sam is a thief and is very disappointed. Felix finds out that Sam has the original and is out to get it. The police are also waiting along with the buyer that Sam has for the painting.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I like Stewart Granger but I'm discovering with each of his pictures that maybe he was just an average actor that got big roles. SCARAMOUCHE (1952) is one of my favorite movies and it might be his finest moment.  He excels playing roles where he's carefree and smiles a lot.  But when he isn't, he can be awfully dull and average.  I hate saying that because I like the guy but this picture illustrates my point.  When he's smiling, he's delightful and when he's not, he's rather flat in much of his screen time with Pier Angeli (playing Anna). The role of Felix feels better suited to Cary Grant's talents than Granger. George Sanders (as Felix), on the other hand, is delightful as much as a cad can be.  He's one harsh cat.  Watching Felix and Sam (Granger) spar with each other is fun but I find myself rooting for Felix except that he's a bastard and I'd kind of like to see the 'happy' Sam win.  The film itself isn't bad but it's not exactly a fun romp in Italy, stealing art.  Shooting this in Rome is a big plus as is having a fun score by Miklos Rozsa, one of the greats. Even though this picture was a bit disappointing, I still won't pass up an opportunity to miss anything with Granger or Sanders.

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