Barton_Keyes

Noir Alley

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LIZABETH SCOTT made (I think) her only radio appearance on THE MOLLE MYSTERY THEATER in the aptly named THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, which is a loose remake of SNOW WHITE with LIZABETH in the VERY WICKED role of the WICKED QUEEN.

It's worth a listen:

 

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***SPOILERS***

I thought Too Late For Tears was great too.  I fell asleep during the ending (not because of the movie, but because I'm apparently incapable of staying up past 10:30pm now) and had to rewind to see what I missed.  I'm not normally a Lizabeth Scott fan, but I thought she was great in this film.  As Eddie Muller mentioned, it's not often that a housewife is the femme fatale.  I think she legitimately loved her husband (Arthur Kennedy), but the allure of the sudden windfall literally falling onto their laps was too much for her to overcome. I liked her constant struggle between right versus wrong, with wrong ultimately winning out, especially after Kennedy takes a bath in the lake.  Eventually, she segues into being a master manipulator with Duryea falling victim.  I liked the ending and the twist with Don DeFore's connection to Scott's first husband.  The suggestion that Scott was a black widow was hinted at earlier in the film, with her comment about how she thought her husband would bring her happiness, i.e. money, but it didn't happen.  The cycle seemed to be repeating itself with her marriage to Kennedy.

I also liked Dan Duryea's part.  It was a different type of part for him.  Duryea's character, while not a good guy persay, was just as much a victim in this film as Scott's husband was.  His usual kind of weasley demeanor was present, but ultimately, he was just a guy trying to get the money that he extorted from someone else.  It was technically *his* money (despite the means he used to get the money), so I can understand his motivation for wanting it back.  It seemed that he was a bit unsavory, though I wasn't sure if he had a criminal past prior to the extortion scheme, or whether he was just an average joe who took advantage of an opportunity when he stumbled upon it.  Scott used Duryea's motivation to get his money to her advantage, fully planning to pin her husband's murder on him.  He helped her off her husband and she screwed him by murdering him and taking off with the loot.

Of course, while Scott is enroute to Mexico City, she encounters a nosy busy-body.  There are always nosy busy-bodies in noir.  I thought for sure she would murder him too, but the cop showed up and let her off the hook.  I loved the Mexico City hotel she stayed at--her room was so opulent.  I liked the scene when DeFore showed up and told her the jig was up.  I liked the ending--it was very dramatic, especially the close up of her bloody hand on top of her precious money.  I was kind of hoping for her to get away with the whole thing, but I knew that per production code, she would end up dead or arrested somehow.  

I also really liked Kristine Miller, the actress playing Scott's sister-in-law.  She had beautiful hair.  It is unusual for actresses to have such long hair on screen.  Usually their long hair is tied up in a bun a la Ann Harding, or it's inside a snood, or something else.  It looks like she only appeared in a couple dozen films, many of which are uncredited roles.  She is just one of hundreds of actresses who were never able to breakout of the role of the ingenue. 

This was a great film and I'm glad Eddie Muller's Film Noir Foundation and UCLA were able to save the film and restore it. 

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Just checking.  Is there any reason why Eddie Muller didn't mention that "Too Late for Tears" is "Killer Bait" with a different title?  And if he did mention it and I missed it, did he give the back story?  If he gave the back story, will someone let me in on it?  If he didn't give the back story, will he let me in on it?

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Since we've learned from Eddie a little bit of how much work went into finding and restoring Too Late for Tears, now I'm interested in how / when someone was able to view the film with the "Killer Bait" title.  Perhaps GC419 can fill us in.  (Hope I'm not being too forward.)

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21 hours ago, Looney said:

TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949)  WOW!!!!!  I wasn't loving this movie first while, but then it really took off.  Definitely has my new favorite Dan Duryea scene of all time.  It was amazing.  And definitely my new favorite Lizabeth Scott movie ever, not that ever really had one before. :D  What a shame Scott didn't like the movie.  I thought she was magnificent.  She really seemed to be the Femme Fatale who genuinely could not help herself.  Her struggle was great.  Sometimes there was remorse and sometimes there wasn't.  It was outstanding.  I think my least favorite part was the end.  I don't think it was bad.  It just didn't quite give me the level of satisfaction I was looking for. 

