Sunday, December 6, 2009

Too Late For Tears Poster Gallery

Here's a look at some of the posters rolled out for Lizabeth Scott's classic noir Too Late For Tears. It's interesting to see how different people--in different places at different times--have tried to market this low budget crime flick. Liz herself is presented as fresh-faced and innocent, as a victim, as a woman terrified by what she has done, and as a cold blooded killer. (Note: the film was re-released as Killer Bait.)

Above: at first glance, you might think this was a light romantic movie. The central picture of Liz is actually quite lovely. It's only when you look closer that you begin to realize this is a darker kind of movie.

Above: in the forties Dan Duryea was famous for slapping around his female costars (and had a weirdly devoted female fan base--remember that fact the next time someone tells you that things were simpler in the old days). This poster clearly features Duryea at work. What's interesting here is that the misogyny of the poster stands in contrast to the film. In the movie, Duryea does indeed slap Liz, but it's Liz who is the truly cold one. Duryea finds that out the hard way.
Above: more of Duryea's handiwork. Notice that this image was repeated for no fewer than three posters. Misogyny sells.

Above: this poster recasts the movie along conventional noir lines. Here Liz seems like a normal woman who inadvertently does something horrible. Notice too, that she's wearing a somewhat dowdy high collared blouse here, very middle-class housewifey. I believe this is the UK poster for the film.

Above: The movie was retitled Killer Bait, presumably to make it sound more like a gritty crime flick. Notice that the poster reflects this new approach, featuring two guns, Liz screaming in horror, ect.
Above: Spanish language poster. That gun has gotten big. Also, notice that Liz's name and image are featured more prominently here. This is the only poster I've found where her name was significantly larger than that of her co-stars.

Above: Danish language poster, loosely translated as No Way Back. I love this one. Liz looks like a sexy zombie.
Above: the Swedish language poster which translates as In Cold Blood. Looks a bit like Vertigo here, I think.
Above: a DVD package from Image. The picture of Liz is lifted from her publicity stills from Dead Reckoning (maybe because that was an A-list Bogart picture and more money was spent on them, or because Liz simply looked good in them). Here, though, she is pure sexy, ice-blooded she-devil.

Above: a cheapo DVD package. Thrown together. This is the only packaging of this film I've ever seen that rearranges the star billing. Not sure why they did that. Note, also, that Don DeFore's name has disappeared.


2 comments:

Ben Rylan said...

Love, love, LOVE this post. Especially that Vertigo-esque poster.

I believe the DVD (or was it video?) release of Lizabeth scott's 'Pitfall' omitted her name altogether, replacing it with Jane Wyatt. I don't understand why they do things like that either.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Great selection. I like the Swedish one.