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TomJH

A Tribute To Slimy Dan

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Only a little more than a day left before the TCM broadcast of TOO LATE FOR TEARS, one of Dan's more memorable films and a noir classic.  And finally a chance to see Lizabeth Scott (as a deliciously evil femme fatale, one of the best  ) in a bright, clear restored print of this film.  

I'm now deep in film noir prayer. I've been waiting for this TCM presentation for about three months and the Toronto weatherman has announced heavy rain and possible thunderstorms for tomorrow into the early evening when the film is broadcast. Since I am on satellite this can completely sabotage my viewing.

 

That "bright restored print" may turn into a pixilated mess for me, depending upon the mood of the local weather systems. I'm feeling vulnerable, almost as vulnerable as any of the males who cross Lizabeth Scott's path in this film. :wacko:

 

If only Dan Duryea was here to tell those weather people where to get off.

 

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"What d'ya mean the weather's goin' to screw up Too Late for Tears? It better not, or you're not going to look so pretty any more!"

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I'm now deep in film noir prayer. I've been waiting for this TCM presentation for about three months and the Toronto weatherman has announced heavy rain and possible thunderstorms for tomorrow into the early evening when the film is broadcast. Since I am on satellite this can completely sabotage my viewing.

 

That "bright restored print" may turn into a pixilated mess for me, depending upon the mood of the local weather systems. I'm feeling vulnerable, almost as vulnerable as any of the males who cross Lizabeth Scott's path in this film. :wacko:

At least you have TCM. I do hope you get to see the restored print of Too Late For Tears. I'm so miserable missing all these noirs these last 6 weeks. I have seen Too Late For Tears a few times over the years but lousy copies. Next time I leave home for an extended time period, I'll check TCM's schedule and work my schedule around the films that will be shown! 

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At least you have TCM. I do hope you get to see the restored print of Too Late For Tears. I'm so miserable missing all these noirs these last 6 weeks. I have seen Too Late For Tears a few times over the years but lousy copies. Next time I leave home for an extended time period, I'll check TCM's schedule and work my schedule around the films that will be shown! 

Sorry to hear that real life is interfering with your reel life, lav. That (and the weather) happens sometimes.

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Sorry to hear that real life is interfering with your reel life, lav. That (and the weather) happens sometimes.

 for both of us LOL at least the weather may not cause you to miss any of the films, hope so  :) unless I fly back tomw, I'm gonna miss 'em!

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Lets hope that Mother Nature is a noir fan and gives everyone a break for those couple of hours on Friday night. I get my viewing through a local cable service but they get many of their feeds by satellite  and TCM is one of those channels. So heavy rain/snow storms can mess up my picture as well.  Right now looking at the TCM scheduling this is a one time viewing,  but hopefully the film will be available for many  future viewings (maybe TOO LATE FOR TEARS can become the "new" NORTH BY NORTHWEST) ;)

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I just accidently discovered how to access the TCM  email reminder function. At the very top of the page (blue band) do a "search" for the film title. You then get to the page with the film listed for description, if its on the schedule, etc. And there you also find an entry for "email reminder" for the film. Easy as pie, if you know where to look , they keep changing the process.

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Well, it's countdown now to TCM's broadcast of TOO LATE FOR TEARS at 8pm (EST) today.

 

In the meanwhile, I thought I'd mention that I just saw another Dan Duryea film for the first time, Larceny. This is a slick, if ordinary, 1948 crime drama from Universal-International, with Duryea as "Silky," the head of a gang of confidence tricksters.

 

The story is neither here nor there really, but it's interesting that this film teamed Dan with John Payne, then in the midst of his Dick Powell-like conversion from light hearted musical and drama leading man to a film noir tough guy. In this one Payne is pretty smooth as a man with a way with the ladies who parlays that charm as part of a Duryea money scheme.

 

One of the most interesting aspects of the film for me was the presence of Shelley Winters, this being the Winters of her early slimed down sexy days. She plays Duryea's girl who has a "thing" for Payne and doesn't stop following him around. Dan is the jealous type in this film who has his suspicions.

