Too Late Blues - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Too Late Blues Reviews

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½ March 4, 2015
Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens had talent. Who knew?!
½ November 26, 2014
Embora fosse apenas a segunda longa de John Cassavetes e a sua estreia num contexto Hollywood, "Too Late Blues" destaca precocemente as virtudes de um realizador que sempre fez por colocar o trabalho de actores acima de quase tudo. O cuidado com que Cassavetes desenvolve os seus personagens resulta depois numa relação de proximidade entre nós e os protagonistas daquele cenário jazzy da Califórnia altamente hip do final dos anos 50. "Too Late Blues" não conta uma história extraordinária e nem precisa disso sequer: as suas situações e as emoções que provocam são verosímeis ao ponto de ansiarmos por saber o que se vai passar com aquelas pessoas por vezes tão mal resolvidas como qualquer outro comum. De resto, John "Ghost" Wakefield, o pianista e líder da banda no centro de "Too Late Blues", é uma projecção fortíssima daquele símbolo muito Cassavetes do homem que tenta preservar a sua visão artística apesar dos riscos que isso representa na sua estabilidade emocional. Por tudo isso "Too Late Blues" merece o seu lugar entre os intocáveis de John Cassavetes.
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2013
For Ghost Wakefield(Bobby Darin), the music is everything. For his bandmates, a little cash would be nice from time to time, so they could at least settle their bar tab, much less take care of any responsibilities that come with getting married and/or older. At least, they can all pretty much agree on how much a drag a music industry party is. That is, until Ghost meets Jessica Polanski(Stella Stevens), a beautiful singer who is being tormented by their agent, Benny(Everett Chambers). Together, Ghost and Jessica make a break for it to his favorite watering hole.

As strange as it might seem to some that John Cassavetes would use an all-white band as part of a statement to disprove stereotypes about jazz musicians(admittedly, there are lots of non-white faces in the early scenes), it should not seem as unusual that he is just as interested in the thorny issue of artistic integrity.(Why the musicians in the film never pass the hat is beyond me.) With his second film as director, he has already crafted a manifesto which will serve as a guideline for the rest of his career where he later works with somebody in real life named Polanski but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Even at this early point, he also has a good deal to say artistically, as he is the only person who would not turn the scene in the park into a train wreck.(When they say it is for the birds, they mean it literally). While the performances are lacking the intensity of his later films, at least Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens still do fine work here.
½ December 16, 2012
I am a HUGE Bobby Darin fan and have wanted to see this movie for many years WHAT a disappointment. I have NEVER liked anything John Cassavettes has done and this is no exception. The story line was disjointed to say the least the acting was overdone and awful. The dialogue was nonsensical and meaningless as if it was being edited and the editor forgot to connect it back. It seemed ridiculous to have a musical talent like Bobby Darin in a movie about jazz musicians and he didn't sing or play a note (DARIN was a VERY talented musician as well as his magnificent voice he played several instruments. The Only thing that made it possible for me to sit through this awful pice of rubbish was seeing Bobby Darin perform.
½ July 17, 2012
His 2nd picture and first with studio involvement is filmed with a more conventional shooting style than his first "Shadows" (1959). There lurks the moments of the off-eyeline and not direct cutting that I love about his style, which gives his other films a rough and ready quality, but most of "Too Late Blues" is constructed in a safe manner. He once said if a scene is a good scene, it doesn't matter how you cover it, which I think to be a nice premise but also a very bold statement. There are great performances, especially in one key scene, A classic theme of a man leaving behind his friends to attain glory after being humiliated, but after realising his errors of pride can never recreate what they had, with or without them.
June 29, 2012
A lesser work in the Cassavetes filmography, much less spontaneous and for that less exciting than the wide majority of the director's works. However, the character study and honest look at music is like a dignified alternative viewpoint on a theme that films all too often commercialise.
August 7, 2011
There's a cool jazz band, man, playing groovy jazz and a stunning beauty with an angelic voice.
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2009
This wasn't a whopper, but a mildly entertaining, offbeat, arty film with Stella Stevens and Bobby Darrin looking their best at the height of their careers.
August 20, 2008
John Cassavetes creates an eternally unique drama with his chronicle of an idealistic jazz musician played by crooner Bobby Darin, and his relationship among his fellow band members and his object of affection, a beautiful would-be singer who comes between him and his band members, played by Stella Stevens in an honest, humanly extreme performance clearly directed by Cassavetes and cementing an argument that she could have held her own as a star.

Darin, as Cassavetes surely intended, brings a realistic contribution to his character from his life in the world of the era's music scene, as a dogmatically philosophical band leader who takes tremendous pride in seeing a profound, transcendental beauty in a mellow, instrumental school of jazz that he, with the exasperated tolerance of his fellow players, finds ideal to play to empty parks to communicate with nature and birds when he isn't playing gigs at old people's homes and orphanages. What is irrelevant in this film is how we feel about the music he feels most personally in tune with (no pun intended) in comparison to the commercially accessible music that would welcome him into a successful career. Like all Cassavetes films, Too Late Blues is about a character whose proclivities are beyond us, and what keeps it from being subjective or affected is that the rest of the characters share our feelings.

The key to our understanding and relating ardently to Darin's character is his unrelenting obstinacy, which becomes Bobby Darin uncannily, borne by the pride that absorbs all of his perceptions into what is of use only to him. As this dooming characteristic rears its head, an internal conflict between his true passions and what will gain him the recognition that deep down he wants more than anything else, we come to dislike him and find ourselves on the side of his band members and his girl Stevens.

Full of far-seeing insight and relentless individuality, it is not well-recognized film, which in itself is a testament to the artistic truth it presents. This is in some sense a shame though, because it is really a moving film in spite of all the expectations accompanied by an audience's perception of a music film. There are many great scenes where we simply hang out with the band in their regular hang-out spot with an entertaining bar owner, or we indulge in their impulsive diversions, or we react in unusual ways and we must step out of our regiments and make an endeavor out of looking further.
May 16, 2007
A somewhat conventional story of jazz musicians- Cassavetes still manages to make an unforgettale movie experience.

The excellent acting, a trademark of cassavetes' working style, carries the film. Stella Stevens is engrossing on screen.

This film is small yes, but it has human dignity, intelligence and intensity.
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