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Film / Too Late for Tears

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The most Femme Fatale that ever femme fataled.

Too Late for Tears (1949) is a Film Noir directed by Byron Haskin, starring Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea.

Alan (Arthur Kennedy) and Jane (Scott) Palmer have just stumbled upon a suitcase full of cash — around $60,000 to be exact. Alan wants to give it up to the police while Jane wants it to live a lavish lifestyle. They both compromise by having the bag checked in at a train station. While Alan tries to forget about it, Jane becomes obsessed with keeping it. Soon, the bagís intended owner, Danny Fuller (Duryea), comes to reclaim the money, but under no circumstance will Jane let that money escape, so she leads Danny on.

Meanwhile, with Alan gone missing, his sister, Kathy (Kristine Miller), and an old army friend of his, Don Blake (Don DeFore), suspect Jane is the murderer.

This film is currently in the Public Domain.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jane manipulates Alan, Danny, Kathy, basically anyone in her circle.
  • Crime After Crime: The accidental murder of Alan is just the start for Jane: she lies, attempts murder, and actually murders to hide her first crime.
  • Driven to Suicide: What Blake or really Blanchard thinks Jane led her first husband to do.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Danny has an attack of conscience when Jane asks him to buy poison to kill Cathy with. He gets drunk to forget about the implications.
  • Femme Fatale: Jane admits to having planned to kill her husband, changes her mind, but kills him anyway; she tries to kill Danny on several occasions and fails when he finds out until she finally gets him while heís still drunk with the poison he bought for her; she plans to kill Kathy but doesnít manage to in the end. All of this done for $60,000.00 note 
  • Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: Danny suffers from this with the whole poison situation which shows how much more cruel Jane is.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Used by Don to get Jane to confess that Alan is in the bottom of the lake.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jane almost gets away with it all in Mexico, but The Hays Code was still around, so she must pay for her crimes.
  • Perfect Poison: Danny gets Jane an untraceable poison to kill Cathy with, but he doesnít go quite as he planned. Jane puts it in his bourbon and he keels over and dies almost immediately after drinking.
  • Police Are Useless: They donít find anything suspicious about a man gone missing since Jane has set it up so well. But Kathy, and eventually Don, arenít quite so convinced.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Danny first meets Jane, he slaps her around to get the message across that she wants his money back. He, however, didnít know with what kind of woman he was dealing with.