Storm Fear (1955)

Mike's Take On the Movies .......... Rediscovering Cinema's Past

A gang of bank robbers on the run hold up at a farm just as a winter storm hits the area forcing the criminals to play tough with the family living within. Now if I told you Dan Duryea and Cornel Wilde were the two opposing stars in the film, wouldn’t you just assume that Duryea was the criminal? Not so this time out in this black and white thriller that saw Wilde do triple duty as director, producer and star.

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Duryea is introduced as the world weary husband to Jean Wallace and father to David Stollery. It’s a rather weak character in the Duryea cannon that sees him jealous of handy man Dennis Weaver and as we shall see later, for good reason. When Weaver is away from the farm, a sedan arrives carrying a wounded Cornel, a moll in a mink played by Lee Grant and a gun happy…

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Bad Blonde: TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949)

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Too_Late_for_Tears_DVDI just finished viewing the 1949 feature TOO LATE FOR TEARS on TCM. The title may sound like a weepy tearjerker, but this is film noir dynamite. Once incomplete due to falling into public domain, the UCLA Film & Television Archive have restored it to its black & white glory. I’d never seen this one before, and it was time well spent. It’s based on a Saturday Evening Post serial by screenwriter Roy Huggins, who later went on to produce television classics like MAVERICK, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, and BARETTA. TOO LATE FOR TEARS can hold it’s own with the better known noirs of the era.

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Heel with a Heart: Dan Duryea in THE UNDERWORLD STORY (United Artists 1950)

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Hollywood’s favorite heel Dan Duryea got a rare starring role in THE UNDERWORLD STORY, a 1950 crime drama in which he plays… you guessed it, a heel! But this heel redeems himself at the film’s conclusion, and Duryea even wins the girl. Since that girl is played by my not-so-secret crush Gale Storm , you just know I had to watch this one!

The part of muckraking tabloid journalist Mike Reese is tailor-made for Duryea’s sleazy charms. He’s a big-city reporter who breaks a story about gangster Turk Meyers spilling to the D.A., resulting in the thug ending up murdered on the courthouse steps in a hail of bullets. DA Ralph Monroe (Michael O’Shea )  puts the pressure on Mike’s editor, and Reese becomes persona non grata in the newspaper game. Seeing an ad for a partner at a small town newspaper, Mike gets a $5,000 “loan” from crime boss Carl…

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The “Try It, You’ll Like It” Blogathon: Too Late for Tears (1949)

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Before my youngest daughter goes off to college next year (sniff!), I am determined to cram her with as much film noir as I can. In the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to take her to see three of my favorites on the big screen (which is pretty much the only way I can pin her down long enough to get her to watch a movie with me these days). The first was Double Indemnity (1944), to which she gave a mildly enthusiastic thumbs up, and the second was Criss Cross (1949), which she found to be a bit too confusing for her tastes. The one she liked the best, to my great surprise, was Too Late for Tears (1949).

Although it’s not my favorite of the three, it didn’t take long for me to understand why my daughter preferred Too Late for Tears – and why it’s…

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