 

Payne's fling with Winters is over as far as he's concerned and he doesn't want any trouble with partner Duryea (who carries a gun), yet almost every time he turns around up pops Shelley coming onto him. You know that it's just a matter of time before time bomb Winters is going to cause an explosion between Payne and Duryea.

 

As a Duryea fan, I wish he was in this film more, but, in playing a fairly low key personality ready to explode over his two timing girlfriend he's still quite effective, as are both Payne and Winters. It's those performances that I found to be the main driving force of Larceny.

 

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So it looks like  Dan and Shelley were together in three films  JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON,      LARCENY and of course , WINCHESTER 73

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So it looks like  Dan and Shelley were together in three films  JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON,      LARCENY and of course , WINCHESTER 73

It sure was a different Duryea, though, playing one of his most flamboyant, cocky characters, in Winchester 73, as opposed to Larcency. I've yet to see Johnny Stool Pigeon, though I have been able to acquire a copy of it.

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Lets hope that Mother Nature is a noir fan and gives everyone a break for those couple of hours on Friday night. I get my viewing through a local cable service but they get many of their feeds by satellite  and TCM is one of those channels. So heavy rain/snow storms can mess up my picture as well. 

 

That's exactly why I switched five years ago from DirectTV to Verizon Fios.  Now if I can only figure out how to block those monthly "Emergency Test System" reports, or whatever they call them, that cut out two big chunks of Wanda the other night.

 

Right now looking at the TCM scheduling this is a one time viewing,  but hopefully the film will be available for many  future viewings (maybe TOO LATE FOR TEARS can become the "new" NORTH BY NORTHWEST) ;)

 

That'd be like a dream come true.  Anyone who's never seen Too Late For Tears is missing both Liz Scott's and Dan Duryea's signature performances.   The film that precedes it (The Racket) also has Scott, but she's too much the Good Girl in that one, and Robert Ryan's Nick Scanlon walks away with the show.  Scott's only really "Scott" when she's playing pure evil, as in Too Late For Tears or Dead Reckoning.

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That'd be like a dream come true.  Anyone who's never seen Too Late For Tears is missing both Liz Scott's and Dan Duryea's signature performances.   The film that precedes it (The Racket) also has Scott, but she's too much the Good Girl in that one, and Robert Ryan's Nick Scanlon walks away with the show.  Scott's only really "Scott" when she's playing pure evil, as in Too Late For Tears or Dead Reckoning.

I agree, Andy. These are key performances in the careers of both Scott and Duryea. She really shines in this one, and Dan has the chance to play a slimy guy who becomes vulnerable. Love them both in this film, though many would probably argue that the film belongs to her.

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TOO LATE FOR TEARS is a little less than 3  hours away.  The anticipation is killing me , kind of like Burt waiting for  Dan to come for a  visit at the end of CRISS CROSS.

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TOO LATE FOR TEARS is a little less than 3  hours away.  The anticipation is killing me , kind of like Burt waiting for  Dan to come for a  visit at the end of CRISS CROSS.

Apt comparison, mrroberts, the ending of Criss Cross being a particular favourite of mine among film noirs. Duryea's unexpectedly low key, even sympathetic, attitude towards Burt at the end (in spite of what he is about to do to him) gives that final scene an additional unexpected twist.

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I agree, Andy. These are key performances in the careers of both Scott and Duryea. She really shines in this one, and Dan has the chance to play a slimy guy who becomes vulnerable. Love them both in this film, though many would probably argue that the film belongs to her.

 

Dan sure met his match in this one!

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It certainly was a pleasure  seeing TOO LATE FOR TEARS in a much improved condition. I know that dark, shadowy images are a big part of a noir film but you still have to be able to see details with some clarity.  The scenes in the car, in the boat on the lake, etc.  Much,  much better. The restoration did a great job.  How about that crazy hat that our man Dan is wearing?   Sometimes I wonder what leeway the  actor has in creating his character for a particular film, like choosing some of his own outfit.   A good actor like Dan Duryea gives us an interesting, complex character. In TLFT  at  first you expect him to be a tough guy but he gradually shows a wimpy side. He lets the woman take charge of the situation, he  doesn't so much fall in love as just let her dominate him.  At the end he's a total mess, he doesn't even want the money, he feels hopelessly trapped by her. It's easy pickings for femme fatale Liz.

