Playhouse 90: The Velvet Alley

Watch Playhouse 90: The Velvet Alley

  • 2006
  • 1 hr 26 min
  • 8.1  (32)

Playhouse 90: The Velvet Alley is a 1959 television movie directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Rod Serling. The film stars Art Carney, Leslie Nielsen, and Katharine Bard, in a thrilling story that revolves around the life of a small-time conman named Lou Bookman, played by Art Carney, and his last chance at redemption. The movie opens with a shot of a dimly lit alley, where Lou Bookman is struggling to sell his wares to passersby. Lou is an unsuccessful door-to-door salesman who sells gimmicky items like plastic roses, phony jewels, and lapel pins that light up. Despite his lack of success, Lou remains endlessly optimistic, convinced that his "good luck" will eventually come through.

One day, Lou comes across a young boy named Tommy, played by Ronnie Howard, who tries to purchase one of Lou's lapel pins. When Lou learns that the boy has no money to buy the pin, he offers it to him for free. The boy, touched by Lou's kindness, offers to do something for him in return. Lou, struck by the boy's honesty, decides to take him under his wing and teach him the tricks of the trade.

Together, Lou and Tommy wander through the city, selling their wares and pulling small-time cons. However, things take a dark turn when Lou comes across a wealthy businessman named Kit Carson, played by Leslie Nielsen, who offers to buy Lou's pin for $50. Lou, sensing that he's onto something big, agrees to sell it. Soon, he convinces Carson to invest in a new invention that he's working on - a solar-powered flashlight.

However, when Carson gives Lou a $3000 advance to develop the invention, Lou quickly realizes that he's in over his head. He knows nothing about solar technology and has no idea how to make a flashlight. Desperate to fulfill his promise, Lou turns to his former partner in crime, Milt, played by John Dehner, for help. Milt, however, is no longer interested in conning people and urges Lou to give the money back to Carson.

Lou, however, is unable to let go of his dream of success and continues to deceive Carson, even going so far as to buy a second-hand flashlight and paint it to look like his invention. Meanwhile, Carson grows increasingly suspicious of Lou's activities and hires a private investigator to follow him. The investigator, however, turns out to be a friend of Lou's and instead helps him by giving him warnings about the investigation.

As the situation starts getting out of hand, Lou decides to make one final play and invite Carson to a demonstration of his invention at City Hall. However, things quickly unravel, and Lou finds himself faced with a difficult decision. Will he continue to deceive Carson and risk everything he's gained, or will he admit the truth and face the consequences of his actions?

Overall, Playhouse 90: The Velvet Alley is a riveting tale of a man's struggle to redeem himself in the face of his own greed and deception. The movie features strong performances from all its cast members, with Art Carney's portrayal of Lou Bookman being especially memorable. The film's themes of redemption and honesty still resonate with audiences today and make this a timeless classic.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (32)