by guest writer
Too Late Blues (1961) was John Cassavetes’ second long feature. Nevertheless, his directorial abilities are to be noticed from the very start. The one that opened the doors of the American independent cinema built his reputation slowly by financing his movies with his salaries as an actor. And it wasn’t an easy task. His film-making style is not easy, and it is not commercial either, and I have to admit that not all his movies are among my favourites.
Too Late Blues is different and it went straight to the top, as one might say. First of all, you will need to discover the film by yourselves, as we always advise it here on Classiq. It deals with the artists in the US of the early ’60s. Jazz was becoming fashionable and many fans were adding up as the days went by. In this world of musicians, we find our cast. Bobby Darin plays ‘Ghost’, the leader of an upcoming band. He meets the disoriented young singer Jess Polanski (Stella Stevens), whose intensity makes her role stick to your memory, in an unusual situation and they become lovers. The screenplay, co-written by Cassavetes himself, is another strong point of the movie, while the bleak black and white cinematography bears reminiscences of chiaroscuro and it is in great harmony with the wonderful jazz score, all of which complete an impressive film.
photo: still from the film | credit: Paramount Pictures