AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Too Late for Tears
Alternate Title: Too Many Tears
Director: Byron Haskin (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Jul 1949
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 17 Jul 1949
Production Date:   mid-Sep--mid-Oct 1948 at Republic Studios
Duration (in mins):   100
Duration (in feet):   9,012
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Lizabeth Scott (Jane Palmer, also known as Jane Petrie)  
    Don DeFore (Don Blake)  
    Dan Duryea (Danny Fuller)  
    Arthur Kennedy (Alan Palmer)  
    Kristine Miller (Kathy Palmer)  
    Barry Kelley (Lt. Breach)  
    Denver Pyle (Young man at train station)  
    Kenny O'Morrison (Motorcycle cop)  
    Robert Bice (Motorcycle cop)  
    Richard Irving (Bindlestiff)  
    Jimmie Dodd (Bindlestiff)  
    George K. Mann (Texan)  
    Harry Vejar (Teniente)  
    June Storey (Girl)  
    Jimmy Ames (Fat man)  
    Jim Nolan (Parker)  
    John Butler (Little man)  
    Smoki Whitfield (Pete)  
    William Halop (Boat attendant)  
    David Clarke (Sharber)  
    Charles Flynn (Officer)  
    George Backus (Officer)  
    John Mansfield    
    Garry Owen (Officer at switchboard)  
    Gregg Barton (Clerk)  
    Billy Wayne (Gas station attendant)  
    Robert Kellard (Squad car policeman)  
    Perry Ivins (Attendant at stand)  
    Alex Montoya (Customs officer)  
    Robert E. Neff (Man in black car)  
    Renee Donatt (Young girl)  
    Carl Thompson (Young boy)  
    Jack Shea (Patrol officer)  
    Virginia Mullen    
    Patricia Wallace    

Summary: As they drive down a winding road to a party in the Hollywood Hills, Jane Palmer begs her husband Alan, who is driving the couple's convertible, to turn the car around. When she explains that she cannot face the party and all the rich and snobbish people they will meet there, Alan graciously obliges, turning around and heading back along the road. As they pass an oncoming car, the driver mistakenly tosses a suitcase full of cash into their back seat. After stopping briefly, the couple returns home, and the next morning, Alan goes to Union Station and checks the suitcase, for which he receives a claim ticket. While he is out, gangster Danny Fuller arrives at the Palmers' apartment and demands that Jane give him the suitcase. When she tells him that they have already turned it over to the police, Danny threatens to return if her story does not turn up in the newspapers in the next few days. Days later, Alan and Jane make plans for dinner and a boat ride at a nearby lake. While Alan is out, Danny returns, and Jane persuades him to split the money with her. She arranges to meet him at a palm tree by the shore of the lake, and then goes to meet Alan for dinner. Afterward, Alan and Jane take a motorized boat onto the lake, where she callously shoots and kills him. She then steers the boat toward the palm tree and picks up Danny, who helps her dump Alan's corpse overboard. Later, at the apartment house, Alan's worried sister Kathy Palmer obtains a pass key to the couple's apartment and finds the ticket. Kathy takes it and is about to leave, when she hears a knock at the door. She opens it and meets a man named Don Blake, who introduces himself as Alan's friend and fellow war veteran. Later, Jane meets Blake, of whom she is immediately suspicious, and phones Sharber, a friend of Alan's with whom she is acquainted. When Sharber tells her that he does not recognize Blake's name, Jane demands that he leave. Later, Jane asks Danny to buy her some poison so that she can kill Kathy. At the apartment, Blake arrives to pick up Kathy for a date, and she gives him the ticket. He agrees to stop at Union Station, but before they leave, Jane demands that they come over to her apartment, where Sharber is waiting. When Sharber says that he does not recognize Blake, Kathy demands that he return the ticket. Jane, however, pulls her gun, grabs the ticket and rushes to collect the suitcase herself. Later, Jane goes to Danny's house, slips some poison into his drink and then flees to Mexico. There, she checks into a lavish hotel and hides the suitcase, after which Blake arrives with several Mexican police officers. Blake, who reveals that he is actually the brother of Jane's first husband, says that he never believed the report that his brother had committed suicide, but rather, has always suspected Jane of murdering him. Overwhelmed by panic and dismay, Jane slips, falling from the balcony to her death below. Later, Blake returns home to marry Kathy. 

Production Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
  Streamline Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: Byron Haskin (Dir)
  Dick Moder (Asst dir)
Producer: Hunt Stromberg (Prod)
  Hunt Stromberg (Pres)
Writer: Roy Huggins (Scr)
Photography: William Mellor (Dir of photog)
  Herb Kirkpatrick (Cam op)
  Hap Hodges (Gaffer)
  Mickey Marigold (Stills)
Art Direction: James Sullivan (Art dir)
Film Editor: Harry Keller (Film ed)
Set Decoration: John McCarthy Jr. (Set dec)
  Charles Thompson (Set dec)
Costumes: Adele Palmer (Gowns)
Music: Dale Butts (Mus)
  Morton Scott (Mus dir)
Sound: Earl Crain Sr. (Sd)
  Howard Wilson (Sd)
Special Effects: Howard Lydecker (Spec eff)
  Theodore Lydecker (Spec eff)
  Consolidated Film Industries (Opt eff)
Make Up: Bob Mark (Makeup supv)
  Peggy Gray (Hairstylist)
  Howard Smit (Makeup)
Production Misc: Bob Sterling (Asst to prod)
  Lou Rosso (Prod mgr)
  Marvin Weldon (Scr supv)
  Ben Bishop (Grip)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel Too Late for Tears by Roy Huggins (Los Angeles, 1947)
Authors: Roy Huggins

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Streamline Pictures, Inc. 8/7/1949 dd/mm/yyyy LP2379 Yes

PCA NO: 13539
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Film noir
 
Subjects (Major): Betrayal
  Gangsters
  Greed
  Money
  Murder
 
Subjects (Minor): Apartments
  Automobiles
  Balconies
  Boats
  Brothers-in-law
  Convertibles
  Corpses
  Falls from heights
  Hollywood (CA)
  Hotels
  Impersonation and imposture
  Keys
  Lakes
  Marriage
  Poisoning
  Police
  Robbery
  Suitcases
  Train stations
  Union Station (Los Angeles, CA)
  Veterans

Note: The working title of the film was Too Many Tears . Roy Huggins' novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post (19 Apr--24 May 1947). According to a NYT news item dated 6 Jun 1948, Hunt Stromberg's deal to produce this film was to be "unique in Republic's history, since Republic, itself, is a distributing company and yet it will, in effect, be producing a picture for U.A. release." Stromberg borrowed Lizabeth Scott, Kristine Miller, Don Defore and director Byron Haskin from independent producer Hal Wallis for the production. In Jun 1948, DV reported that Wendell Corey and Kirk Douglas were scheduled to appear in the cast, but they did not appear in the released film. HR production charts add John Bromfield to the cast, but he was not in the released film. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   16 Apr 1949.   
Daily Variety   16 Jun 1948.   
Daily Variety   8 Apr 49   p. 3.
Film Daily   8 Apr 49   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Jun 48   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jul 48   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Sep 48   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Sep 48   p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Oct 48   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Apr 49   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   9 Apr 49   p. 4565.
New York Times   6 Jun 1948.   
New York Times   15 Aug 49   p. 12.
Variety   13 Apr 49   p. 11.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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