What kind of ending would you find more satisfying? Just curious.

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I FINALLY figured out (after multiple viewings) what Scott was throwing in the ocean. It was the junk Dan found in her husbands pockets!

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, GC419 said:

Just checking.  Is there any reason why Eddie Muller didn't mention that "Too Late for Tears" is "Killer Bait" with a different title?  And if he did mention it and I missed it, did he give the back story?  If he gave the back story, will someone let me in on it?  If he didn't give the back story, will he let me in on it?

As I recall, the title was changed when it was shown in foreign countries.  Also when the producer sold the rights to another production company in US.  I think that is when it became Killer Bait.  Actually that may be the company that was releasing it in foreign countries.

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I enjoyed TLFT as well. Actually, Kristine Miller was my favorite even though her part was pretty small. I also liked Don DeFore, but I kept waiting for Shirley Booth as Hazel to show  up and call him Mr. "B". My wife and I were both afraid he was going to be the guy that Duryea blackmailed. As always I thought Eddie's intro and wrap-up really added to the viewing experience. Thank goodness there are people that still want to preserve these treasures from our past.

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LOL. I too, always feel Hazel is lurking in the wings when I see Don Defore in films..........

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I liked Crack-Up (1946).  It was, pardon the pun, a cracking mystery.  The red herrings were judicially placed, creating a nice misdirection. Pat O’Brien as an art critic is a bit of stretch, but he’s a populist art critic, and he’s also forced into being an amateur detective. So the territory is partially familiar.  I found the editing sequences particularly effective.  I’m referring to when Pat is on the train, looking out the window, and he sees the other train coming around the tracks, speeding toward a head-on collision.  The back and forth of O’Brien’s terrified face, the oncoming locomotive, the lighting and visual effects were exemplary.  And you can never go wrong with Herbert Marshall and Claire Trevor on board.

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This is not a Noir Alley topic as such, but watching Too Late for Tears reminded me of it.

During WW  II, women's dress lengths were shortened to about the knee.  Supposedly to save cloth to make uniforms and so forth.  Quickly after the war the dress designers and textile industry decided that the length should be down to the ankles almost.  This meant the prior fashions were out of date.

This is not a big thing as the designers, clothing manufacturers and textile industry have done this many, many time.  But, what I found curious while watching TLFT was how really long Scott's dresses were.  They also appeared to be made of heavy cloth and must have weighed a lot.  The women's dresses probably weighed more than a man's wool suit.

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On 12/10/2018 at 9:58 AM, TheCid said:

As I recall, the title was changed when it was shown in foreign countries.  Also when the producer sold the rights to another production company in US.  I think that is when it became Killer Bait.  Actually that may be the company that was releasing it in foreign countries.

In France, Too Late for Tears is called La Tigresse, which I think is the best title of all for this film.

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TLFT - not a bad flick, but I thought Dan Duryea was wimpy in this one. Not his usual cruel self. He practically let that woman walk all over him. 

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58 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

TLFT - not a bad flick, but I thought Dan Duryea was wimpy in this one. Not his usual cruel self. He practically let that woman walk all over him. 

I didn't see it that way.  Duryea was interested in getting his money back and he was being agreeable to anything that might make that happen.  If he made Scott mad and she ran off with the money or something else, he would have nothing.

He seemed to apply appropriate pressure and "cruelity" where applicable.

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1 hour ago, Janet0312 said:

TLFT - not a bad flick, but I thought Dan Duryea was wimpy in this one. Not his usual cruel self. He practically let that woman walk all over him. 

Well, in THIS one anyway, yeah I suppose Dan certainly wasn't smart enough to not imbibe the poisoned drink he was offered, and like he had enough smarts to do when Joan Bennett tried to pull the same trick on him in The Woman in the Window a few years earlier.

