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Too Late for Tears (1949)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  13 August 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,556 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 13 critic

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even it if means murder.



(screenplay), (serial)
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Complete credited cast:
Don DeFore ...
Kristine Miller ...
Barry Kelley ...


One night on a lonely highway, a speeding car tosses a satchel of money, meant for somebody else, into Jane and Alan Palmer's back seat. Alan wants to turn it over to the police, but Jane, with luxury within her reach, persuades him to hang onto it "for a while." Soon, the Palmers are traced by one Danny Fuller, a sleazy character who claims the money is his. To hang onto it, Jane will need all the qualities of an ultimate femme fatale...and does she ever have them! Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


That's just to remind you... you're in a tough racket now!


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 August 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killer Bait  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


Jane tells Danny they're going to Coldwater Canyon, but moments later they turn into the Bel-Air Estates, which is miles to the west of Coldwater Canyon (which doesn't even intersect with Sunset Blvd., which Danny notes they've just turned off of). See more »


Danny Fuller: I came to tell you somethin', Tiger. If you get that dough and dust with it, it'll be very, very bad!
See more »


Featured in Heartbreakers (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

an ordinary woman (lizabeth scott) turns into a film noir femme fatale after she finds herself at the wrong place at the wrong time
16 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the earliest days of TV, local channels used to fill up all their excess time with low-budget films from indie companies, as the 'majors' initially refused to sell or lease their product to what they considered (at the time) a mortal enemy - the small screen, which threatened to keep their regular customers at home. So for those of us who grew up during the fifties, much of our evening time was spent watching the cheaply made films from the thirties and forties, which - for all we knew at the time - were the important releases of that era. One of the most oft telecast films was Too Late For Tears, a turgid but in many ways fascinating B-budget noir that can't compare to the classics of that genre (this is no Big Sleep, mind you) but never fails to interest a viewer. Perhaps that's because the plot is so unique. Ordinarily, as in The Maltese Falcon and dozens of other noirs, the femme fatale is up to no good from the moment we meet here, and hails from a strange netherworld of dirty money and tawdry eroticism. Here, Lizabeth Scott plays a normal everyday suburban style woman who likely has never even received a parking ticket. But when she an her husband (Arthur Kennedy) find themselves on a lonely stretch of highway at night, a car zips buy and throws a bag of money into theirs - the passerby was expecting someone else, and tossed the loot into the wrong car. The husband wants to turn the money over to the police, but something ignites in the woman - she literally explodes before our eyes into the most deadly femme fatale of all, made all the more alluring by Scott's butch/androgynous sex appeal. The casting is all wrong - Don De Fore, who shows up as a tough guy, should've been the husband, with Arthur Kennedy in Don's role - but there's a great part for Dan Duryea as a sleazy character who falls under Liz's hypnotic spell. A contrived ending hurts the impact, but for noir completists, this is one you have (despite its flaws) to see.

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