6.9/10
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13 user 27 critic

Too Late Blues (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama | 28 March 1962 (France)
Ghost is an ideological musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer Jess ... See full summary »

Director:

John Cassavetes
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bobby Darin ... John 'Ghost' Wakefield
Stella Stevens ... Jess Polanski
Everett Chambers Everett Chambers ... Benny Flowers
Nick Dennis ... Nick Bubalinas
Vince Edwards ... Tommy Sheehan (as Vincent Edwards)
Val Avery ... Milt Frielobe
Marilyn Clark Marilyn Clark ... Countess
James Joyce James Joyce ... Reno Vitelli
Rupert Crosse Rupert Crosse ... Baby Jackson
Mario Gallo ... Recording Engineer
Alan Hopkins Alan Hopkins ... Skipper Camez (as J. Alan Hopkins)
Cliff Carnell ... Charlie
Richard Chambers ... Pete (as Richard O. Chambers)
Seymour Cassel ... Red
Dan Stafford Dan Stafford ... Shelley
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Storyline

Ghost is an ideological musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer Jess Polanski, she comes between him and his band members, and he leaves his dreams behind in search of fame. Written by David Gibson <djg6@ukc.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | love | ghost | park | musician | See All (96) »

Taglines:

The Bold Story Of A Man Caught Between Two Strange Loves!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Allyson Ames's first film. See more »

Quotes

John 'Ghost' Wakefield: Whoever told you that's what you had to do in order to reach somebody?
Jess Polanski: Are you kidding? Just where do I stand without my body, huh? Tell me that!
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Michael Feinstein (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Benny Splits While Jimmy Rowles
(uncredited)
Music by David Raksin
Combo; Shelly Manne, drums; Benny Carter, saxophone; Jimmy Rowles, piano; Red Mitchell, bass; Milt Bernhart, trombone and Uan Rasey, trumpet
See more »

User Reviews

 
Desperately deserving of a decent DVD release
10 May 2006 | by Tristan!-2See all my reviews

This is a very good jazz film, bringing the whole era to life, thanks to some superb acting by Bobby Darin (thank you thank you Montgomery Clift for backing out at the last minute) and the stunning Stella Stevens (why was she not a major star?). It certainly is not "the best jazz film ever" as some critics have said - "Round Midnight" and "Bird" are infinitely better films. But it's a quirky one, nonetheless. Darin plays jazz pianist and bandleader Ghost Wakefield (was that not also a make of aeroplane?), who is highly idealistic and loves a mellow, instrumental type of jazz. He falls for floozy Jess Polanski (Stevens) and ends up having to decide whether to continue to play on bandstands to empty parks (save for the birds), and old people's homes and orphanages, or compromise his type of jazz and play instead a more commercial type blues. He clearly makes the wrong decision. The hardest thing about this film for me was that I actually prefer the blues-type jazz he was shunning, as will probably most of the audience of this film, but that is irrelevant to our enjoyment of this film: "Too Late Blues" is a film about a stubborn man who is always "too late", because of his abject stubbornness. But there's more to his character than that: he cuts a rather pathetic and therefore lifelike character throughout, but ultimately his stubbornness is so infuriating that we cannot help but sympathise with the other bandmembers, and Jess, more than with the hero (Ghost). Is this a failure in this film? Perhaps it is. Which is why I cannot agree that it is the best jazz film ever. It is certainly a good one, though; although there could certainly have been a little more music in it. And certainly more of Stella Stevens's singing - if indeed that is her voice ("Girls! Girls! Girls!" is normally credited with being the first film in which Stella Stevens sings, which was the following year....) "Too Late Blues" deserves a decent DVD release ASAP - perhaps with a Stella Stevens commentary. Hope you're reading this, Paramount!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La canción del olvido See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$375,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)
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