Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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…
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…
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…
''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…
David's Movie entry #18: May 5th, 2014
In Memory of David Eisen
Tourneur, the man who began his fame with high class b-movies that he turned into an art form all on their own had gained so much recognition with his work at the bottom of the studio barrel that he had climbed his way to the top. Out of the Past is a A grade picture all the way with a stellar cast in Mitchum, Douglas, and Greer. Jacques Tourneur had succeeded where one of my favorite Japanese filmmakers Seijun Suzuki did not. Whereas Suzuki was continually forced to work on lower scale studio controlled pictures in which he tried to apply his own aesthetic to the same way…
The noiriest noir? Give Robert Mitchum a hat and a cigarette, and he can turn the lyrics to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" into hard boiled dialogue. Give Tourneur a title and a movie camera, and he'll make poetry. The final scene is a real gut punch.
"How big a chump can you get to be? I was finding out."
noir november #24
"i couldnt keep my eyes away from the actor who played kathy, and always the ending is all the matters"
90 minutes of Robert Mitchum smoking other people's cigarettes.
Perfectly cast Noir, with a faultless opening 45 minutes and a mind fuckingly dense final third, Out of the Past ranks among the best the genre has to offer. I've seen it a few times now and it's subtleties shine through more on every viewing.
Out of the Past is a fine film.
"A dead man, fish him out, stick a note in his pocket. Suicide. He couldn't stand living with what he had done.
Great cinematography. The plot is interesting too, and that's a bonus. Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer are both great in this. As is Kirk Douglas. Worth a second watch.
Robert Mitchum stars n a classic film noir as a detective who is unable to escape his past.
The story has a great set of characters with Kirk Douglas in particular having a menacing quality. There are numerous storylines and they all link well together. The way the story is structured also works in its favour as it is initially told in flashback, while giving relevance to his current lifestyle. It is hard to know where it will lead but the dark finale lacks a little punch.
The Costrada: Hook. Line and sinker beats out throwing matches around carelessly.
"Is there a way to win?"
"There's a way to lose more slowly."
I always say, everybody's right
A whistling Robert Mitchum not chasing down children, damn he's memorable in that role.
Mitchum is equally great here with a quiet pathos of man who's seen far too much of the world. You never know which angle hes playing which is endlessly interesting to watch especially in the talented hands of Tourneur and Mitchum, where atmosphere informs perception.
With so much smoke you'd think they're all the devil himself, Douglas and Mitchum are played against each other in a thoroughly entertaining way, their scenes together feel similar to how comfortable bond always seems with his villains. Jane Greer is thoroughly believable as the intoxicating femme-fatale with a slippery veiled onion-esque persona that…
Excellent film noir, great actors and performances.
Kirk Douglas is definately on my favorite actors list, and Robert Mitchum, what a great surprise!
"I'm sorry he didn't die."
"Give him time."
Jeff Bailey is one of noir's most mysterious protagonists. But what sets him apart, other than his densely secretive past and the eerily subdued performance of Robert Mitchum?
Despite the many factors (including one of cinema's most memorable femme fatales) that earn its rightful status as quintessential noir, Out of the Past also leans thematically and stylistically on Jacques Tourneur's horror tendencies. There are many general visual connections to be made throughout the genres of horror and noir, but few films (another noted example of course includes Mitchum again in the terrifying Night of the Hunter) blend the two worlds so seamlessly.
It's this unique blend that allows Bailey to transcend the…
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