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Framed

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the makers of the highly successful Walking Tall comes the ultimate story of revenge. Joe Don Baker (Lewis) 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 Lewis 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.

Review

[...] One picture from the 70s that could also fit the noir tradition permeating that oh-so-rich-and-groovy decade of dissent is one that has largely been forgotten. Since it was neither a hit, nor critically regarded in its year of release, Phil Karlson s grim, violent crime melodrama Framed is a movie that s long overdue for discovery, or, if you will, re-discovery.

[...] 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


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Don Baker, Conny Van Dyke, Gabriel Dell
  • Directors: Phil Karlson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Legend Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DEIOP0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,798 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Framed" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"Framed" (1975) was legendary film noir director Phil Karlson's first film after the gargantuan success of his 1973 biopic of Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser, "Walking Tall." In "Framed", Karlson continues the theme of revenge which has dominated his body of work since the early 1950's. His masterpieces include "Scandal Sheet" (1952), "Kansas City Confidential" (1953) and, of course, "The Phenix City Story" (1955). "Phenix City" is a fact based biopic, along the lines of "Walking Tall," about the murder of the Attorney General Elect of the State of Alabama. Long considered Karlson's greatest achievement, it was made prior to the sentencing of those involved in the Attorney General's murder, and greatly affected the outcome of their trial. "Framed," compares well to Karlson's best works. Karlson always worked on a limited budget. Like Samuel Fuller and Don Siegel, Karlson was a talented and resourceful filmmaker whose films are often more than they seem. On the surface, Karlson's films appear to be violent exploitation pieces. But, they are much more. Each of Karlson's efforts, particularly the ones mentioned here, are morality plays. Their protaganist is usually a morally just man who wanders too close to immorality, and pays a price. Gambling is often featured as the tempting vice in Karlson's films and "Framed" is no exception. Joe Don Baker (who shot to stardom with "Walking Tall" after several successful supporting roles, and who became the first actor to receive $1 million dollars for a television series - "Eischied") stars here as a small time gambler who owns a bar with his girlfriend, Connie Smith.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Baker battles corruption yet again in this worthy follow-up to Walking Tall. All the elements for a classic 70's redneck revenge picture are here: corrupt cops, sicko henchmen, unlikely allies (including Gabe Dell and Brock Peters) and a long-suffering faithful girlfriend (Connie Van Dyke). Joe Don plays Lewis, a bar-owner and gambler who (wait for it) gets framed and is sent to the big house. Befriended by a mobster (John Marley!), Lewis gets enough info and ammo to go after those who took almost everything from him. The violence is brutal and the revenge is quite sweet.
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.
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As tough a film noir specialist as he was in the 50's...Karlson ignored this part of his MOVIESELF in the early 60's in search of more mainstream success which eluded him. UNTIL WALKING TALL. That film is rough and pretty brutally violent too, but THIS PHIL's swan song is even more violent and even more resonant. The story which is film noir cookie cutter, becomes much more through Karlson's direction and the the screen play (again by Mort Briskin who wrote WALKING TALL) into an indictment of the entire criminal justice system, all politicians, the sadistic prisons, the twisted legal/political entwining which DOES INDEED make the justification the film patent. A late masterpiece from a sorely under-rated director who influenced QUENTIN TARANTINO (RESERVOIR DOGS...SEE THE "EAR SCENE" IN FRAMED w/ cast OUT-OF-CHARACTER PAUL MANTEE {Robinson Crusoe On Mars}) and probably every Italian director of crime thrillers at the time too. Great performances from ALL in this cast. Especially surprised to see WALTER BROOKE (the religious fanatic in WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE as a cowering and cowardly Senator under black mail by Baker's character). BUT former Dead End/East Side Kid GABRIEL DELL IS AMAZINGLY sardonic and terrifyingly cold hit man. Look also for Elvis "MEMPHIS MAFIA" bodyguard turned backstabber RED "Sonny" WEST as a prison guard. And ADD Brock Peters' helpful COP and John Marley's great prison MOB BOSS! WHATTA GREAT MOVIE!

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Joe Don Baker returns to the South to kick more small-town corruption in the ass, gets beat up a few times, breaks a few heads, shoots a few bad guys, and opts in the end to be a stand-up guy, though he requires assistance from a friendly hit man and a mob boss. Despite the efforts of director Phil Karlson, who directed Baker in "Walking Tall" (not to mention the similarly themed "The Phenix City Story" back in the 1950s), "Framed" can't live up to the novelty, moral force and forward thrust of that 1974 breakthrough film.
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You don't have to believe in conspiracies to know that this could really happen. I've seen few movies more down and dirty than this one. Believing bar owner/gambler Ron Lewis (Baker) has witnessed something he shouldn't have, a corrupt politition sends him to prison and steals a big bag of his money for killing a police man/assassin who attacks him in his garage (a wild gruntin', snarlin', bloody brawl). When released, Lewis wastes no time with his one man vendetta as he plans his own personal war! Coinciding with his release from prison, the town sees a sharp rise in crime with a series of open and shut cases of self defense all having one thing in common, Ron Lewis. Unable to prove that the incidents are anything but self defense, we get some unexpected comedy in the police chief's frustration and his dwindling stable of thugs either dead or in the hospital trying for disability. The cops keep harrassing him, but along with some mafia help (John Marley) he seeks payback and is willing to kill everyone involved if he has to! Baker is out of control as he treats some sadistic rednecks to his own version of Guantanimo! You wouldn't want to be standing in the guy's bellbottoms that receives a special delivery from Baker's size twelves! Joe Don gives a brutal performance and tears up the screen with his charisma! A great film up there with the original walking tall. 16x9 picture and sound are above average
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