Sunday, December 22, 2019
Merry CrimesMas: Mr. Soft Touch
He didn't wear a mask, everybody knew who he is, and now that he's lost the car full of gunmen he's got to find a place to lie low while he waits for his boat to Japan that leaves the next night - Christmas Eve.
His first idea is to get himself arrested and spend a night in jail surrounded by cops, but his attempt to take the fall for a wife beater (check out the domestic abuse yuks in this scene - they're a hoot) is thwarted by Jenny Jones a do-gooder social worker (Evelyn Keyes) who talks the judge into remanding the down on his luck working man into her custody instead.
Later revelations will illuminate exactly why it means so much to this street-wise, gambler, club-operator and battle-hardened soldier to see someone caring for these needy folks, but the audience soon learns why the movie is called Mr. Soft Touch because Joe begins trying to cover all the shelter's shortfalls through off-screen calling in of chits and twisting arms throughout the city's underworld.
Disaster is right around the corner though because the same presence that brought the presents also threatens the safety and well-being of everyone everywhere he goes. When the gangster discover Joe is hiding out it leads to a fire which destroys the shelter.
Holy crap, this feel good Christmas crime comedy ends abruptly and noirish as Joe dies in the street begging Jenny to haul him out of the gutter because he swore he wouldn't die there. She holds him and tells him he's not in the gutter, which is a lie, but at least he's not alone.