DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Too Late for Tears
Too Late for Tears
Image // Unrated // May 25, 2004
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted May 23, 2004 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

Image Entertainment has started an imprint, Dark City, which will be solely devoted to releasing classic film noir movies on DVD.  Their first release was Kansas City Confidential back in the summer of 2002.  After that I didn't hear anything about the imprint and assumed that it withered on the vine until I received Too Late for Tears and noticed that this was another Dark City release.  It may have taken two years, but I was happy to see that they were still putting out noir.

At least I was happy until I popped the disc into my player and saw how horrible the print was.  This is absolutely unwatchable.  Skip down to the video section to read more.

This film stars two film noir greats, Dan Duryea and Lizabeth Scott.  Both of them made a name for themselves playing tough guys and femme fatales (respectively,) and this movie, made when both of them were at their peaks, looks to be a great thriller.

Driving home on a lonely road one night, Alan (Arthur Kennedy) and Jane Palmer (Lizabeth Scott) have a bag thrown into their car by another vehicle that drives by.  They open it up and find that the satchel is stuffed with money.  They get a little scared, but it soon turns to terror when another car starts chasing them.  It seems that they have accidentally intercepted a payoff and the intended receiver wants his money back.

After a chase through the streets they loose him, and Alan wants to turn the money into the police.  Jane doesn't, she thinks they should keep it, and convinces her husband to at least take it to their apartment to look it over.  It turns out that they've received about $100,000 in cash.  Alan still wants to turn it in, but there is no way Jane is going to give it up, even when the crook, Danny Fuller (Dan Duryea) turns up at their door.  As a matter of fact, Jane would rather kill her husband and go off with Danny than turn all of that money in.

This was a pretty good movie, but the wretched picture just sapped all the life out of it.  The picture quality was so bad that the DVD is virtually unwatchable.  I spent most of my time trying to distinguish which amorphous blob was which character during the night scenes.  The fully lit scenes were a little better, but they mostly illuminated the print defects that the night scenes obscured.  It is really impossible to judge the movie based on this print.  You couldn't see what the director did with the lighting or even how well the actors preformed.

An actual screen capture from the movie:  Dan Duryea and Lizabeth Scott, or possibly two other people, talking in a car.  Or on a boat.  Or maybe someplace else, it's hard to tell.

The DVD:


The back cover of this DVD lists the running time as being 98 minutes, which is close enough to the IMDB's listed time of 99 minutes.  Unfortunately, the actual running time of the movie on the DVD is only 96½-minutes.  The missing couple of minutes seem to be due to the large number of missing frames throughout the running of the movie.

Audio:

The two channel mono soundtrack was not very good.  There is a good amount of background hiss, and frequent pops and cracks.  Worse than that, there are many dropped syllables and words throughout the movie due to splices and missing frames.  The dialog was distorted in parts too.  The audio on this disc is very unimpressive.

Video:

I really wanted for this movie to have a nice transfer.  I was hoping to report that it looked fine and recommend that everyone run out and buy a copy, but I can't.  The full frame picture is very dark, with all of the details disappearing into the background.  Several important scenes are too dark to see what is going on.  At one point, a gun falls out of Jane's handbag.  You could hear it drop, but couldn't see what it was, which killed any suspense the scene might have had.

There are a lot of missing frames too, with a good number of specks and dirt on the print.  There are places where the damage is so bad that it's hard to see the image.  The picture is also very blurry.  I could go on and on, but as you can see from the screen capture, this DVD is unwatchable.

The Extras:

Image has included a couple of nice bonus features with this DVD.   In addition to the cast and crew text biographies, Eddie Muller, author of several books on film noir gives a quick overview of Liz Scott's career in Lizabeth Scott:  Femme Fatale.  He does the same thing for the male lead of the movie in Dan Duryea:  Lady Killer.   These video profiles are five and eight minutes long respectively.  The video on these interviews is pretty dark and not too sharp.  There are a lot of digital defects, but these are still watchable.

There is also a nice selection of production stills and lobby cards.

Final Thoughts:

This is a good noir thriller, but the absolutely horrible print make this movie unwatchable.  This DVD looks like something Madacy or some other public domain outfit would release.  Even at a $9 retail price, that would be too much for this DVD.  At a MSRP of $24.99, this is a swindle.  Skip It.
 

Other Reviews:
Popular Reviews
1. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series
2. The Wonder Years: The Complete Series
3. Nightbreed: The Director's Cut
4. WKRP In Cincinnati: The Complete Series
5. F for Fake: Criterion Collection
6. Sex Tape
7. Sea Hunt: Complete Season 1
8. The Dogs of War (Limited Edition Series)
9. Snowpiercer
10. Begin Again


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use