Too Late for Tears

Jane, a gun and her husband

Misleading title, Too Late for Tears, suggesting there was a time for tears at all. By the time this 1949 film noir is done, the story of a woman rotten to the core, it’s clear that the time for tears – from her, or for her – might well be never. It’s Lizabeth Scott’s chance to chew the scenery, the furniture and her co-stars, playing a woman with a crushing sense of social inferiority who is transformed instantly when a big bag of cash suddenly lands on the back seat of the convertible she and her husband are powering towards a dreaded dinner party in the Hollywood hills. The car it came from … Read more


Original cinema poster

A good example of a flat, stoic, buttoned-up film noir, Pitfall is as minimal and undemonstrative as they come, depending on how you view sex and death. The stars are Dick Powell, deadpan Dick as usual, while Lizabeth Scott is the femme fatale, a model (and so an independent woman) who’s not so much bad as just plain elementally disruptive. There are three key men in this film – Powell as the everyday happily married insurance man John Forbes, Raymond Burr as “Mac” MacDonald, the shifty private investigator Forbes sometimes uses in murky cases, and Byron Barr as Smiley, a crook now doing time for a bent insurance claim. All have lost or … Read more