Rent Too Late for Tears (1949)

3.6 of 5 from 68 ratings
1h 41min
Rent Too Late for Tears (aka Killer Bait) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Jane Palmer (Lizabeth Scott) and her husband Alan (Arthur Kennedy) mysteriously have $60,000 literally dropped in their laps. The circumstances seem mighty suspicious to Alan, who wants to turn the money over to the police. But in a materialistic rapture, Jane won't let it go. She doesn't care where it came from, or what danger might ensue - not if it will bring her the luxury she craves. Enter shady Danny Fuller (Duryea, as cocky and menacing as ever), who claims the money belongs to him. Let the games begin! Roy Huggins' snappy script (adapted from his novel) is a complex, breezy and black-hearted homage to James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler.
Rapacious housewife Jane Palmer is one of the juiciest female villains in Hollywood history, and Liz Scott's best role ever.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Hunt Stromberg
Writers:
Roy Huggins
Aka:
Killer Bait
Studio:
Arrow Academy
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/06/2016
Run Time:
101 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary by writer, historian, and film programmer Alan K. Rode
  • Chance Of A Lifetime: The Making of Too Late For Tears - A new behind-the-scenes examination of the film's original production produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation, featuring noir experts Eddie Muller, Kim Morgan, and Julie Kirgo
  • Tiger Hunt: Restoring Too Late For Tears-A chronicle of the multi-year mission to rescue this "lost" noir classic produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation
  • Gallery featuring rare photographs, poster art and original lobby cards
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/06/2016
Run Time:
101 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary by writer, historian, and film programmer Alan K. Rode
  • Chance Of A Lifetime: The Making of Too Late For Tears - A new behind-the-scenes examination of the film's original production produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation, featuring noir experts Eddie Muller, Kim Morgan, and Julie Kirgo
  • Tiger Hunt: Restoring Too Late For Tears-A chronicle of the multi-year mission to rescue this "lost" noir classic produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation
  • Gallery featuring rare photographs, poster art and original lobby cards

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Reviews (1) of Too Late for Tears

The Dame of the Lake - Too Late for Tears review by CH

Spoiler Alert
29/10/2020

“Don't ever change, Tiger - I couldn't take it if you had a heart.” So says Dan Dureya who, while living in a torrid bedsit, has pulled off a $60,000 blackmail case after learning of a local corruption racket. Trouble is that, in the opening moments of this 1949 film, that briefcase of greenbacks landed in another open-top car, one being driven through the hills outside Los Angeles by Arthur Kennedy - alongside is his sharp-tongued wife Lisabeth Scott.

She had not wanted to visit their smart friends who make her feel low at heel. And now, after their turning back and a chase by the money's “rightful” owner, the marriage is even edgier, she urging him not to hand over the money to the police. And striking up that necessary friendship which leads to the affectionate name of Tiger.

As if this were not enough, Kennedy's sister (Kristine Miller) lives across the hallway, and it is clear from the start that she, an equal tiger, does not approve of this wife, whose first husband had killed himself.

To get its main stars cost the studio a significant chunk of the budget, which meant that when it came time for the cameras to roll, much use was made of the same interiors; this adds to the intensity of a drama, which often has only two characters in a scene; even when others come along, the continued circling of one another takes, shall we say, interesting turns. Quite a lot happens by daylight but this is quintessential noir.

It is a surprise that neither its writer (Roy Huggins, from his novel) nor director (Byron Haskin) liked the finished film: each blamed the other, and they cannot have been pleased that, despite some good reviews, it did not get wide distribution. For many years it was out of circulation, available only in roughly-copied versions. Happily, it has recently been restored to decidedly smart effect - and, on disc, it comes with an extra which includes some comments by Dan Dureya's son, who recalls that, although he played an array of villains, off-screen he never shouted at anybody, “except his agent”.

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