A Familiar Walk
Chris Hale (Joseph Cotten) arrives in Ashton where Corelli shoes is based and immediately starts charming people having said he had lived in the town when he was a child before running away. And people believe him from the widow who runs a boarding house in the home he says he grew up in to Elaine Corelli (Alida Valli) the crippled heiress to the shoe empire. But it seems that Chris may not be telling the truth as he is a con man and a crook who ends up going out of town to pull of one more robbery with his partner Whitey Lake (Paul Stewart). But when Whitey shows up in town in need of money he threatens to ruin things for Chris as those he robbed also track him down.
I am beginning to believe that I will never fully enjoy or appreciate what others see in older crime stories and it seems to take something really special to entertain me. Unfortunately "Walk Softly, Stranger" is not that special and it felt like a movie of basic elements mixed together in a completely typical manner. As such we have the conman trying to con his way in to a better life in the town of Ashton, falling for Elaine but with a relationship built on lies whilst always with his past just over his shadow. We also have an attractive woman as well as the mystery as to whether Chris is completely lying about his past.
The trouble is that it is all so regular from Cotten's performance to the camera work and for me I needed something more. Basically it makes "Walk Softly, Stranger" a blur which melts in to the collective of crime stories from the 1950s. Even the beautiful Alida Valli, who at the time of release was just using her surname, fails to make this any more attention grabbing or entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that "Walk Softly, Stranger" is just another 1950's crime story, almost noir but not quite there. My problem with "Walk Softly, Stranger" is not that it is bad but that every part of it is typical and so forgettable.