Friday, February 06, 2015

Farewell to Lizabeth Scott

Film noir icon Lizabeth Scott has passed away at the age of 92.

Scott was born in Pennsylvania on September 29, 1922. She died nearly a week ago, on January 31st. She had retired from films and TV in the mid '60s, excepting a 1972 role in PULP.

My favorite Scott movie is the one I saw most recently: TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949) with Dan Duryea, which I included on my list of Favorite Discoveries of 2014.

I also especially enjoyed her as a homewrecker in PITFALL (1948). Alan K. Rode interviewed Scott prior to the screening and reported that she described her experience making the film as "delicious," and he said she had the highest regard for Dick Powell.

Karen wrote a lovely tribute to Scott at The Dark Pages on the occasion of Scott's birthday last fall.

Obituaries have been published by The Guardian, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

Lizabeth Scott movies previously reviewed here: VARIETY GIRL (1947), PITFALL (1948), EASY LIVING (1949), TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949), THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS (1951), TWO OF A KIND (1951), THE RACKET (1951), and SILVER LODE (1954).

Other notable Scott films include THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946), DEAD RECKONING (1947), I WALK ALONE (1948), DARK CITY (1950), BAD FOR EACH OTHER (1953), and LOVING YOU (1957). (Update: DEAD RECKONING has now been reviewed here, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS is reviewed here, DARK CITY is reviewed here, and I WALK ALONE may be found reviewed here. I've also reviewed DESERT FURY.)

Lizabeth Scott's work will be remembered and appreciated for as long as there are fans of film noir.

Update: TCM Remembers Lizabeth Scott.


Blogger john k said...

Farewell to a Great Lady....I would have thought her passing would have
generated a great deal more press coverage.
One of her best roles the striking Brit Noir THE WEAPON (1957) has just
been released by Olive Films. Her lone parent cafe waitress role is
refreshingly downbeat for the era.
Another great Brit Noir STOLEN FACE (1952) is also worth tracking down
and Lizabeth is sensational in that one.
STOLEN FACE along with CLOUDBURST are streets ahead of the other Hammer
Brit Noirs,great movies in their own right.
Loads of people would love to see RED MOUNTAIN get released a rugged and
exciting big budget Western that has Lizabeth alongside a truly stellar
cast:Alan Ladd,Arthur Kennedy,John Ireland,Neville Brand,Jeff Corey.
It's such a shame that ghastly Paramount have zero interest in their
classic film library. There ought to be a law against these people.

4:19 AM  
Blogger John G. said...

RIP, Lizabeth. One of my favorites of hers is "The Company She Keeps", one of the relatively few movies in which the great Jane Greer is NOT underutilized.

I'll have to look into the Olive Films release of "The Weapon." In addition to their movie reissues that I'm buying on a regular basis, I'm eternally grateful to them for continuing the stalled "King of the Hill" DVDs and for putting out the second season of the great, but ignored, office comedy "Better Off Ted." But those are subjects for a different blog, I suppose...

1:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, John K. It was interesting a relatively long time went between her death and it being reported in the media.

I have STOLEN FACE in the VCI Hammer series, looking forward to it! That cast for RED MOUNTAIN sure gets my attention too, and I'm interested in THE WEAPON.

John G., thank you for sharing your thoughts as well. THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS was interesting in part because Scott was the "good girl" which, as you know, she often was not!

Definitely a fan of Olive Films! I have several of their releases in my "hot stack" to enjoy in the coming weeks.

Best wishes,

2:06 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Nice tribute. I second the recommendation for Stolen Face! And like you I love Too Late for Tears. Wonderful long life and what a career.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Kristina! I just learned that TOO LATE FOR TEARS will be shown next month at the UCLA Festival of Preservations. That's one I'll definitely go see on a big screen a second time!

I'm going to go pull out my DVD of STOLEN FACE in hopes of seeing it soon... So many great options to choose to watch, it's a wonderful problem to have. :)

Best wishes,

5:28 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

I imagine there are a number of ways that one might describe Lizabeth Scott's character in PITFALL, but personally I would not call her a "homewrecker."

She is a woman who meets Dick Powell's character at a difficult time when she is very vulnerable, and they have an affair, but she doesn't seek to wreck his home; on the contrary she tries to keep it from his wife Jane Wyatt even though it means she, no less than Powell, has to deal with marvelously malevolent Raynond Burr. It seems to me that Powell is the one who is responsible to his marriage--he is an adult and makes his own decision to be unfaithful. It just doesn't work for me to think of Scott here as a "femme fatale" even if she might fit that description in some of her other movies.

In the course of the narrative, Scott's character winds up being destroyed, while Powell gets out of it pretty easily. He has to answer to his wife who does forgive him, though very coldly, and that's all. I don't feel much for either of them at the end; for me, Scott's character is the most sympathetic one in the movie. A very fine portrait of a woman who seems affectingly real.

Just a few thoughts as this is a movie I love and have always enjoyed going back to--saw it again only about a year ago.

RIP, Lizabeth Scott. .

12:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Blake,

Thanks for adding your comments regarding both Lizabeth Scott and PITFALL. I'd agree with you that it's not fair to label Scott's character solely as the homewrecker, as Powell's character was certainly aware of his own behavior even while he didn't stop himself, at least for a while.

No one ends up very happy in that movie, but it's quite a compelling drama.

Best wishes,

2:42 PM  

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