Out of the Past

Out of the Past

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Former private detective Jeff Bailey is trying to lead a quiet life, but his past comes back to haunt him and he finds himself framed for murder.

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Nursebob
May 05, 2017

When Jean-Luc Godard said, “To make a movie all you need is a girl and a gun…” he could very well have been talking about director Jacques Tourneur’s brooding B&W piece now widely considered to be something of a noir classic. Mitchum and Douglas are a perfect pair with the former’s icy reserve playing off the latter’s fiery impulsiveness while Greer portrays a sexy femme fatale so twisted she’d double-cross herself if she could. And Tourneur keeps the mood appropriately bleak and volatile with knife-edged shadows, a script that practically spits venom, and cameras which always seem to find the darkest corners. It’s tough-talking machismo, dangerous dames, and smouldering sexuality all wrapped up in a plot so convoluted you’ll need a map to find your way out. Quintessential film noir.

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shsailor
Feb 20, 2016

This is an excellent example of film noir movie-making. The entire film is filled with all sorts of people with character flaws, beautiful women with personality disorders, criminal sociopaths, and an anti-hero trying to escape his past misdeeds. Robert Mitchell's largest mistake was falling for a beautiful woman and double-crossing his employer. It's difficult to find a sympathetic character beyond the deaf mute gas station assistant. If you like this , try the 1980s remake starring Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward, Against All Odds.

nfentonn Feb 17, 2015

As the commentator says, it might take two or three viewings to understand the plot lines but they are not what makes the movie. Jane Greer and Rhonda Fleming never looked better even if I got them mixed up when the plot thickens.

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ManMachine
Jun 28, 2014

The year was 1947. World War 2 had come and gone. The world seemed to have grown-up some since the war. War is like that, sometimes. It has a tendency to mature a lot of attitudes - Even Hollywood's.

Post-WW2 movie-making was, to say the least, phenomenal. It was like yet another celebration of glorious victory. Some of the most memorable and impressive films to come out of Hollywood were, in fact, produced between the years of 1945-1960. In my opinion this was Hollywood's ultimate "hey-day".

Out Of The Past (OOTP, for short) is a prime example of Hollywood movie-making excellence. From its tight script, to the mature dialogue and subject matter, to the excellent cinematography, to the great direction, and, last, but not least, to the superb cast and their first-rate performances, OOTP is a classic piece of Film Noir that is arguably one of the absolute best in its genre.

OOTP's intriguing plot-line is so intricately woven with double-crosses and even triple-crosses that it will keep any fan of 1940's Film Noir, like myself, hooked from the start to its "final showdown" finish.

Of course, the most notable performance in OOTP was that of Robert Mitchum. The role of Jeff Bailey was clearly written with Mitchum specifically in mind. Mitchum's strong command of his character never missed a beat.

theorbys Dec 23, 2013

Another iconic best of film noir film noir.

j
jonnybroom
May 20, 2012

Laura Greer is luminous as the femme fatale in this noir exemplar. Highly recommended.

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Monolith
Mar 20, 2012

"Oh, what a wicked web we weave..." Whew! The plot in this one got pretty complicated. It seemed like everybody and their grandmother got into the mix. Great script... taut, biting dialogue. Robert Mitchum was as COOL as a piece of granite. The ending completely surprised me. FIVE STARS.

j
Janice21383
Apr 21, 2011

Noir's Ground Zero. It has everything, including a story that doesn't make a lot of sense, but who cares? It has Mitchum, and a woman who walked out of the sun.

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KarenW
Sep 11, 2009

When Jeff Bailey goes looking for runaway Kathie Moffat, he is stunned into love. As she walks out of the sun and into the shadows of the bar, Jeff is doomed - he can run away with her or he can turn her over to the man she despises. His choices will surprise the viewer until the very end.

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ManMachine
Jun 28, 2014

"You dirty, little phony. Go on, lie some more!"

m
Monolith
Mar 20, 2012

Jeff Bailey (narrating, about Kathie): "I never saw her in the daytime. We seemed to live by night. What was left of the day went away like a pack of cigarettes you smoked. I didn't know where she lived. I never followed her. All I ever had to go on was a place and time to see her again. I don't know what we were waiting for. Maybe we thought the world would end..."

m
Monolith
Mar 20, 2012

Jeff Bailey (to Kathie): "You can never help anything, can you? You're like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another."

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Monolith
Mar 20, 2012

Kathie Moffat: "Did you miss me?" Jeff Bailey: "No more than I would my eyes."

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ManMachine
Jun 28, 2014

Violence: There's some bare-knuckle brawling and people get shot.

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