Too Late Blues

Though regarded almost universally (and that includes Cassavetes) as a failure, this attempt to recapture the spontaneous energy and 'realism' of his much-acclaimed, independently-made Shadows in a rather more plot-bound film for Paramount remains one of the more impressive Hollywood movies to be set in the hip, flip jazz world. Admittedly, Darin and Stevens (as an uncompromising pianist wary of selling out, and the neurotically scarred would-be singer he loves but cannot trust) seem uncomfortable with Cassavetes' semi-improvisational methods, and at times the emotional scab-picking threatens to bring what story there is to a halt. But the music, scored by David Raksin and played by the likes of Benny Carter, Red Mitchell and Shelley Manne, is mostly terrific, and the mood convincingly edgy in the scenes of conflict between Darin and the band he finally abandons for the more lucrative cocktail circuit.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Cassavetes
Screenwriter: John Cassavetes, Richard Carr
Cast: Bobby Darin
Stella Stevens
Everett Chambers
Rupert Crosse
Vince Edwards
Seymour Cassel
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