Framed (1947 )

Directed by Richard Wallace

Framed is a 1947 American film noir directed by Richard Wallace and featuring Glenn Ford, Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan and Edgar Buchanan. The B movie is generally praised by critics as an effective crime thriller despite its low budget

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Plot

Mike Lambert takes to driving a truck when he falls on hard times. When the brakes stop working while driving through a small town, he runs into the car of Jeff Cunningham and is arrested. A total stranger, barmaid Paula Craig (Janis Carter), pays his bail, and Mike is quickly drawn into a criminal plot devised by the seductive femme fatale.

Paula talks a married man, Steve, into robbing the bank that he manages. The two then drug Mike, intending to frame him for the crime. Paula proceeds to kill Steve and take all of the stolen cash. She is able to convince Mike that he is the one who killed Steve in a drunken rage and that she has covered up for him, thereby implicating herself. She begs him to run away with her. Mike considers her offer until he learns that Jeff, who has become a friend, has been accused of the killing—and that Paula intends to pin the robbery that Steve committed on Jeff to give the police a fall guy for the crime.

Paula is tricked by Mike into opening a safe-deposit box where the stolen money is, and the police quickly place her under arrest.

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Neglected little gem showcases Janis Carter as femme fatale

13 August 2001 | by bmacv (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Janis Carter boasted a largely undistinguished filmography from the 1940s but she deserved (as so many of her female peers from this era did) better parts and greater exposure. As the scheming and duplicitous Paula Craig, she personifies the cool blonde bombshell (while her line readings are a wee bit stilted, her body language is instinctive and sensational). She’s the spider into whose web drifts Glenn Ford, an out-of-work mining engineer with a bit of an alcohol problem who’s looking for a break. Meanwhile, Carter’s on the lookout for her embezzling boyfriend’s lookalike, to furnish a warm body to provide a charred corpse. This is James M. Cain territory, and, though we’ve been through it with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray and with Lana Turner and John Garfield, this effort by Carter and Ford deserves more prominence; its writing, direction and cinematography are all well above average. One unique moment: a banner head in the local newspaper lets us know that one of the characters has been charged with murder, but just below it, in the mock-up, is the smaller headline “Meteorite lands near baby.” I think they made that movie, too, about 10 years later.

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Glenn Ford,  Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan

Nobody Ever Got The Better of Glenn Ford

7/10
Author: David (Handlinghandel) from NY, NY
24 January 2007

I can’t think of a movie in which he lost out, anyway.

Here he is a drifter who falls in with a treacherous woman. Initially, he offered work by her romantic interest, the king of film noir, Barry Sullivan. Someone once asked what movie star I felt I identified with most and it was Sullivan. The guy never gave a bad performance.

His girl here is played by Janis Carter. Her biography says that she was a hit in musicals on Broadway. I can see that. She has a boyishly cute look. (Ann Savage is hard to imagine in a musical. But look at Constance Towers, so fine in two Samuel Fuller movies and a Broadway darling.) Carter plays one evil woman! Wow, I would keep my distance from her! She’s a waitress at a place called La Paloma when Ford meets her by she has high ambitions.

Edgar Buchanan is exceptionally touching as the miner who’s willing to give engineer Ford a job. We can see he’s kind of a loser but he is a very decent guy.

This is a tough little film. I recommend it highly.

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A down and out man is set up to take a fall

28 January 2007 | by blanche-2 (United States) – See all my reviews

Glenn Ford is Mike Lambert in “Framed,” a 1947 noir also starring Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan, and Edgar Buchanan. Ford plays a man who takes a job driving a truck that ends up having no brakes. Once at his destination, he enters a bar/restaurant called La Paloma and comes to the attention of waitress Paula Lambert (Carter) – and vice versa. Turns out she’s been waiting for someone like Ford to come along. Well, hasn’t every woman? Paula and her boyfriend, Steven Price, need someone to be identified as Price in a car accident/explosion so that she and Price can take off with the $250,000 Price has embezzled from his bank. Unfortunately for them, they’re pretty sophomoric, and Mike gets suspicious.

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I can’t share the deep thrill others have expressed about this film, though I love Glenn Ford’s combination of gentleness, toughness, and sexiness. He had really just hit big stardom around the time of this film. As beautiful, slender and accomplished a Broadway performer as Janis Carter was, I thought her acting was – well, awful is the only word for it. This is a Lizabeth Scott/Ann Sheridan type of role – smoky, mysterious, ambiguous as to motive. Carter had none of these shadings, offering instead wooden line delivery with nothing going on underneath. A better actress would have made this a much stronger film.

The plot (to me anyway) was very predictable, in part due to the casting. As for the denouement, there was no explanation as to how it all came together, i.e., there were holes.

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Ford and Edgar Buchanan, who plays a miner hoping to get a loan from Barry Sullivan’s bank, are very good in their roles. Sullivan is fine, but he has a non-showy part. A stronger female lead and a little more developed script at the end would have helped “Framed” immensely.

Carter Showcase

7/10
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
20 August 2009

What an opening! Mike’s truck goes careening down a mountain road before pinballing through town. It’s not only a riveting effect, but establishes Mike (Ford) as an honest workingman when he turns over his proceeds to the injured Jeff (Buchanan). Too bad he meets up with spider woman Paula (Carter) who spins a greedy web around the well- meaning patsy. As Paula, Carter is a powerful presence. She’s got a way of acting that shows a lot of eyeball that’s kind of scary. Actually, I think she’s too strong, making her switch to the laid-back Mike not very believable. Their chemistry never really gels the way Paula’s does with Steve (Sullivan). Unfortunately, that’s a lack that undercuts the script’s central twist.

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Still, it’s a solid noir thanks to the classic elements of the screenplay. Ford makes an interesting low-key fall guy. Not too many mining engineers turn up in noir, which I guess accounts for his occasional spiffy suits that look more like uptown Manhattan than temporary truck driver. Still, he’s basically the classic working stiff looking for a job. Too bad he sees Paula’s well-turned ankle first. Anyway, director Wallace films in journeyman style, except for that one inspired moment after the crash when Paula does a sharp gasping intake. It’s a brief cameo shot whose only purpose is to connect Paula’s sexuality with violence. For 1947, that’s daring and Carter brings it off memorably. I guess it just goes to show how less can imply so much more in the imagination—a lesson contemporary film seems to have forgotten.

The movie may not be front rank noir, but it does have its moments.

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