Barton_Keyes

Noir Alley

3,445 posts in this topic

On 12/10/2018 at 10:37 AM, Hoganman1 said:

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.

I dunno, Hoganman...one look at Don DeFore's amiable goofy face, and you just know he could never be a bad guy. Plus, wasn't he busy redeveloping a deactivated army barracks for returned G.I.'s to live in?  He wouldn't have had time to operate a black mail scheme as well...

edit: Oops, I need to read people's posts more carefully ! Sorry, Hoganman, I see now that you were not suggesting Don was a bad guy, but the one the bad guy was blackmailing, which I can actually see as feasible.

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On 12/10/2018 at 6:23 AM, cmovieviewer said:

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.)

Actually, I don't know why Eddie sounded so disapproving of the second (and apparently rejected) title "Killer Bait". I actually think it's a better title than "Too Late for Tears". For one thing, I don't really think Scott's character had many tears to shed at any point in this film (except maybe for herself, but even then....)

For another, I like the ambiguity, possible double -meaning of the title "Killer Bait". Could mean either the found money, or (more fun interpretation) Jane Palmer's heartless greedy albeit alluring (to some) schemer.

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On 12/11/2018 at 11:06 AM, Marianne said:

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

You said it, Marinanne ! Aside from it being a short and to the point title, and definitely an apt description of Lizabeth Scott's character, it is of course the "nickname" or, uh, term of endearment 😐 that Duryea's character gives to Scott's. Which clearly the Frenchies picked up on.

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53 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Actually, I don't know why Eddie sounded so disapproving of the second (and apparently rejected) title "Killer Bait". I actually think it's a better title than "Too Late for Tears". For one thing, I don't really think Scott's character had many tears to shed at any point in this film (except maybe for herself, but even then....)

For another, I like the ambiguity, possible double -meaning of the title "Killer Bait". Could mean either the found money, or (more fun interpretation) Jane Palmer's heartless greedy albeit alluring (to some) schemer.

I didn't find the Too Late For Tears title apt, until the end.  At the end of the film, after being confronted by Don DeFore, Liz turns on the waterworks when she realizes that she's been caught.  I thought of the title, "Too Late For Tears," in a more sarcastic sense, like: "the jig is up, Liz.  You've murdered two people and now you've been caught.  Don't cry.  It's too late for tears." 

I also really like the title La Tigresse. Killer Bait makes the film sound like a cheesy exploitation picture, or one of those bad juvenile delinquent films.

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3 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I didn't find the Too Late For Tears title apt, until the end.  At the end of the film, after being confronted by Don DeFore, Liz turns on the waterworks when she realizes that she's been caught.  I thought of the title, "Too Late For Tears," in a more sarcastic sense, like: "the jig is up, Liz.  You've murdered two people and now you've been caught.  Don't cry.  It's too late for tears." 

I also really like the title La Tigresse. Killer Bait makes the film sound like a cheesy exploitation picture, or one of those bad juvenile delinquent films.

Right speedy, I see what you mean. I can imagine Don DeFore's character saying something like, "Aw, you can turn off the tears, baby, nobody's fooled." Or actually, more like Dan Duryea's character saying that. (But of course by that point in the story he wasn't saying anything.)

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I didn't find Talk About a Stranger very noir. It took me a while to remember that I had

seen it some time back. I find it to be more of a combo piece--a bit of a gothic haunted

house flick, the old stranger in town movie, the small town/gossip film, mom and dad

at home thing and a boy and his dog show. I was also reminded of parts of The Invaders

from Mars movie. Put those all together and you have a fairly entertaining movie, but not

one that seemed film noir for the most part.

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On 12/13/2018 at 10:31 AM, 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. 

Ok, but here's the interesting thing about the Dan Duryea persona: Yes, everyone thinks he's a real bad guy, a truly mean character, in almost every film he's in. But actually, Dan's character in most of his films is not nearly as bad as we all give him credit for. He's more mean than evil. He's definitely not a "nice" guy; but if you think about it, we rarely see him killing anyone. He's more talk than action; he's a tough guy, yes, and we certainly see a lot of slapping around (usually women) and sarcasm and threats. And he's almost always on the wrong side of the law.

