This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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…
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.
There’s a funny thing about Noir. You know from the first frame that the people you are watching are doomed. Their fates have been decided, and yet you watch anyway. Because when the genre is done right, it's incredibly gripping.
This is writer Ed Brubaker’s favorite film, and he once wrote a sharp essay about it in the back pages of his series, Criminal. He spoke of the connection to Noir and the war/post war personality in America. And how they often featured a character with some physical ailment (Here it’s a deaf mute, the only one privy to our protagonist’s secrets, and the one who can keep them secret). But primarily, he wrote about Kathie Moffat (Played by Jane…
When I think of film noir, this is the one that pops into my head. So good!
A while ago, I told my students that I thought Double Indemnity was the noiriest noir of all.
I stand corrected.
Second viewing not as enjoyable, but still ranks up there as a superb noir.
I love my no-nonsense noirs. I love when a pragmatic anti-hero is wooed by a duplicitous femme fatale. I love to see a shadowed world of black as it's entrenched in murky motivations.
Out of the Past may seem a bit archetypal. After all, it's adhering to a tangled plot and how people are placed into drama. But it also relishes in a clever narrative structure—vacillating between past and present, as a man falls into a dangerous love affair and tries to escape from his external forces.
The protagonist is Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) who operates a gas station in the small Californian town of Bridgeport. Jeff has distanced himself from his old existence as a P.I. and fallen in…
Discussed on the latest podcast with Hollywood historian Tom Doherty. One thing that struck me on this viewing is how often this film seems to change genres and styles as it goes. Instead of being an all-noir affair, it seems to switch around. The opening is as majestic as always, followed by the dark car ride turning into the dark meeting with Douglas. Then it's to the African American bar, like something out of a Harlem Renaissance movie before it's sunlit Mexico. And that's just the first 20 minutes.
Whenever I watch a film noir I spend the first while guessing whether or not the hero or heroine will survive the running time. Usually it's a pretty easy game, the hero kills someone or participates willingly in crime, and because during the code era that was a death sentence, well, it's just a matter of waiting for the bullets to fly. One of the most impressive things about Out of the Past, a movie full of impressive things, is that I had no clue how this would end.
I also had no clue (or had completely forgotten) that Kirk Douglas was in this movie. He's one of the more impressive aspects too. I've seen him play dark (I love…
A sensational film noir.
I know it's probably a little blasphemous to say, but I just don't know that film noir is the genre for me. I'll perform my due diligence and work my way through the accepted touchstones of the genre but I don't know that I'll ever really be able to appreciate the films as much as they supposedly deserve to be appreciated.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Quentin Tarantino's favorite films based on the internet pulled from multiple sources.