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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiger Gives Chaps Hollywood Chills
Little-known cult material because of Lizabeth's Scott's amoral, dangerous housewife pursuing the American Dream in the only way the lower-middle classes can in her mind and doing so out of vengeance for being looked down upon by the rich. Hers is an impressive performance with a smile that can light the room but a steely determination which feminists will admire. Dan...
Published 11 months ago by Mario

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't try to take Jane Palmer's deposit slip or you might find yourself crushed like an old cigarette butt
"We were white-collar poor," explains Jane Palmer to her husband, Alan. "Middle class poor. The kind of people who can't quite keep up with the Joneses and die a little every day because they can't." What she's explaining is her desire to keep the $80,000 someone tossed into their convertible by mistake. It was supposed to go to a blackmailer. Alan, an honest guy who...
Published on 19 Feb 2008 by C. O. DeRiemer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiger Gives Chaps Hollywood Chills, 8 Sep 2013
This review is from: Too Late for Tears [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Little-known cult material because of Lizabeth's Scott's amoral, dangerous housewife pursuing the American Dream in the only way the lower-middle classes can in her mind and doing so out of vengeance for being looked down upon by the rich. Hers is an impressive performance with a smile that can light the room but a steely determination which feminists will admire. Dan Duryea has another variant on his small time mobster who is really this time a sad little guy with a smidgin of conscience which leads him to drink. She doesn't need that at all. Twists and turns nicely throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Housewives can get awfully bored sometimes., 6 Jan 2012
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Too Late for Tears [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Too late for Tears is directed by Byron Haskin and written by Roy Huggins. It stars Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea and Arthur Kennedy. Music is by Dale Butts and cinematography by William C. Mellor.

One night Alan and Jane Palmer (Kennedy & Scott) are driving to a party out Hollywood way, when all of a sudden someone in another car tosses a suitcase filled with cash into the back seat of their car. So begins a tale of greed, betrayal and murder.......

Money is poison.

Low budget be damned, Too Late for Tears (AKA: Killer Bait) ends up being a film noir (in story terms) of some excellence. Banging the drum whilst singing that money be the root of all evil, Haskin (I Walk Alone) and Huggins (I Love Trouble) put Scott front and centre as one of the ultimate femme fatale bitch's. Jane Palmer is a cunning cat, it's perhaps not for nothing that Duryea's Danny Fuller pet names her as Tiger, for Palmer knows exactly what she wants, and now that she has the financial means and sees a way of elevating herself to the richer playing field, she literally will stop at nothing to keep it that way. Be it murder or her sexuality as a weapon, Palmer is in control; even as she takes the knuckles from the hapless Danny. It's a dynamite character and Scott has all the necessary requirements (sultry, blonde, angular bone structure) to make her work for maximum effect.

Around Scott there's much to enjoy as well. Duryea is perhaps a given in the sort of film noir role we just love him for, but also Kennedy as the foolish husband makes a telling impact. DeFore, as the character is written, has to play his cards close to his chest for much of the time, this often gives the sense that he has wandered into the wrong movie. It's a bit jarring at first, but once the plot ufurls in its entirety then it rounds out as a neat bit of performing. Bonus is Kristine Miller (Sorry, Wrong Number) as Alan Palmer's sister, Kathy. A lovely straight backed character of some warmth, it gives the viewers someone to hang their hopes on, a barely visible beacon of hope in a world full of lies and deceit. A fine performance from Miller, she should have had a bigger career in film.

Although the Los Angeles locations are utilised well, especially impressive given the tiny budget afforded the picture, film does lack potency in its surroundings. If ever a femme fatale character, one with men slowly being wrapped around her fingers, called for some gritty, dank & suspicious places to work out of, then this is it. William Mellor (The Naked Spur) puts his photographic talents to use at a boating lake, and brings some shadows to the characters in the various well lighted rooms that the plot plays out from, but the mood is not set at uneasy, a sense of foreboding to match the machinations of Jane Palmer. It's also 10 to 15 minutes too long, some flabby filler in the middle could have been trimmed, because the film begins to creak in the final third as we approach the sneaky finale.