But- usually that's where it ends. Compare his " bad guy" characters to someone like Raymond Burr in Raw Deal, or Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death, or that guy "Chester" (Neville Brand) in D.O.A. - just to name a few -  and Dan comes across as not too scary. I'd way rather be slapped around a little by Dan Duryea than get into trouble with someone like Burr or Widmark.

Of course, sometimes he does do a little killing ( as in Criss Cross ), but on the whole, I find him a lot less menacing than lots of other noir villains. And actually, I love Dan Duryea, I'm a huge fan. He's very entertaining, with his snarky way of speaking and his trademark hand wave (a little gesture from the forehead, almost like a salute). I love to watch him.

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52 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I didn't find Talk About a Stranger very noir. It took me a while to remember that I had

seen it some time back. I find it to be more of a combo piece--a bit of a gothic haunted

house flick, the old stranger in town movie, the small town/gossip film, mom and dad

at home thing and a boy and his dog show. I was also reminded of parts of The Invaders

from Mars movie. Put those all together and you have a fairly entertaining movie, but not

one that seemed film noir for the most part.

Talk about mixing genres ! You make it sound like a collage of film stereotypes. I do see what you mean, but I also think the sum was more than its parts; it was a little better than "a bit of gothic haunted house trope, part stranger in town flick..." etc. 

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Here's the main impression I had of Talk About a Stranger: this is one dislikeable kid ! He comes across through almost the entire film as surly, unfriendly, and ill-tempered.  Usually the depiction of young boys in 1950s movies is almost sickeningly cute and /or well-behaved. The kids are more often than not polite to adults and friendly to other kids. But this boy - (how come so many boys in 1950s movies are called "Bobby"?) is just not a sympathetic kid to me.  Ok, he kind of cleans up his act in the end - but that's the end of the movie, where presumably he's learned his lesson.

I wonder if the father had bothered explaining to him why it isn't right, it isn't the way fair and open societies do things, to accuse a person of something based on nothing but your dislike for that person, and talk as though the disliked one has actually committed a crime, rather than giving them the "innocent until proven guilty" assumption, and look into whatever they're accused of a little deeper, --(awkward sentence structure, sorry) -- I say IF the kid's dad had explained this concept to the kid just a little, instead of just saying "You're too young to understand, I'll explain when you're older" if maybe the kid would have held off on that act of sabotage he performed on the oil derrick.

But on the whole, I thought this was a good little film, whatever genre (or blend of genres) you want to call it. And it really gave a very clear idea of what life was probably like in a small Californian orange-growing town in the 1950s.

Nancy Davis: Boy, they must have been really uncomfortable with depicting pregnant women back then. Nancy's wearing one of those voluminous maternity shirts, but it's clear there's no pregnant belly underneath. She's skinny as a stick, even where she's supposed to have a bump.  Didn't they have pillows back then?

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

I didn't find Talk About a Stranger very noir. It took me a while to remember that I had

seen it some time back. I find it to be more of a combo piece--a bit of a gothic haunted

house flick, the old stranger in town movie, the small town/gossip film, mom and dad

at home thing and a boy and his dog show. I was also reminded of parts of The Invaders

from Mars movie. Put those all together and you have a fairly entertaining movie, but not

one that seemed film noir for the most part.

I agree with you on this one, Vautrin.  It wasn't very noir-ish at all.  The only casualty in the picture was a stray dog that had seemingly found a good home.  I mean, I watched "The Robin Hood Trail" Saturday night and counted three guys who 'bought the farm'!  You wouldn't think such tragedies would litter a Roy Rogers flick compared to a  Noir Alley selection, but I guess that's just the magic of the movies, huh?  

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I don't watch movies where dogs or cats are abused or killed or where animals are abused.   Don't read books that have them for same reason.  So I didn't watch the movie based on the description of what was going to happen.

I did enjoy the Robin Hood Trail even though I am not a Roy Rogers fan.  Not a Noir, but was mentioned above.

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46 minutes ago, TheCid said:

I don't watch movies where dogs or cats are abused or killed or where animals are abused.   Don't read books that have them for same reason.  So I didn't watch the movie based on the description of what was going to happen.

I did enjoy the Robin Hood Trail even though I am not a Roy Rogers fan.  Not a Noir, but was mentioned above.

