Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Midweek movie

Oh ho ho, have we ever got a noir for you Wednesday evening!  

At first, last weekend when I caught sight of it, I wanted to go nowhere near it.  The film’s called Too Late for Tears, but the AKA is "Killer Bait".  I'm sure you see why.

Yet this name Lizbeth Scott - I vaguely recall her from another noir, can’t remember, started reading up on her:

... and so many RL things were happening on the same theme.

Some comments from reviews:

#  Made in 1949, this is one of those films that is a must for all noir fans. Do be warned though as this fell out of copyright some years ago and was widely duplicated – often very badly – but this is the restored version and is an absolute gem.


#  Lizabeth Scott did her best remembered work in film noir and became one of its iconic faces. Rarely, however, was she called upon to play the fully-fledged femme fatale, and there's probably a reason for this: she couldn't bring off duplicity. Her smile had no shades of wry, or ironic, or smirking,; it had but one setting – a fresh, guileless grin that lit up like a Christmas tree.

Her damn smile keeps switching on in Too Late For Tears, even though there's no doubt she's one hard, cold case.

#  This is a solid and sometimes memorable crime drama, filled with tension, and featuring some pretty good performances from the cast. The noir atmosphere works well, and the story, while perhaps far-fetched at a couple of points, is quite involved and grabs your attention from the beginning.

Lizabeth Scott gets one of her best roles as a hard-hearted woman who seizes her opportunity to play the male characters against each other so that she can get what she wants. Scott is slightly lacking in the glamour that would make her a really memorable femme fatale, but she has plenty of strength, and her voice works well for the character. 

Dan Duryea gives one of his many fine noir performances, taking good advantage of his many opportunities with his shady character. Arthur Kennedy and Kristine Miller are both sympathetic as the more innocent of the main characters. Don DeFore's character sometimes seems a little out of place, but he is often crucial in advancing the plot.

The story starts with an unlikely coincidence, with a bag of money that gets tossed into the wrong car. But from there, most of the story developments follow naturally, and the tension is built up rather well as things get more complicated. It's an entertaining movie that has most of the things that fans of film-noir and crime drama would want to see.

That plot device of the sudden development, unsolicited, is much used and I for one am also going to use it in my next story - much mileage in the idea.

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