The following essay contains spoilers for Too Late for Tears:
Flicker Alley is hosting a noir blog-a-thon for their new Blu-ray/DVD release of two classic films noir which have been recently restored. They have asked me to participate in this blog-a-thon by writing something about one of these classic films. Unfortunately I do not have copies of these two films so I’m writing this based on viewing them quite a while ago. I also have already reviewed both of these films in the past on this site.
The first film we are looking at is Woman on the Run which I have reviewed here:
The second film is Too Late for Tears which I reviewed here:
So what is left to talk about? I would like to look at the two main stars and the characters that they play in these two films. It is interesting we have females as the main protagonists in both of these films, something we didn’t see very much in 1949 and 1950. This maybe the only thing these two films have in common, the two females are very different from one another.
The two leads are played by Ann Sheridan in Woman on the Run
and Lizabeth Scott in Too Late for Tears .
Our two leads have very little in common other then they are both married at the beginning of our films. Liz is happy in her marriage and Ann is not sure after 4 years of marriage if she is happy or not. Ann wears heavy coats in most of her film partly to show her acting chops instead of relying on her figure. Liz’s character uses her womanly charms to get what she wants from the men in her life, a classic femme fatale. Ann goes on a journey that seems to save her marriage; Liz has no problem getting rid of her husband for the chance at a bag full of money. Ann fights to find the truth while Liz does whatever it takes to cover up her trail.
As Ann’s and Liz’s characters in these two films seem like polar opposites their careers seem to be just as different. I was not that familiar with Ann’s career but after watching Woman on the Run I became a fan and have watched many films with her in it over the last year. She may have been known for her figure and get her start in film by winning a beauty contest; she used that to have a very diverse career. Holding her own with the top male stars from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. She was in many great films noir, but also held her own in everything from slap stick comedies to serious dramas.
Liz on the other hand became a star after appearing in the classic film noir, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, and seemed to be type cast. She appeared in mostly gritty films, often the femme fatale. With a sultry voice that gave Lauren Bacall a run for her money and a face that could cause any man to bend to her whim.
Though Liz and Ann where very different in career and character, they did have a few things in common. Both played strong females often and both had the talent to carry a film. If you are not familiar with either of these great actresses, these two films are a great place to start. If you are a fan, and have not seen these yet, go do it! I thank everybody involved in restoring these two films and can’t wait to see what films they will restore next!
You can buy Woman on the Run
You can buy Too Late for Tears
Also check out all the other Blog-a-Thon entries here:
One thought on “A Closer Look at Ann Sheridan and Lizabeth Scott: Detectives and Dames: A Flicker Alley Noir Blog-a-Thon!”
Engaging approach. I might add that both characters turn out to be very different from the first impressions they give. The films together suggest women are expected to play the role of obedient loving wife. Early in both films, Sheridan’s character rejects this social norm and Scott’s uses it to her advantage to manipulate men. Then, through their adventures, the former learns to be a good wife and the latter shows she’s a sociopath, never knowing what loving a man is or means.
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