With respect, Cid, I think you might have over-reacted to what you'd heard regarding what happened to the dog in Talk About a Stranger.

You see absolutely no abuse or cruelty to the dog or any other animal in the film. In fact, you never see the little dog again, after the kid's dad says he'll tie the dog up while the kid rides into town. There is no depiction of the dog suffering or dying, you never even see the dog's body after Bud (the kid) discovers it. It all happens off-screen. I don't know what description you read of this movie, but there's nothing in it that even animal rights activists could complain about.

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5 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I didn't find Talk About a Stranger very noir. It took me a while to remember that I had

seen it some time back. I find it to be more of a combo piece--

 

 

3 hours ago, midwestan said:

I agree with you on this one, Vautrin.  It wasn't very noir-ish at all.  The only casualty in the picture was a stray dog that had seemingly found a good home.  I mean, I watched "The Robin Hood Trail" Saturday night and counted three guys who 'bought the farm'!  You wouldn't think such tragedies would litter a Roy Rogers flick compared to a  Noir Alley selection, but I guess that's just the magic of the movies, huh?  

The last thing I want to do here is trigger another impassioned debate about what, exactly, is film noir. However, I can't resist responding to these two comments about how Talk About a Stranger is not noir by saying that it gets back to whether you regard "noir" as a style or a genre. (I kind of do both.)  Certainly if you think of film noir as a genre, one that includes a heinous crime (something even worse than alleged dog poisoning), possibly an alluring duplicitous woman, and lots of angst and/ or alienation or nihilism, blah blah...., then this film probably doesn't qualify as a noir. But if you think of noir as a style, it fits quite nicely in the noir canon.

Eddie spoke about the look of Talk About a Stranger in his intro,  mentioning that noir stalwart John Alton did the cinematography, and showing clips from the film that show very noirish shadows, foggy roads, etc. So, as far as visual style goes, this could be considered a noir. Certainly Eddie makes a good case for that.

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4 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Talk about mixing genres ! You make it sound like a collage of film stereotypes. I do see what you mean, but I also think the sum was more than its parts; it was a little better than "a bit of gothic haunted house trope, part stranger in town flick..." etc. 

If you want to look at it one way, a lot of film genres are, in a simplistic manner, a collection of

cliches which movie goers learn about through experience watching them--women's pictures,

prison pictures, great white hunter movies, etc. Noir is a little harder to pin down, but there

are certain cliches that are usually there. This doesn't have to be a bad thing since many

directors rise about the simple cliches of a genre. While the main plot of TAAS is centered on

the stranger there is a lot of other stuff going on that isn't really related. A lot of mixing though

the focus is on the main point. And it's a story without any villains. I didn't think the kid was

that bad. He was greatly disappointed that his dog was killed and he went overboard in his

reaction, but I can understand that. He was just a kid. There was one close up where he looks

like he is possessed, but all's well that ends well. I saw a couple of episdoes of Father Knows

Best today, so maybe I'm prejudiced. Not a bad movie, but I just don't see it as a noir. 

 

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5 hours ago, midwestan said:

I agree with you on this one, Vautrin.  It wasn't very noir-ish at all.  The only casualty in the picture was a stray dog that had seemingly found a good home.  I mean, I watched "The Robin Hood Trail" Saturday night and counted three guys who 'bought the farm'!  You wouldn't think such tragedies would litter a Roy Rogers flick compared to a  Noir Alley selection, but I guess that's just the magic of the movies, huh?  

Yes, a good bit of it was growing up on a farm and getting a dog to take care of. Nothing

wrong with that. It had its noirish moments, but to me it just didn't go full blast.

Entertaining enough, but sort of neither fish nor fowl. 

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Didnt think much of Talk About A Stranger. (Aside from the photography). Couldnt stand that kid! (Billy Gray) And Nancy and George had to be the most permissive screen parents of the 50s!! Letting him run around at night; out of town; damage other people's property and get off with a now, now.....UGH.

Was this the last minute replacement for the Deanna Durbin film????

