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…
Truly a classic noir. Everything is present:
-Metaphoric, poetic, and witty dialogue that would never be uttered in real life
All of these components make up the best of the best noirs and this is one of them. No noir is complete without a femme fatale and Jane Greer's character is perfect and strikingly resembles Rose McGowan (with less surgery).
What I love about noirs is they were completely provocative for the time. At that time (at least I believe), the world was a little more innocent. These films did more than many others in showing the world the true underbelly of the world. Violence, drugs, implied sex, and more all appear in noirs.
There's nothing more I can say about this film except it was fantastic.
This is one of those old noirs that’s supposed to be improbably convoluted, the kind of movie where confusion about which identical supporting character did what and how many there are and what the hell is happening isn’t the point. Normally these things would be flaws but in this kind of movie it just makes it rewatchable. Nevertheless, I prefer logical movies any day. At least in _The Big Sleep_ something funny happens in every scene but this movie plays it straight. Not sure I can agree that it’s the best noir ever made but I’ll admit that it’s probably the best-looking.
Un très très bon film noir, porté par un Robert Mitchum juste énorme, ce mec avait un charisme assez incroyable, faisant tout passer par le regard et l'intonation de sa voix. L'intrigue en elle même tient accroché tout le long, de par les multiples retournements de situation et par sa thématique principale : est-il possible de faire table rase du passé ?
La mise en scène de Jacques Tourneur est super efficace, son montage est dynamique, pas une séquence en trop, pas un moment de longueur, la photo est sublime de par des jeux de lumière qui découpent les ombres du héros sur les murs et le rendent d'autant plus imposant à l'écran. J'ai passé un très bon moment devant ce film, la fin est magnifique et apporte tout son sens à l'intrigue. Du grand cinéma, à voir !
Maybe I'm just a Chandler devotee. He certainly wrote scenarios that were ickier and clumsier than what Mainwaring presents here, but Out of the Past is missing that spark of sad incomprehension--Double Indemnity, man. Tourneur's concept of "the past" doesn't have much pull in that direction, considering that its framing device presents everything so firmly in the here-and-now. So what comes "out" of it doesn't work through the dragging familiarity that makes an old ghost so terrifying; it was narrated to us, but for all we can tell, it just happened. Everything is infected by that too-casual attitude: when these folks pretend to be nicey-nice with each other, the callow wordplay undermines the menace--and its concept of femme fatale is "serial killer who shoots everybody at one point or another, sometimes even twice." Mitchum is pretty goddamn sturdy, though, made for this genre forevermore. I'm fascinated to see how he'd play Marlowe thirty years later.
If there's one thing I've learned from noir, it's you can't trust those skirts.
Kathie Moffat: I don't wanna to die.
Jeff Bailey: Neither do I baby, but if I have to, I'm gonna die last.
It seems like every noir is called the quintessential noir and in way a that is how that famed non-genre works. And this is another great hit, even though more than half of the film takes place during the day.
Mitchum and Greer are an excellent combo, both being exactly who they should be. The dialogue is good, sometimes too proud of its snappiness. The plot is actually decent and keeps you in suspense. Not the best noir I've ever seen but certainly first rate.
As advertised: A very ideosyncratic noir film, hitting the tropes and highs of the genre: A tense and twisting narrative with shifty gangsters, weak-minded heroes, and a femme fatale to end all femme fatales
Like in every great film noir, you can tell from the start that everyone here is doomed. You can feel it in the shadows. Not even the snappy, witty dialogue can light up this darkness. Robert Mitchum is doomed as a former private detective who went into hiding after he fell in love with a rich crime boss's woman only to see his affair with her end badly. Kirk Douglas is doomed as the crime boss who lost his lady and then got her back, but you know she doesn't really love him. And Jane Greer, angelically beautiful here, is doomed as the classic femme fatale whose loyalties change every five minutes.
The plot winds around so many corners that…
Like every Tourneur with me, I can feel already it will take some time to settle down inside of my guts. But I can already tell that it was a tough one. Mighty tough. Mitchum is the super-star within the frying-pans. And how he gets a smoke each time something happens? Old-school-coolness and way of expressing feelings!