But the story has the aces up its sleeve, it's strong enough in substance and performed very well by the cast, to become a film noir easily recommended to fans of that persuasion. 7.5/10
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't try to take Jane Palmer's deposit slip or you might find yourself crushed like an old cigarette butt, 19 Feb 2008
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Too Late for Tears [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
"We were white-collar poor," explains Jane Palmer to her husband, Alan. "Middle class poor. The kind of people who can't quite keep up with the Joneses and die a little every day because they can't." What she's explaining is her desire to keep the $80,000 someone tossed into their convertible by mistake. It was supposed to go to a blackmailer. Alan, an honest guy who loves his wife, wants to go to the police. She doesn't. (Please note: Plot points are discussed.)

Jane Palmer (Lizabeth Scott) is a toxic combination of sex, greed and phony love. In other words, a great noir femme fatale. If only Too Late for Tears were a great noir. Jane convinces her husband (Arthur Kennedy) to keep postponing turning over the money to the cops. Then she starts spending it. And Alan keeps underestimating her needs. "What is it, Jane?" Alan asks her. "I just don't understand you! I've tried to give you everything you wanted, everything I could." "Yes," she says, "you've given me a dozen down payments and installments for the rest of our lives."

When the blackmailer, Danny Fuller (Dan Duryea), tracks her down and wants his money, she convinces him she'll do a deal. "You haven't anything to hide, have you?" Danny asks, while looking her over as she sits and crosses her legs. "No, I can see you haven't." Jane soon sizes Danny up as a weak crook who can be led around by his undershorts.

After Alan disappears, permanently, Jane misleads her brother's sister and convinces the police she's done nothing wrong. Then Danny gets his with a belt of poison in his scotch. The sister's suspicions are met with an understanding smile. When a mysterious stranger, Don Blake (Don DeFore), shows up, however, Jane quickly sees that Blake is not the kind of guy who would be sympathetic to Jane's tales of growing up. Jane's legs don't seem to do much for him, either. It's not long before Blake is prodding, poking and hooking up with the sister to ask questions. Then it's a crack on the head for Blake and a swift car ride down to Mexico, cash in hand, for Jane. Will Jane ever meet a man she can't kill? Will she ever experience justice that can't be sidetracked with a sexy come hither? Will we learn the reason for Blake's persistent suspicions?

While Jane Palmer qualifies as one of noirdom's dangerous dames who can walk away from a corpse as easily as walking away from a crushed cigarette butt, Too Late for Tears, while fun for a while, is firmly planted in the second rate. (The ending is almost eye-poppingly melodramatic). This is largely due, I think, to the quality of the acting (with a couple of exceptions) and to the ambiguous attraction of Lizabeth Scott. For me, Scott simply doesn't strike any sparks. Her heavy eyebrows, low voice, overbite, Bryn Mawr accent and overly sincere acting style leave me unmoved. I can't see her as a sex object for randy males and I can't see her as capable of putting one over on reasonably smart males. Scott and the character she plays are the whole point of Too Late for Tears. Jane Palmer's fatal effect on men is great fun, but it's like reading about a black widow spider's mating habits without the fascinating revulsion of actually watching one at work.

Arthur Kennedy, one of the great actors Hollywood never knew what to do with, is completely believable and sympathetic as Alan Palmer. Dan Duryea does a nice job as the cheap, weak hood. Duryea is always a pleasure, but this time it's nothing Duryea hasn't done before and will do again.

Maybe I'm being too hard on Scott. I can't help but think that if a better actress or a more intriguing one had played Jane Palmer, the movie would have been as memorable as it is pleasantly and melodramatically nasty.

This public domain movie is in poor shape. Buyer beware regardless of the company selling it.
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