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.