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It certainly was a pleasure  seeing TOO LATE FOR TEARS in a much improved condition. I know that dark, shadowy images are a big part of a noir film but you still have to be able to see details with some clarity.  The scenes in the car, in the boat on the lake, etc.  Much,  much better. The restoration did a great job.  How about that crazy hat that our man Dan is wearing?   Sometimes I wonder what leeway the  actor has in creating his character for a particular film, like choosing some of his own outfit.   A good actor like Dan Duryea gives us an interesting, complex character. In TLFT  at  first you expect him to be a tough guy but he gradually shows a wimpy side. He lets the woman take charge of the situation, he  doesn't so much fall in love as just let her dominate him.  At the end he's a total mess, he doesn't even want the money, he feels hopelessly trapped by her. It's easy pickings for femme fatale Liz.

Would you call that a restoration, or just a newer print made available?  I'm not sure so that's why I'm asking.  I missed the wrap around and any restoration credits that may have been on the film.

But what I did see still showed dirt marks and scratches that may have been removed if the film had been fully restored.  Maybe someone knows?

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It certainly was a pleasure  seeing TOO LATE FOR TEARS in a much improved condition. I know that dark, shadowy images are a big part of a noir film but you still have to be able to see details with some clarity.  The scenes in the car, in the boat on the lake, etc.  Much,  much better. The restoration did a great job.  How about that crazy hat that our man Dan is wearing?   Sometimes I wonder what leeway the  actor has in creating his character for a particular film, like choosing some of his own outfit.   A good actor like Dan Duryea gives us an interesting, complex character. In TLFT  at  first you expect him to be a tough guy but he gradually shows a wimpy side. He lets the woman take charge of the situation, he  doesn't so much fall in love as just let her dominate him.  At the end he's a total mess, he doesn't even want the money, he feels hopelessly trapped by her. It's easy pickings for femme fatale Liz.

Excellent appraisal of Duryea's character in Too Late for Tears, mrroberts. I don't know if Duryea had any other films in which he played a "tough" guy who essentially becomes a weakling as the film progresses. I felt rather sorry for his character, scared and fully aware of the fact that he is no real match for this very tough woman dominating and out-thinking him.

 

He clearly (temporarily) saved his own life by jumping out of the car when she was going to show him where she had the money "buried." He was the one that was going to get buried. But it was almost as if he was helpless to prevent his eventual demise once he got himself hooked up with this truly cold blooded woman.

 

Along with Winchester 73, this film has one of my very favourite Duryea performances.

 

And thanks to the Film Noir Foundation and Eddie Muller for this restoration (though, as Bogie says, it wasn't a perfect image certainly). The night scenes in particular are so much easier to view now than in those previous muddy public domain copies in which details were missing.

 

Anybody notice that it was former Dead End Kid Billy Halop renting a boat to Liz Scott and Arthur Kennedy? An actor who had received co-star billing with Bogart and Cagney a decade before, he received no credit in this film for his small role.

 

I'd also like to make special mention of the little known Kristine Miller, who played Kennedy's suspicious next door neighbour sister. I thought she was a genuine beauty and gave quite a commendable performance. She certainly emitted a degree of warmth and even gentle humour in personality, quite a contrast to the cold blooded manipulations of Liz Scott.

 

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Still with us: Kristine Miller, seated here with Don DeFore.

 

By the way, Kristine is, I believe, the only cast member of Too Late for Tears that is still with us today, even if her name means less to us than the others. The film's star, Lizabeth Scott, died on January 31st this year. It's a shame, as Eddie Muller mentioned in his commentary, that Ms Scott did not live to see this restoration. It clearly would have meant something to her.

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 The wraparound  details the credits for the work that was done on the film. I don't know all of the technical issues involved but it is considered a restoration. Like working with a car or piece of furniture, a restoration can be done in degrees. A more through flawless restoration takes more time and money, that is usually the deciding factor. The film print shown is a significant improvement over what we had before (rather shabby condition) ,  maybe not a perfect 10 but maybe a 9, 9.5.

