All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Out of the Past
A MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future...
Jeff Bailey seems to be a mundane gas station owner in remote Bridgeport, CA. He is dating local girl Ann Miller and lives a quiet life. Town lawman Jim is in love with Ann and unsure about Jeff, who is secretive about his past.
How big a chump can you get to be? I was finding out.
Jacques Tourneur made his Hollywood feature film debut under contract with MGM Studios but was released after a few unsuccessful films. He went to work for RKO Pictures, but was relegated to the B-list. It's here that his career dramatically turned around as Tourneur was able to make a few true classics under the B-movie structure (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie) which caused him to soon be promoted to the A-List and on track to direct the greatest film of his career.
While Daniel Mainwaring (working under the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes) is credited with adapting his own novel, Build My Gallows High, it's…
One of the best of the Film Noir. Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey a private eye who gets mixed up with (actually between) gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) and his girl Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer). Bailey is sent to find the Sterling’s girl who has shot the gangster and run off. Not sure if Sterling wants the girl back to kill her or to make-up, Bailey finds her. But, Bailey decides he loves her and he runs off with her. After realizing just what deep trouble he is in, he tries to leave that life behind and live a quiet, simple life with a nice girl.
However, his past finds him out and he is sent on one more job…
Film #30 of Project 40
”You know, maybe I was wrong and luck is like love. You have to go all the way to find it.”
Out of the Past offers everything that you may expect from a film noir of 40s: An intricate plot centering around an unsolvable mystery, characters who are trying to double cross each other, dark past, flashbacks, gloomy pictures, cigarette smoke, femme fatales and a pretty much frightening atmosphere. Jacques Tourneur orchestrates this complex collection with admirable skill and gives us a film that has all the elements of the great noir cinema, while Out of the Past is a quite underrated work in comparison to some of the more famous noirs of 40s but…
''Let's go down to the bar. We can cool off while we try to impress each other.''
One would be hard pressed to name a more effective example of film noir than Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past and it's all served up on a silver platter; hard-boiled, double-talking detective (Robert Mitchum), seductive femme fatale (Jane Greer), girlfriend with a heart of gold (Virginia Huston), the slick and slippery gangster (Kirk Douglas), a tangled web of a plot that requires full attention to grasp (thanks Wikipedia plot synopsis), shadowy photography and lots of cigarette smoke.
Tourneur brings his Cat People cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca along for the ride and together they manage to capture the true essence of the genre in…
For a film so indelibly involved in the lost rivers of memory, Out of the Past confounds because of its ever-present feeling within the now. Every frame feels like the mistakes and the pain of the past will reach out and strangle our main characters, but that never stops the main mystery from propelling forward with impeccable fluidity. The chemistry between Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer is some of the finest to ever emerge out of the film-noir genre, with the two crafting conversations of moving honesty and sparkling sensuality.
The atmosphere that they're surrounded in, with Nicholas Musuraca conjuring haunting imagery as DP, only cements the fact that Jacques Tourneur was a master of looming terror. Out of the Past, with its hard-boiled corruption and its sexy otherworldly rhythms, is quite possibly the finest horror film that Jacques ever directed. It is film-noir at its most crystalline and pure, and you won't soon forget it.
Joe couldn't find a prayer in the Bible.
- Whit Sterling
It seems like a lot of noir stories are about a man's past coming up to bite him in the arse. Usually a woman will be involved - the femme fatale - she'll be responsible for a crime or pushing the man towards it. And now he'll be stuck between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go but down. Part of me thinks that these sorts of stories are too convoluted and drawn-out to ever amount to much, but then again, it's hardly like the best noirs act like plotting is their most important element. The complex pulpy narrative only seems secondary to the larger picture…
I hope that the next generation of filmmakers will learn that there's no reason why a crime film shouldn't look beautiful. Seriously, Nicholas Musuraca's cinematography here is amazing!
"It's a small world."
"Yeah, or a big sign."
This movie. By God I love it so.
35mm @ MoMI
Gotta be one of the finest scripts ever written.
Face melted off
Kathie Moffat: I don't want to die.
Jeff Bailey: Neither do I, baby, but if I have to, I'm going to die last.
Hands down, this is my selection for best film-noir ever produced. Directed by renowned, low budget specialist Jacques Tourneur, this effort completely sidesteps his b-picture notoriety. Smoke-filled rooms and dangerous femme fatales are the hallmarks of the genre but Tourneur elevates them to another level with help from an extremely intelligent script, assisted by legend James M. Cain, that bristles with crackling quips and razor sharp dialogue. And with Mitchum as our hero, Tourneur could not have found a more perfect vessel for delivering the fantastic discourse. Add a young but already confident Douglas in only his second role and what you have is tough talk at its finest.
Sight & Sound challenge 66/250
Noirvember continues, and this was a damn good one! I especially enjoyed Jane Greer as the baddest bitch around. Can't believe I hadn't seen this before now!
Am I alone when I say Kirk Douglas stole the show?
A man recounts his past as a private eye and his affair with a dangerous woman to his new girlfriend when a shadowy person comes back to haunt him. This movie is just as great as I remember. The film is one of the very few films that I really like Kirk Douglas in; Whit Sterling is a sleazy slimeball of a human and Douglas captures this well with an almost reptilian eerieness.
Of course, it's impossible to talk about this film without mentioning the brilliantly stoic Robert Mitchum who gives one of his best turns as Jeff Bailey. His deadpan delivery and pushed-down fury mixed with apathy make for one hell of a character cocktail. It's one of the…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…