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. But Jeff has a secret past, and when a mysterious stranger arrives in town, Jeff is forced to return to the dark world he had tried to escape.
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…
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.
''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…
"He looked like an underweight ghost."
On-location outdoor scenes in black and white are officially My Shit.
There's a moment early on in this film where Jeff and Kathie run in from the rain in Mexico, and as they dry each other off, he knocks over a lamp. The diegetic music continues as the camera pans away towards the door, which the storm then blows open. The camera continues out, through the door, to focus on the raging storm outside, only to then come back inside and make its way to Jeff, who is picking the lamp back up and setting it on the table as Kathie takes the record off the record player.
I love that moment.
There are people whose opinions I greatly respect who regard Out of the Past as one of the great film noir and, therefore, one of the great films. I like it, I think it is a very fine film, Jacques Tourneur’s finest, but I just don’t think it’s that good. It has everything we expect from a 1940s film noir and for those of us who love noir it will always be watchable. But if it is a great film it must do something original with these elements – I don’t mean having a few quirky plot twists, but treating its material in an individual way. And I’m not convinced that Out of the Past does this. Consider Jane Greer’s…
I have one major criticism of this film,Ive always preferred its other title Build My Gallows High,title doesn't mean much but hey its sure is a catchy title.Im convinced I saw it at a Arts cinema showing under this title (I maybe deluded but hey its my memories). Robert Mitchum looking like a young fresh faced lean whippet ,oozes that dangerous cool image that so many actors aspire too but only a handful can actual pull off.Saying that for a large part of the film he actual carries the film as romantic lead,wooing the ladies left right and centre,unlike say Cagney he doesn't launch halve grapefruit in there face,he's actual a real charmer in this film and also displays quite…
The cinematography here sets the film apart from the majority of film noirs I've seen. It includes various whip pans, tracking shots, and always seems to be doing something. There's also enough script condensed for future multiple viewings. Very stylish.
[English/ Spanish review]
Out of the past has many of the tropes we can inmediately identify with the noir. Ultimately, Out of the past is one of the most important movies of the genre. But it is also one of Jacques Tourneur's greats, and it shares a lot with his otherworldly ambiences coming from his legendary Val Lewton movies, that is, Cat People and I walked with a zombie: for example the ever present sense of fate, or natural locations and sets as key elements of the mise-en-scene (the river where lovers spend their happiest times, the menacing forests, Whit Sterling's remote house, Eels' luxurious apartment, an imaginary Acapulco, even if fortunately less stereotypical than usual. We can also enjoy…
Robert Mitchum is pretty cool, Kirk Douglas is pretty cool as well, and Jane Greer is pretty. Unfortunately, the story is too convoluted and there are too many unnecessary characters. I could have done without the whole hometown girl (Ann) storyline for instance.
Week 15: Apr. 8-Apr. 14
Film Noir Week
There's a lot to like about this film. It's a classic noir in that it delivers its twists, its subtleties, and mysteriousness quite effortlessly but effectively - and with talented actors such as Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas on board that doesn't hurt either. Jacques Tourneur is a director I'm new too but immediately admire. Some of the framing and camera panning is spot on - mostly thinking of the scene with Mitchum leaving the managers office, walking down the hallway towards some stairs with two guys coming up the other way, and how the camera follows behind smoothly without hesitation.
I'm a few days…
Quentin Tarantino's favorite films based on the internet pulled from multiple sources.
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…