Too Late for Tears (1949)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Film Noir, Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Aug 13, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Too Late for Tears is a low-budget film noir that, if not quite a real gem, is a mighty good cubic zirconia. Coincidence is a noir staple, a not surprising fact when you consider that so many of these films deal on one level or another with the inexorability of fate; but some may find the level of coincidence in Tears a little off-putting. The screenplay also gets a little talky in places; this in itself is not bad, but the dialogue just misses having that little extra punch and crackle that the best noirs pride themselves on. Still, these little deficiencies don't seriously damage the film; and the plot, basic set-up and characters more than make up for these flaws. Also of considerable help are the performances of crime film staples Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea. Deep-voiced and throaty, Scott can always be counted on to give a femme fatale her all, but she goes all out in the role of Jane Palmer, using her many considerable wiles to great effect and creating a character that the viewer can't help but root for, even as he waits for her to get her comeuppance. Duryea matches her as Danny Fuller, the tough guy who finds he's out of his depth with Jane. Arthur Kennedy is fine as husband Alan Palmer, but Don DeFore is a bit weak as Don Blake, the mysterious stranger claiming to be a friend; a stronger personality is needed to hold the screen against Scott. Byron Haskin directs with skill and creates fine tension and atmosphere, also making good use of location shots. Too Late for Tears is no Double Indemnity, but fans of such films will be delighted to come across it.