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I too found Kristine Miller  very attractive, and there as a contrast to the evil Liz.  We always need that "good girl" to show how "bad" the other is.  And look at that picture of Kristine, doesn't she have a slight resemblance to a gal named Lauren Bacall?  Another bit player in this picture was a young  Denver Pyle, the guy at Union Station who Liz gets to retrieve the satchel of money.  

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 The wraparound  details the credits for the work that was done on the film. I don't know all of the technical issues involved but it is considered a restoration. Like working with a car or piece of furniture, a restoration can be done in degrees. A more through flawless restoration takes more time and money, that is usually the deciding factor. The film print shown is a significant improvement over what we had before (rather shabby condition) ,  maybe not a perfect 10 but maybe a 9, 9.5.

Thanks.

Yes, I've forgotten the term for the celluloid restoration vs. the digital restoration - and that is simplifying the difference.

The US Academy is still restoring Satyajit Ray's films and they have chosen to go the 'celluloid' route which does leave some of the imperfections from the camera original in place when they strike new prints.

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TOO LATE FOR TEARS is a little less than 3  hours away.  The anticipation is killing me , kind of like Burt waiting for  Dan to come for a  visit at the end of CRISS CROSS.

After the big restoration buildup by Eddie Muller, the film began, and there was a glitch in the first minute. No more after that, though. Excellent noir.

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I like Dan's final scene , when Liz comes to his place with the loot, acting like she's there to share it, but  she only wants to know where the money came from, and then finish Dan off.  Dan reveals himself to be just a poor shmuck  who stumbled onto an opportunity to extort some money from a big business man. Clearly "Danny" (hey, Dan gets his own name for this character) was a little boy trying to play a big boys game and gets in over his head.  When things don't go right and Liz gets involved, Danny is no match to handle the situation.  He's running scared the whole time, he's doomed and he knows it.

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I like Dan's final scene , when Liz comes to his place with the loot, acting like she's there to share it, but  she only wants to know where the money came from, and then finish Dan off.  Dan reveals himself to be just a poor shmuck  who stumbled onto an opportunity to extort some money from a big business man. Clearly "Danny" (hey, Dan gets his own name for this character) was a little boy trying to play a big boys game and gets in over his head.  When things don't go right and Liz gets involved, Danny is no match to handle the situation.  He's running scared the whole time, he's doomed and he knows it.

Willingly drinking that drink was a rather boneheaded move on his part. I guess he was already pretty tipsy, which clouded his thinking.

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I like Dan's final scene , when Liz comes to his place with the loot, acting like she's there to share it, but  she only wants to know where the money came from, and then finish Dan off.  Dan reveals himself to be just a poor shmuck  who stumbled onto an opportunity to extort some money from a big business man. Clearly "Danny" (hey, Dan gets his own name for this character) was a little boy trying to play a big boys game and gets in over his head.  When things don't go right and Liz gets involved, Danny is no match to handle the situation.  He's running scared the whole time, he's doomed and he knows it.

This is why I like his performance so much. It's one of Duryea's most human portrayals. That includes his dumb mistake of downing a drink served to him by Liz Scott.

 

It's a good final scene for him alright.

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I too found Kristine Miller  very attractive, and there as a contrast to the evil Liz.  We always need that "good girl" to show how "bad" the other is.  And look at that picture of Kristine, doesn't she have a slight resemblance to a gal named Lauren Bacall?  Another bit player in this picture was a young  Denver Pyle, the guy at Union Station who Liz gets to retrieve the satchel of money.  

I guess a bad apple like Dan Duryea plays in this film is attracted to another bad apple (actually a worse bad apple, though he initially didn't know it) like Lizabeth Scott. If his character had met Kristine Miller, he would have known that she was out of his league.

 

Actually, I can't say that I think Miller has any physical resemblance to Lauren Bacall. Lizabeth Scott is the one who always reminded me of Bacall. Yes, I noticed a young Denver Pyle in the film, too. Thanks for pointing that out, mrroberts.

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