Also known as: Killer Bait (reissue title)
Release Date: July 17th, 1949 (Hollywood premiere)
Directed by: Byron Haskin
Written by: Roy Huggins
Based on: Too Late for Tears by Roy Huggins
Music by: R. Dale Butts
Cast: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy
Hunt Stromberg Productions, United Artists, 100 Minutes
“Don’t ever change, Tiger. I don’t think I’d like you with a heart.” – Danny Fuller
This was a film that was lost for decades but was recently restored by The Noir Foundation.
It stars two noir greats: Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea.
That being said, the performances are damn good. Lizabeth Scott is, by far, one of my favorite femme fatales and Dan Duryea is just a perfect noir heavy.
The story starts with a couple driving through the Hollywood Hills at night. They stop during an argument and a car speeding by literally throws a bag of money at them. They take the bag, just as another car approaches them, obviously on the hunt for the cash. They get away with the money but the greed overcomes the woman, who spends the rest of the film succumbing to her greed and destroying anything in the way of that greed.
It’s not a greatly conceived plot but it works for the heyday of film-noir.
The film really is carried by the performances of Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea. In fact, it suffers a bit once Duryea is killed off.
Still, the cinematography was good and the direction was solid.
This wasn’t the best outing for either star but it was fun seeing them together and their chemistry worked.
Also, it is great seeing films like this restored, after being missing or incomplete for years. I always look forward to seeing films resurrected for modern audiences, whether they are good, bad or somewhere in between.
Pairs well with: other film-noir pictures with Lizabeth Scott: Pitfall, Dead Reckoning, Desert Fury, Dark City, The Racket and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.