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Too Late for Tears – Arrow Academy (BluRay / DVD Combo Release) 
Written by: on June 21st, 2016

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1949
Director: Byron Haskin
Writers: Roy Huggins
Cast: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy, Kristine Miller, Barry Kelley

BluRay released:  June 13th, 2016
Approximate running time: 101 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 aspect ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: PG (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy
Region Coding: Region Free / Region Free NTSC (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99 (UK)

Synopsis: Fate drops $60,000 into the lap of a gold digger whose previous husband died under mysterious circumstances and she will do anything, even commit murder to maintain her newfound wealth.

Too Late for Tears was directed by Byron Haskin whose other notable films include, I Walk Alone and Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Key collaborators on Too Late for Tears include, cinematographer William C. Mellor (A Place in the Sun, The Diary of Anne Frank) and screenwriter Roy Huggins (The Fugitive – T.V. series).

Though the premise covers familiar territory, a character coming into possession of money that is not theirs and what they do after this fateful moment. Do they give it back or do they keep it and act like nothing happened? The problem with the latter is that whenever money is involved there is always going to be someone who wants said money back. Also playing such a deadly game, like keeping money that is not yours can be fatal. Fortunately, the protagonist takes the latter and this sets in motion a deadly game of cat and mouse.

The narrative is well constructed and the pacing is never an issues as things move along quickly from one revelation to the next. The main characters are well defined and their motivations are never in doubt!

From a production standpoint the cinematography does a great job creating atmosphere and reinforcing the mood. Standout moments visually include; the protagonist kills her husband while they are on a boat that is usually used for couples on romantic getaway’s. Realizing she will be caught by the time she docks the boat. She enlists the help of the man who money she has stolen and has him play the role of her husband. Another standout scene is the film’s final scene where the protagonist is finally forced into admitting to their crimes.

This film’s most durable asset are the performances this film two leads, Lizabeth Scott (Dead Reckoning, Pitfall) in the role of Jane Palmer aka the gold digging wife and Dan Duryea (The Woman in the Window, Scarlett Street) in the role of Danny Fuller, that man whose money Jane has stolen. These two actors have a tremendous amount of chemistry and they both bring their A game to their performances.

Murder, blackmail and a Femme Fatale, Too Late for Tears has all the core ingredients that make for a classic example of Film Noir at its best.

The BluRay:

Too Late for Tears comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Considering how difficult it was to find usable elements and this brand new 2k transfer from a restoration far exceeds expectations. Grain looks natural, the image looks crisp, black and contrast levels look strong throughout and there are no issues with DNR or compression.

This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio in in very good shape as dialog is clear and everything sounds balanced.

Extras for this release include, a restoration featurette titled Tiger Hunt: Restoring Too Late for Tears (4 minutes 29 seconds), a featurette titled Chance of a Lifetime: The Making of Too Late for Tears (16 minutes 22 seconds) and an audio commentary with writer, historian and film programmer Alan K. Rode.

Topics discussed in the extra titled Chance of a Lifetime: The Making of Too Late for Tears include, Lizbeth Scott and how this is arguably one of the best performances, Dan Duryea and how he was often type cast in the role he portrays in this film, other actors who were originally approached and passed on this film, screenwriter Roy Huggins and how the novel differs when compared to the film and other production related topics.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, screenwriter Rog Huggins and how the film was adapted from his novel of the same name, producer Hunt Stromberg and information about other films he worked on, the cast and information about them, how the film was shot on a shoestring budget, how this film’s two stars Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea were often typecast and his thoughts about the film.

Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and twenty-four-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled It Is Never Too Late written by Brian Light and information about the restoration. Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Too Late for Tears gets a solid release from Arrow Academy, highly recommended.

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