Written by / 10/04/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

LANCE COMFORT'S 'THE PAINTED SMILE' WITH NANETTE NEWMAN

Nanette Newman in THE PAINTED SMILE Year: 1962 Rating: ***

Somewhat complicated British Neo Noir with two separate stories that eventually connect, connected to a murder that begins with a scheming couple who make their living taking a targeted man back home: a sultry blonde Liz Fraser does the rudimentary work while her partner Mark (Peter Reynolds), plays the angry jealous husband aka the badger game... 

But while Liz's Jo Lake arrives at a nightclub to find the right prey, back home Peter's killed by a brooding crippled psychopath played by Kenneth Griffith, usually cast as a wimp but not here... 

David Hemmings in THE PAINTED SMILE

And yet this isn't really his story, or even the first-billed Mrs. Fraser: instead, the young man she'd picked up before realizing her con-artist partner was dead, takes over the leading role...

Enter Tony Wickert as Tom, a plain college student who, celebrating at that nightclub, had just won a hundred bucks, loudly bragged upon by buddies including David Hemmings and Ray Smith, all picking up on three younger girls while a singer croons two spooky, reverberated songs... 

Liz Fraser in THE PAINTED SMILE

One that's also the film's title, THE PAINTED SMILE (aka MURDER CAN BE DEADLY), sustaining in the young man's head after he's accused of murdering the stiff lying-in-wait in the bad girl's apartment and then, in the usual Wrong Man fashion... and with tearful girlfriend Nanette Newman fretting on the sidelines... it's a race-against-time in yet another time-filler b-crime by veteran director Lance Comfort...  

Who should have spent more initial energy on the scheming couple before those poor kids got caught up in someone else's scheming ways that we never had time to relish, especially with such a potentially cunning femme fatale in the ultimately underused Liz Fraser.  

David Hemmings in THE PAINTED SMILE with David Hemmings and Tony Wickert
Ray Smith in THE PAINTED SMILE with Grazina Frame & Rosemary Chalmers
Liz Fraser in THE PAINTED SMILE
David Hemmings in THE PAINTED SMILE with Grazina Frame
Nanette Newman in THE PAINTED SMILE
David Hemmings in THE PAINTED SMILE
Liz Fraser in THE PAINTED SMILE
Liz Fraser in THE PAINTED SMILE
From THE PAINTED SMILE
Tony Wickert in THE PAINTED SMILE
Tony Wickert in THE PAINTED SMILE with Liz Fraser
Initial con-couple Peter Reynolds and Liz Fraser in THE PAINTED SMILE
Real killer KENNETH GRIFFITH in Lance Comfort's THE PAINTED SMILE

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