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[...] Framed recounts the gripping saga of Ron Lewis (Joe Don Baker) a beefy, semi-amiable (albeit semi-smarmy) gambler and club owner who arrives home with a satchel-full of cash he s just won in Vegas. His lover and partner in the club, platinum ice-queen country singer Susan Barrett (frosty, sexy Connie Van Dyke) begs him to stop gambling and quit while he s ahead. If he did, there d be no movie. Instead, beefy-boy takes his satchel and enters a high-stakes poker game and cleans up even bigger.
On his way home, someone tries shooting at him and when he pulls into his garage a redneck deputy harasses him. A brutal fight ensues (with eye-gouging yeah!) and the lawman dies, whilst our hero, a mangled heap o beef, slips into a coma. Ron wakes up to find that he needs to plea-bargain his way out of a sticky situation wherein he faces life imprisonment for murder. He also discovers that his money has been stolen and that he s been set-up big-time. (Granted, he DID actually kill the redneck lawman, but it was in self-defense.) Ron s ice queen is roughed-up and raped by some bad guys and soon, our hero is sent up the river to a maximum-security prison.
Luckily, once he s firmly ensconced in the Big House, he hooks up with a friendly hitman (former Bowery Boy I kid you not Gabriel Dell) and an equally amiable mob boss (John Marley the producer in The Godfather who wakes up to find a horse s head in his bed). Time passes with relative ease, and soon, our beefy hero with a little help from his new prison pals is on the loose and on a rampage o sweet, sweet revenge.
Loaded with violence and plenty of dark, seedy characters and locales (and a few welcome dollops of humour), Framed is a nasty, fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining crime picture. Joe Don Baker is a suitably fleshy hero and Gabriel Dell a perfect smart-ass sidekick. What s especially cool about the movie is just how amoral a world ALL the characters move in and frankly, how their shades of grey don t actually confuse things, but work beautifully with the noir trappings of the story and style.
Framed, by the way, is a picture I had not seen since I saw it on a big screen as a teenager. I even remember seeing it with my ex-cop Dad. We both loved it and I always had fond memories of it. Alas, it was one of those movies that I wanted to see again, but it had been out of circulation for so long that I suspected I might never see it.
Now, thanks to Legend Films, Framed is finally available. While it is yet another barebones DVD release from Legend and one can lament the lack of extra features, it s becoming plainly clear that this is a company with more taste and savvy than the studio it is leasing product from.
Framed is the second Paramount Picture I have seen on DVD (the first being the magnificent Mandingo) to come from Legend. I can hardly wait to see more. Some of the more interesting titles Paramount made in the 70s are finally getting their due thanks, of course, not to Paramount, but to Legend.
Interestingly enough, I recall seeing Framed on the same picture-palace screen I eventually saw Mandingo on.
Do wonders never cease?
No, they don t. Framed also features a nude shower scene with Joe Don Baker.
Get thee to a video store, damn you! --Greg Klymkiw of DailyFilmDose.com
DVD Event of the Week: Is it the Criterion Collection edition of Paul Schrader's Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)? Is it Lionsgate's release of the complete first season of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner's acclaimed AMC series about martini-swilling ad execs of the early 60s? Could be, could be, but since neither of those showed up for review at Casa Simels, I really couldn't say. Which means that my vote goes to something on (presumably) a slightly less rarified esthetic level which did -- the first ever DVD release of Framed, a quite astonishing late (1974) film-noir directed by prolific genre auteur Phil Karlson and starring definitive 70s [...] tough guy anti-hero Joe Don Baker.
From Legend's synopsis:
From the makers of Walking Tall comes the ultimate story of revenge. Joe Don Baker plays a gambler who is framed for a crime he did not commit. A corrupt legal system leads him into a plea bargain and four years behind bars. By the time he gets out of prison, he's determined to put together the pieces of his frame-up and dole out the justice he was denied to those responsible. Framed comes out swinging with two-fisted action that will have you cheering as some of cinema's most loathsome villains get what's coming to them.
That pretty much sums it up, and we can only add that Baker's (still) startlingly violent revenge is served up with the help of Gabe Dell, one of the original Bowery Boys, that Legend's widescreen transfer is razor sharp, and that the unkempt star -- then only a year away from his career defining turn in Mitchell (memorably skewered on a classic Mystery Science Theater 3000) -- delivers the great noir line Somebody I don t know took everything I had away from me...and I m going to make him pay. Double. with such panache that you're going to need to order the DVD immediately. [...] --Steve Simels of It's The Steve Simels Show Blog
Top Customer Reviews
This looks to be Karlson's last movie; if you've seen some of his earlier noirish epics (like Kansas City Confidential and Phenix City Story), you'll know what to expect. This is a GREAT unsung little film.
Also try and watch HELL TO ETERNTY which is as serious and indictment of the Japanese Interment Camps and the war as exists. Phil Karlson was one underrated and ahead of his time director.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Badass 70's revenge movie. I put it up there with White Lightning.Published 7 months ago by Vincent
This movie is no Walking Tall, but has one of the top ten fights ever filmed for a movie.Published 17 months ago by Russel Duke Elsea
ONCE IN AWHILE A MOVIE COMES ALONG WITH VIOLENCE YOU CAN ENJOY LIKE CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIES (NOT ALL) AND THAN THERE ARE WESTERN VIOLENCE; THE GREATEST WAS "THE WILD BUNCH. Read morePublished on May 17, 2014 by Louie the Lip
It's a very good movie, and Joe Don Baker is one of my favorite actors. There's a lot of good action in this movie.Published on April 3, 2014 by peggy e ball
I love Joe Don baker.he's a good actor
and I love all his movies walking tall was good too.he also played in the heat of the night with carroll o'conner.
I worked in a first-run movie theater from 1974 to 1977, and, out of all the movies I have seen before or since, "Framed" is the absolute worst. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Moviemanforever
I wanted Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker but this is what I got. It,s not the Walking Tall I thought it was.Published on September 3, 2013 by denomom
This is a great movie. Good quality. It was filmed in Nashville, TN. My motherinlaw had a small part as a waitress in the movie. MaryPublished on July 18, 2013 by Mary Ruth Saunders