A Closer Look at Ann Sheridan and Lizabeth Scott: Detectives and Dames: A Flicker Alley Noir Blog-a-Thon!

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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:

https://everythingnoir.com/2015/06/24/review-women-on-the-run/

The second film is Too Late for Tears  which I reviewed here:

https://everythingnoir.com/2016/01/14/review-too-late-for-tears/

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

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and Lizabeth Scott in Too Late for Tears .

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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

here:http://www.flickeralley.com/classic-movies/#!/Woman-on-the-Run/p/59318243

You can buy Too Late for Tears

here:http://www.flickeralley.com/classic-movies/#!/Too-Late-for-Tears/p/59318231

Also check out all the other Blog-a-Thon entries here:

Detectives and Dames:
A Flicker Alley Noir Blog-a-Thon!

 

 

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Review: Woman on the Run

As Eddie Muller said, this is the best film noir you have never seen. This film went into public domain making it easy to find and see, but the quality has been lost in the over copying. Muller himself was key in finding a few original prints and getting them edited together to make a restored version. He introduced this on the first night of TCM’s Summer of Darkness. This film was made in 1950 and directed by Norman Foster, who also helped with the screenplay, based on a story by Sylvia Tate.

This story is about an artist who witnesses a murder. It turns out the man murdered was a key witness in a case. The artist played by Ross Elliott is now the key witness and only person that can identify the murderer. He runs from the cops knowing his life is in danger. His wife played by our main star, Ann Sheridan is the police’s only lead in finding their new witness. She is crafty and out smarts the police at every turn, getting away from them in the hopes to find her husband before the police find him. Our couple has been married for four years and things are not going well. As the movie goes on she finds new things about her husband that makes her heart grow fonder of her husband. She also realizes her husband really does love her. Along the way she teams up with a journalist played by Dennis O’keefe to help find her husband. He is offering good money for an exclusive interview from her husband and seems to know the city of San Francisco. As our two are on their hunt for the missing witness we get to see a lot of this classic noir city. The hunt continues as our duo continue to try to lose the cops and beat them to her husband, but not everything is as it seems.

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This film has a grand finale at a Carnival, something I have seen in two other noir films with the first and most famous one being The Lady from Shanghai. We also see an artist getting in over his head, this is also the third time I have seen this theme, with Scarlet Street being the first and best of this idea. Yes, I would put this movie behind these other two on my list of great film noir, but this film would be on the list. I have not seen a lot of films with Ann Sheridan before, but this movie has made me a fan and I will be looking to see more of her movies. If you are a fan of Sheridan or classic film noir, this is a must see. I did see the restored version and have not seen the public domain versions, but from the sound of things, it is worth seeking out the new restored version.

Favorite Tidbit:  Eddie Muller mentioned that he thought Ann Sheridan made a conscious decision not to be objectified in this film, as she was more known for her curves then her acting up to this point. She wore a big coat in almost every scene in this film to cover her body.