Last Call (2012)

US / 24 minutes / color / Broken Box Dir: Jim Chaliz Scr: Stephen Herman, David Chin Cine: Bill Saxelby (or Saxleby, in closing credits) Cast: Anna Konkle, Christopher Schram, Joe Maloney, Maria Bardina, David Chin, Sophia Nelson.

Professional woman Kristin (Konkle) is phoned late one night by a man (Schram), identifying himself only as “3D,” who demands her help because he plans to commit suicide within the next half-hour or so. When she declares herself unable to help a complete stranger by telephone in these circumstances, he becomes increasingly aggressive toward her, portraying her as inadequate and implying that it’ll be because of her inadequacy that he dies.

Anna Konkle as Kristin

Finally he presents her with a riddle concerning two passengers in an elevator, telling her that if she can solve it she’ll have a key to saving his life. She offers two valid solutions to the riddle, of which he accepts the second, but still she can’t Continue reading

Too Late for Tears (1949)

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Lizabeth Scott triumphs in an underrated noir classic!
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vt Killer Bait
US / 100 minutes / bw / Hunt Stromberg, UA Dir: Byron Haskin Pr: Hunt Stromberg Scr: Roy Huggins Story: Too Late for Tears (1947, originally serialized in Saturday Evening Post) by Roy Huggins Cine: William Mellor Cast: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy, Kristine Miller, Barry Kelley, Smoki Whitfield, David Clarke, Billy Halop.

Too Late for Tears - 0 opener

If there was any single movie or actor that set me off on the long and winding course toward writing A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir, Too Late for Tears was that movie and Lizabeth Scott was that actor.

I first watched the movie sometime in the early 2000s. Before that I’d written quite extensively on animation—in fact, I’d not so very long before seen publication of my book Masters of Animation—and on fantasy movies, for The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, edited by John Clute and myself. I’d been playing around with various ideas for more books on animation and/or the cinema of the fantastic, but then, for some reason—perhaps just because it came on TCM while I was sitting on the couch, who knows?—I found myself watching Too Late for Tears for the first time.

And it felt like coming home.

Of course, I’d watched countless films noirs before then, and liked them a lot—The BLUE DAHLIA (1946) was a particular favorite (have I ever mentioned my longtime crush on Veronica Lake?)—but Continue reading