All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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…
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…
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…
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…
Classic Film Noir, always worth a re watch. Elements of this were also used for inspiration in David Cronenberg's 'History Of Violence'.
There's something elusive about Out of the Past. Much like Kathie Moffat, Tourneur's film seems to constantly slip away from you the moment you're not paying attention, distracted by some frivolous gun shots. This is my second time seeing the movie and I still don't have a firm grasp on everything that happens. Maybe I'm just not paying close enough attention, or maybe I'm just too wrapped up in the feeling of the film.
I had forgotten nearly every plot point since I first saw the movie last year, but I never forgot the feeling the movie evoked in me. Somber, free-flowing noir - like a European Chandler story. The dreamlike atmosphere of Cat People is very present, after all it is about specters of a man's past returning to haunt him.
Robert Mitchum is the darkest most handsome man in the world. This film creates tension and stress like almost no other. One of my favorite things about it is that Robert Mitchum's character, despite being essentially (and especially for film noir) an out-and-out good guy, still manages to be one of the darkest, moodiest, most mysterious figures in film history. The dialogue on display here is as snappy and witty as any other and generally a hell of a lot funnier. The plot isn't too twisty-turny and always stays interesting, the cinematography is fantastic and I especially love the lighting throughout. The score is great and pretty much makes the mood. I didn't care much for the deaf kid and when Joe dies is the silliest thing I've ever seen in a (good) film noir, but that doesn't take much away. This is still a pretty spectacular tragedy, and in the end you don't know who to feel worse for.
“You’re like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another."
The two films most often cited as the ultimate representations of film noir are Billy Wilder’s 1944 film “Double Indemnity” and Jacques Tourneur’s 1947 film “Out of the Past.” Tourneur’s film gives us Robert Mitchum at his laconic best, Jane Greer at her sexiest and Kirk Douglas in one of his earliest roles but already defined by his machismo. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Film Noir series with “Out of the Past.” We talk about what we love about it and how well it represents film noir, as well as the convoluted plot which certainly seems to get more…
Jacques Tourneur is a bit of an overlooked director of the classic Hollywood era, but he made some pretty great genre films. He established some of the horror movie tropes still used today, such as the fake-out jump scare.
His moody style works well for film noir which makes this a pretty worthwhile film. Robert Mitchum is good, but the standout is Kirk Douglas. He's great as the gangster going toe-to-toe with Mitchum.
I wouldn't put this on the same level as Double Indemnity or other frequently mentioned noirs, but it's still a fun watch.
As sure as Jane Greer's pearlescent visage, OUT OF THE PAST is steeped in film noir convention and it all works fabulously.
Robert Mitchum plays a private eye whose cool, curled face devours cartons of cigarettes with zen calm. Kirk Douglas is flatly intimidating as the criminal boss who hires Mitchum to retrieve his girlfriend (and the forty thousand dollars she stole). And the entire movie hinges around Jane Greer's allure and her character's inscrutable motives.
The plot dances all over the place: a flashback here, a double-double cross there, people fall in and out of love and days fly by in seconds. In a lesser film you'd get lost. Here, performances are rooted in turnkey dialog and believable emotions. OUT OF THE PAST is a torrent of intrigue and competing passions, beautifully realized.
you're no good and neither am i.
If the worst film that I watched yesterday is still this good, I think I had a pretty good Easter Sunday. As is mostly the case with noirs, I liked this a lot - and especially individual elements - without wholeheartedly loving it.
Kirk Douglas plays such a charming and likeable villain that you really wish the movie was about him instead of sleepy-eyed Robert Mitchum. Jane Greer's a solid femme fatale, but Mitchum should have been wise enough to see right through her charade. He's only foolin' himself thinking he can retire to the country with that sweet, innocent blonde. The movie is oddly structured, with a prolonged prologue that resolves and makes it feel like two movies, and things get bogged down with plot near the end, but it's still a pretty swell noir film.