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14 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Here's the main impression I had of Talk About a Stranger: this is one dislikeable kid ! He comes across through almost the entire film as surly, unfriendly, and ill-tempered.  Usually the depiction of young boys in 1950s movies is almost sickeningly cute and /or well-behaved. The kids are more often than not polite to adults and friendly to other kids. But this boy - (how come so many boys in 1950s movies are called "Bobby"?) is just not a sympathetic kid to me.  Ok, he kind of cleans up his act in the end - but that's the end of the movie, where presumably he's learned his lesson.

I wonder if the father had bothered explaining to him why it isn't right, it isn't the way fair and open societies do things, to accuse a person of something based on nothing but your dislike for that person, and talk as though the disliked one has actually committed a crime, rather than giving them the "innocent until proven guilty" assumption, and look into whatever they're accused of a little deeper, --(awkward sentence structure, sorry) -- I say IF the kid's dad had explained this concept to the kid just a little, instead of just saying "You're too young to understand, I'll explain when you're older" if maybe the kid would have held off on that act of sabotage he performed on the oil derrick.

But on the whole, I thought this was a good little film, whatever genre (or blend of genres) you want to call it. And it really gave a very clear idea of what life was probably like in a small Californian orange-growing town in the 1950s.

Nancy Davis: Boy, they must have been really uncomfortable with depicting pregnant women back then. Nancy's wearing one of those voluminous maternity shirts, but it's clear there's no pregnant belly underneath. She's skinny as a stick, even where she's supposed to have a bump.  Didn't they have pillows back then?

DIdnt read your post until I posted mine. Couldnt stand that kid!

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11 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

With respect, Cid, I think you might have over-reacted to what you'd heard regarding what happened to the dog in Talk About a Stranger.

You see absolutely no abuse or cruelty to the dog or any other animal in the film. In fact, you never see the little dog again, after the kid's dad says he'll tie the dog up while the kid rides into town. There is no depiction of the dog suffering or dying, you never even see the dog's body after Bud (the kid) discovers it. It all happens off-screen. I don't know what description you read of this movie, but there's nothing in it that even animal rights activists could complain about.

Thanks.  I read the description on Spectrum Cable's on screen ones.  Regardless, I just prefer not to watch even with the idea of what was happening off screen to the dog.

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I agree with everyone's perspective that "Talk About a Stranger" had many elements we associate with film noir.  The movie just didn't hold the 'pay off' of having someone 'get it' like we're accustomed to seeing in the genre, and there were plenty of possibilities in this movie to make it so.  Mind you, I'm not a cold-blooded, heartless jerk (at least, I don't think I am 😁), but the movie could have used a little more 'oomph' to it.

I found the kids in this movie to be most annoying.  Billy Gray's portrayal of Bud (coincidentally, his same name in the TV series 'Father Knows Best') would have been a prime candidate for bi-polar studies in juveniles at the nearest state university.  The girl who played Camille was so smart-alecky that I was waiting for someone to push her face first into a fresh cow pie.  The boys who were picking on Bud deserved to be grounded until they got to high school.  Overall though, it was good acting on their part.  I often find annoying characters in any movie to be very good at transmitting their unsavory behaviors and mannerisms to the viewing public!

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Finally got to watch Talk About a Stranger, I'd call it one of those café au lait on the cusp noir. Now if Bud had torched the Doc's house with him in it.....

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Got to see the last twenty minutes of Lady on a Train. Talk about noir style, there were some incredibly beautiful images.

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2 hours ago, kingrat said:

Got to see the last twenty minutes of Lady on a Train. Talk about noir style, there were some incredibly beautiful images.

I watched this and had seen it before.  Not a bad little comedy/mystery.  Is it really a Noir?  Regardless, Deanna Durbin did not impress me.  Neither her acting nor her singing.

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2 hours ago, TheCid said:

I watched this and had seen it before.  Not a bad little comedy/mystery.  Is it really a Noir?  Regardless, Deanna Durbin did not impress me.  Neither her acting nor her singing.

It apparently "tunes" noir for some folk. It doesn't quite do so for me. Now Christmas Holiday is another animal altogether.

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44 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

It apparently "tunes" noir for some folk. It doesn't quite do so for me. Now Christmas Holiday is another animal altogether.

I would have to watch Christmas Holiday to decide.  Tend to identify Gene Kelly as a light, comedic, musical actor.  Is it coming on anytime soon - or did I miss it.

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