The Light Touch

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The Light Touch
Directed by Richard Brooks
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by Richard Brooks (screenplay)
Jed Harris (story)
Tom Reed (story)
Starring Stewart Granger
Pier Angeli
George Sanders
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Edited by George Boemler
Distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Release dates
  • January 16, 1952 (1952-01-16) (New York City)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,163,000[1]
Box office $1,281,000[1]

The Light Touch is a 1952 film starring Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli, and George Sanders, written and directed by Richard Brooks.


Art thief Sam Conride (Stewart Granger) steals a Renaissance-era painting on loan to an Italian museum by a Catholic church. He has been financed by his partner, Felix Guignol (George Sanders). Felix has an obsessed client named Aramescue (Kurt Kasznar) who has agreed to pay $100,000 for the artwork. However, Conride stages a boating accident on the way to the rendezvous in Tunis and tells Felix the painting has been destroyed in a fire.

Knowing that Sam is as unscrupulous and self-serving as he, Felix suspects otherwise. Nonetheless, he accepts Sam's suggestion that they create half a dozen forgeries to sell to unsuspecting art lovers. Felix recommends Anna Vasarri (Pier Angeli) as a painter good enough and poor enough to consider doing the work. When Sam approaches her, however, she is appalled and refuses, especially since the painting is believed by Catholics (and Aramescue) to work miracles. Felix tells Sam to get her to change her mind by romancing her. It works. She falls in love with him.

Meanwhile, Sam contacts R. F. Hawkley (Larry Keating), one of the few art fences capable of selling the famous painting. After his forgery expert, MacWade (Rhys Williams), confirms that the work is genuine, he agrees to pay $100,000. However, he does not have that much money with him, and Felix learns of their meeting.

Sam and Anna get married and travel to Italy for their honeymoon, financed by Felix. There, Anna learns by accident where her husband has hidden the real painting. Felix and his men watch and wait for Sam to meet Hawkley. On his own initiative, Charles (Mike Mazurki), one of Guignol's thugs, tries beating the information out of Anna, but she refuses to betray Sam.

Police officer Lt. Massiro tells her that if she knows where the real painting is, it must be returned, or he will arrest Sam. Anna asks for time to consider what to do. She then switches the painting with the fake that Sam had her create. When Sam shows Aramescu the painting, the man immediately spots it as a copy. Sam confronts Anna. When he discovers she has remained true to him despite being beaten, he comes to the realization she truly loves him, despite his many flaws, and that he loves her. Giving up, she reveals where the painting is hidden and leaves him.

Sam arranges for Massiro to arrest Felix and his men, though they have to be released when it is revealed that the painting they took from Sam is a forgery. However, this gives Sam the time he needs to return the work to its rightful place in the church. Anna returns to him as a result. As the couple walk away, arm in arm, Felix stops Charles from shooting his former partner.



According to MGM records the movie earned $438,000 in the US and Canada and $843,000 internationally, leading to a loss of $406,000.[1]

It recorded admissions of 10,277 in France.[2]


  1. ^ a b c 'The Eddie Mannix Ledger’, Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study, Los Angeles
  2. ^ Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story

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