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The Velvet Touch is a 1948 American film noir drama directed by Jack Gage and starring Rosalind Russell, Leon Ames, Leo Genn and Claire Trevor.[2]

The Velvet Touch
Velvet touch poster 1948.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJack Gage
Produced byFrederick Brisson
Screenplay byLeo Rosten
William Mercer
Story byAnnabel Ross
StarringRosalind Russell
Leon Ames
Leo Genn
Claire Trevor
Music byLeigh Harline
CinematographyJoseph Walker
Edited byRoland Gross
Chandler House
Distributed byRKO Pictures
Release date
  • August 25, 1948 (1948-08-25) (US)[1]
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States



Broadway leading lady Valerie Stanton (Russell), accidentally kills her producer and former lover, Gordon Dunning (Ames), during an argument about the direction her career should take. He expects her to sign for his next production, a typical frothy comedy for which he is known, whereas she wants to star in a revival of Hedda Gabler to prove her versatility as an actress.

Other characters involved in the plot are Michael Morrell (Genn), Valerie's new beau; supporting actress Marian Webster (Trevor), who is accused of committing Valerie's crime; and police Capt. Danbury (Greenstreet), who may know more than he is willing to disclose.



Film critic Bosley Crowther thought the plot and its conclusion was too obvious. He wrote, "Since the murder is prefatory business in this new film which came to the Rivoli yesterday, we are telling no more than you'll witness two minutes after the picture begins. The rest is a long and tortuous survey of Miss Russell's efforts to elude discovery as the rather obvious murderess and get on with her promising career . . . This foregone conclusion of the story is only one of the film's weaknesses. The muddiness of the character played by Miss Russell is another one. The role was so randomly written by Leo Rosten that one finds it hard to see any solid personality or consistency in the dame."[3]

Film critic Dennis Schwartz praised the production and called the film "A sparkling crime melodrama richly steeped in theatrical atmosphere." In addition he wrote, "In this solid production, the tension is kept up until the final curtain call as to whether Russell will confess, get caught, or get away with the crime of passion."[4]


  1. ^ "The Velvet Touch: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  2. ^ The Velvet Touch at the TCM Movie Database.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, August 26, 1948. Accessed: August 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, May 4, 2002. Accessed: August 14, 2013.

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