Glenn Ford and Janis Carter in “Framed”
After an August hiatus, Eddie Muller came back with Noir Alley on Sunday mornings on TCM. First up was “Framed,” a 1947 noir that starred Glenn Ford with Janis Carter as the femme fatale.
Ford played Mike Lambert, a mining engineer who had taken a temporary job driving a truck for a shady operator who didn’t bother to tell him that the truck had no brakes. He got in some trouble right at the beginning of the film over that, and he met Jeff Cunningham (Edgar Buchanan) and Paula Craig (Janis Carter) who both figure into the rest of the story, as does Barry Sullivan as Steve Price, the vice president of Empire Bank. Karen Morley had a little role as Steve’s rich wife, Beth. That was put in there just to show what a creep Steve is.
Mike Lambert was right to be suspicious of why a hottie like Paula would be washing glasses in La Paloma Cafe. She didn’t really like the work. She was scouting for a man who was about the same height and weight as her lover, Steve. Paula and Steve have a plan worked out to steal a huge sum from the bank and they need a stand-in to make it look like Steve died in a car crash. Jeff Cunningham, in the meantime, has hit a silver strike about 50 miles out of town and offers Lambert a job. Paula and Steve have to work fast to make sure this does not ruin their plans. The plans do get changed and it’s quite a Big Twist!
Glenn Ford was pretty cute in this, contrary to Eddie Muller’s opinion that he was an ordinary looking guy. His character wasn’t a natural born sucker, but an honest manly man with a few weaknesses, like being a blackout drinker! He just wanted a job in his own field.
According to Muller, Janis Carter was in a film called “Night Edition” the year before this, playing an outrageous bad girl and that’s what landed her this role. She is outrageous in this one, too. Outrageously beautiful and seductive. Interestingly, in the 1950s, Janis was a hostess on a quiz show called “Feather Your Nest” with Bud Collyer. I found that out when looking her up to see what other films she was in and I also found an episode of the quiz show. Check that out– it’s pretty cool!
Edgar Buchanan was in a bunch of other films with Glenn Ford besides this one, including “Texas” (1941), “The Desperadoes” (1943) and “Lust for Gold (1949). Buchanan is well-known as Uncle Joe on the 1960s TV series, “Petticoat Junction,” a role he also played on “Green Acres” and “The Beverly Hillbilles.” It’s lesser known that before he became an actor, Buchanan was a dentist and sometimes helped fellow actors with their dental emergencies, including Glenn Ford.
Watch “Framed” on TCM on Demand until September 10th.