Too Late for Tears ()

directed by Byron Haskin
featuring Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy, Kristine Miller

Show Synopsis

When Lizabeth Scott's Jane Greer husband Arthur Kennedy accidentally gets his mitts on $60,000 in stolen money, she insists that he keep the dough rather than turn it over to the authorities. Two-bit private eye Dan Duryea catches on to Scott's subterfuge, and demands that she turn the cash over to him. Scott persuades Duryea to split the money with her--then, determining that Kennedy might be too honest for everyone's own good, she murders her husband. To cover her tracks, Scott reports her husband as missing. This brings ...

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Dec 23, 2019

The Tiger

Too Late for Tears" is a 1949 noir film features the ultimate femme fatale, Jane Palmer, (Lizabeth Scott) aptly referred to by one of her male foils, Danny Fuller, (Dan Duryea) as Tiger. The film also has an alternate title, "Killer Bait".

Set in Los Angeles and based on a story by Roy Huggins, the story begins when Jane and her bland husband Alan (Arthur Kennedy) mysteriously have a large satchel of cash thrown into their car. Alan wants to take the money to the police, but the tigress persuades him to hold onto it for a while. This proves to be a fatal mistake as Jane embarks on a series of murders and other misdeeds in her attempt to keep the stash. The unfortunate hubby proves to be the first victim while the blackmailing claimant of the cash, Danny, soon follows suit. There is a large cast of supporting characters, including the police. and a plot filled with twists and turns and with a romantic interest. The film is low-budget, suspenseful, and well-made. It kept my attention.

For a long time, "Too Late for Tears" was almost forgotten.. The acting, story, and setting make this a classic noir film. According to WIKI, the film received the following favorable review from the New York Times upon its original 1949 release.

"If proof be needed at this point that money is the root of all evil-a theme, incidentally, which has been the root of more than one motion picture-then Too Late for Tears, which came to the Mayfair on Saturday, is proof positive. For producer Hunt Stromberg, director Byron Haskin and scenarist Roy Huggins, who adapted his own Saturday Evening Post serial, herein have fashioned an effective melodramatic elaboration of that theme. Despite an involved plot and an occasional overabundance of palaver, not all of which is bright, this yarn about a cash-hungry dame who doesn't let men or conscience stand in her way, is an adult and generally suspenseful adventure."

The film has been recently restored by the Film Noir Foundation, but I haven't seen the restoration. This neglected film is in the public domain and with a little searching may be watched for free online.

This is excellent film noir for those viewers who love the genre and who are willing to explore a rare movie slightly off the beaten path.

Robin Friedman

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