(...if THAT'S what you mean) ;)

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3 hours ago, TheCid said:

I didn't see it that way.  Duryea was interested in getting his money back and he was being agreeable to anything that might make that happen.  If he made Scott mad and she ran off with the money or something else, he would have nothing.

He seemed to apply appropriate pressure and "cruelity" where applicable.

The Duryea character was a phony;  he wasn't a real criminal (e.g. a career criminal) but only lucked into a situation where he came into illegal money.   Yea,  at the start he acts tough towards Jane but he can't continue that because it isn't part of his persona.   E.g. he is socked when Jane wishes to poison her sister-in-law.   He drinks the poison because he can't envision that a gal would do that to another person (verses a true tough guy that would be much more savvy)

This theme is core to the entire film;   i.e. that the women (a housewife no less)  is the 'evil' one capable of anything while the man is just a patsy.     That makes Jane one of THE top femme fatales of noir.   

 

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I liked "Too Late For Tears".  Lizabeth Scott had very expressive facial features, and she could turn on the charm and flip the switch to evil vixen at the drop of a hat.  Next to Claire Trevor, she was probably slapped or shot more than any other actress in Hollywood!

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12 hours ago, midwestan said:

I liked "Too Late For Tears".  Lizabeth Scott had very expressive facial features, and she could turn on the charm and flip the switch to evil vixen at the drop of a hat.  Next to Claire Trevor, she was probably slapped or shot more than any other actress in Hollywood!

I thought Liz was great at falling over the balcony.  I liked how she flipped over backwards and she had a great scream. The scene with her bloody hand splayed out next to her precious money was very effective, in my opinion.

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9 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I doubt that was Liz falling off the balcony........

Maybe it was the Lizabeth Scott dummy that was very effective at falling off the balcony! Lol.  However it happened and whoever/whatever fell, I liked it.

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I just caught the last half of "Talk About A Stranger" this morning. This was a nostalgic film for me because it is one that sticks in my mind from watching it on late night TV decades ago. It reminded me a lot of "The Window" with Bobby Driscoll. I guess I related to both films when I was a kid since both have a little boy as the protagonist. 

Kurt Kaszner is a great choice for the mysterious neighbor in "Stranger", his foreign accent and hermit like behavior are enough to cause suspicion for people of those times. He was most famous for playing the cowardly Fitzhugh on the TV series "Land Of The Giants", I thought the character was another version of Jonathan Harris' Dr Smith from "Lost In Space".

I hope "Stranger" is put On Demand because I am curious to see Mueller's opening remarks. 

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On 12/10/2018 at 8:47 AM, Hibi said:

What kind of ending would you find more satisfying? Just curious.

I think it would have been more interesting if she had really had to face the music, legally speaking.  The death scene just seemed like a gimmick way to end it.  I think it is more the way she died than that she died.  I feel I would have been more satisfied with her in jail or if she had possibly died in a less theatrical way.

And addressing the comments about Duryea's character.  I think the key point is that she was able to UTTERLY destroy him with the simple art of manipulation.  

TALK ABOUT A STRANGER (1952).  What an interesting choice for NOIR ALLEY.  I honestly would not have made it to the end if it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to find out what happened to the dog. 🐶  LOL   The cinematography was the best part of the film.  The movie was okay, but that cinematography made it worth seeing.

PS - For all of those looking to get me a gift this holiday season I'll take that TOO LATE FOR TEARS restoration Blu-Ray and everything in the Noir Alley Shop. :D

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On 12/9/2018 at 11:59 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

LIZABETH SCOTT made (I think) her only radio appearance on THE MOLLE MYSTERY THEATER in the aptly named THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, which is a loose remake of SNOW WHITE with LIZABETH in the VERY WICKED role of the WICKED QUEEN.

It's worth a listen:

 

NOW THAT'S AN ENDING!!!!!

Actually what I mean is how amazing Eva Lester was at the end when she was saying she wasn't in the room so no one could claim she committed murder.  Scott played it so casual that you really felt this person felt no responsibility for the end result of her actions.

Thanks so much for posting that LornaHansonForbes.  I usually don't have time to play media when people post it, but that was a perfect little number to have going while I was straightening up my living room. ;)

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