7.4/10
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81 user 37 critic

Too Late for Tears (1949)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 August 1949 (USA)
Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even if it means murder.

Director:

Byron Haskin

Writers:

Roy Huggins (screenplay), Roy Huggins (from his Saturday Evening Post serial)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lizabeth Scott ... Jane Palmer
Don DeFore ... Don Blake / Don Blanchard
Dan Duryea ... Danny Fuller
Arthur Kennedy ... Alan Palmer
Kristine Miller ... Kathy Palmer
Barry Kelley ... Police Lt. Breach
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In one terrifying moment she realized what she had done... yet it was too late to turn back... too late for tears! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Killer Bait See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jimmie Dodd, the leader of the original Disney Mouseketeers, appears as one of the car thieves right after Jane abandons the car on the beach. He's the one who gets into the driver's seat. See more »

Goofs

Jane tells Alan that the $790 she has spent represents about one tenth of 1% of the money they found. SInce they thought they had found $100,000 (later the amount is said to be $60,000 by Danny, the blackmailer). One tenth of one percent would be $100 and she spent closer to eight tenths of one percent. See more »

Quotes

Danny Fuller: For your sake, beautiful, I hope you're not tryina soft-soap me. I wouldn't take too kindly to it.
[pushes her]
Jane Palmer: What's all that about?
Danny Fuller: That's just to remind ya, honey, you're in a tough racket now.
See more »

Connections

References The Luck of the Irish (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Gritty Little Noir
7 August 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the convoluted plot. The movie's a sleeper among noirs, thanks mainly to an unpredictable and well thought-out screenplay from writer Huggins. Just when you think you've got things figured, you don't. I especially like the way Huggins subtly reverses Jane's (Scott) and Danny's (Duryea) competitive relationship. Watching the two circle each other is like watching two hungry sharks. Apparently, they want to mate but don't dare get too close. Note too, how effectively director Haskin uses the stylish wide-brimmed hats to veil the identity of men entering a room. I don't recall this clever effect in any other film. This is also one of the few noirs to make the central character a woman (Jane) instead of a man.

Then too, it's a very well cast movie. Duryea is of course Duryea, a major icon of noir. On the other hand, Scott was always more a presence than an actress. Still, her presence here is used to good effect as a greedy spider woman, even if she doesn't achieve much depth. But I especially like the underrated Don DeFore. His trademark nice guy is also used to good effect in what turns out to be something more than just a nice guy. (Be sure to catch ex-Dead End kid Billy Halop as the cranky boat manager.)

I guess the only missing element from classic noir are the angular shadows of moral ambivalence. Haskin does film a number of night scenes, but I don't spot the classic lighting. Perhaps that's because his specialty as a director was science fiction and adventure films. Anyway, I'm not sure why this withering little drama hasn't achieved more recognition. Maybe it's because it was an independent production without studio backing. But whatever the reason, the movie remains a gritty little noir worth catching up with.


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