Thursday, February 04, 2016

Actress Kristine Miller Has Died at 90

Lovely actress Kristine Miller, who played a key role in the classic film noir TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949), has passed on at the age of 90.

A relative has confirmed that the actress died late last year.

In TOO LATE FOR TEARS Miller played the suspicious sister of murder victim Arthur Kennedy, who works with a mysterious stranger in town (Don DeFore) to pin the murder on her sister-in-law (Lizabeth Scott).

Miller had appeared in two previous films with Lizabeth Scott, DESERT FURY (1947) and I WALK ALONE (1948). Both those movies also starred Burt Lancaster, the star of another film in which Miller appeared, SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948). (August 2018 Update: I've now reviewed I WALK ALONE, in which Miller steals every scene in which she appears.) (March 2019 Update: I've also reviewed DESERT FURY, in which Miller only has a one-scene bit role.)

Miller also played the murder victim in the engrossing SHADOW ON THE WALL (1950) with Zachary Scott and Ann Sothern.

Additional film credits included JUNGLE PATROL (1948) with Arthur Franz, FLIGHT NURSE (1953) with Joan Leslie, HELL'S OUTPOST (1954) with Leslie and Rod Cameron, and DOMINO KID (1957) opposite Rory Calhoun (seen below). (February 8th Update: I have now reviewed DOMINO KID.)

Miller also guest-starred on many TV series before retiring from the screen in 1961.

A detailed obituary appeared in the Monterey County Herald, and there was also a nice story in The Hollywood Reporter.

A memorial service will take place in Carmel, California, this Saturday, February 13th.


Blogger John G. said...

Rest in peace, Ms. Miller.

I don't have any movies in which she appeared, but was awaiting Flicker Alley's April release of "Too Late for Tears." However (and this is not really a topic for this blog post, so I'll keep it brief), it appears that the upcoming release is a two-disc DVD/Blu-ray package with a $39.95 list ($29.95 pre-order on FA's site). For people without a Blu-ray player, that disc will perhaps make this too pricey a purchase. And for people who have Blu-ray, the DVD will likely serve as a drink coaster. Don't see the point in bundling the two--seems like it will only hurt sales.

Anyway, I'll look into Miller's filmography. Thanks for the post, Laura.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi John!

I'm not sure what the logistical reasons are behind the dual-format release of TOO LATE FOR TEARS, but I assume it must have made more sense on the production end for some reason. They put a lot of effort into the extras and artwork, producing what looks to be a Criterion-caliber release, and all involved are very much hoping it sells well, along with WOMAN ON THE RUN, so that more obscure noir titles can also be brought out for the home market. The list of potential titles includes a film I love very much, REPEAT PERFORMANCE, so I'm sure hoping!

Miller didn't have a long career, but I've enjoyed what I've seen of her work. She brought an intelligence and "normality" to her role in TOO LATE FOR TEARS, along with Don DeFore, which played nicely off the crazies of the piece, Scott and Duryea.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best wishes,

2:25 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Her name jarred me--I never remember why right away but there's a good reason.

She is top-billed and has the key role, played beautifully, in a B movie called "Jungle Patrol" (1948), directed by Joe Newman. This is something I discovered a few years back and have written about it--an unsung masterpiece of American cinema, not some matinee adventure as it sounds but a serious WWII movie. Miller plays a USO entertainer and the moment of highest emotion is where she sings to a squadron of flyers late at night. I guess I won't say much more about it because I wouldn't want to start giving anything away about a very unusual movie to which she contributed a lot. But this is worth checking out and it's probably still available from VCI on one of their double features (with Richard Bartlett's very fine debut "Silent Raiders").

No one is too obscure to value deeply if they are indelible in a film this moving. RIP, Kristine Miller.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Blake,

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on Kristine Miller and JUNGLE PATROL. It sounds wonderful.

Happily I picked up that movie in a VCI sale last year -- in fact I believe it was a past positive mention by you which motivated me to get it, along with my interest in Miller. I'll look forward to seeing it, hopefully this year!

Thanks again so much.

Best wishes,

10:55 PM  
Blogger John G. said...


Thanks for the heads-up on "Jungle Patrol." I did a quick search on Amazon, eBay, and, and it appears that the DVD is getting scarce. I'll also be on the lookout for it at Half Price Books. I don't know if that chain is around where you live, but they get in some VCI stuff from time to time.


5:17 PM  

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