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Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | December 1947 (USA)
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes), (novel) (as Geoffrey Homes)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Jim
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Ann
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Joe
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Ken Niles ...
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Storyline

Jeff Bailey, small-town gas pumper, has his mysterious past catch up with him one day when he's ordered to meet with gambler Whit Sterling. En route to the meeting, he tells girlfriend Ann his story. Flashback: Once, Jeff was a private eye hired by Sterling to find his mistress Kathie who shot Whit and absconded with $40,000. He traces her to Acapulco...where the delectable Kathie makes Jeff forget all about Sterling... Back in the present, Whit's new job for Jeff is clearly a trap, but Jeff's precautions only leave him more tightly enmeshed... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Build My Gallows High  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

Jeff drove up to the cabin to meet Kathie, and he not only said it was getting dark, but as he turned off the main road into the forest, we can see headlights shining on Kathie. But minutes later after Fisher is dead, Kathie leaves with the car, and there are no headlights on to guide her through a supposedly dark forest. In actuality, it was probably filmed in daylight then filtered to look dark, but someone forgot to show the headlights were needed in the false evening. See more »

Quotes

Kathie: If you'e thinking of anyone else, don't. It wouldn't work. You're no good for anyone but me. You're no good and neither am I. That's why we deserve each other.
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Connections

Referenced in The Lottery (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Time I Saw You
(uncredited)
from 'The Toast of New York' (1937)
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Used as main theme in score
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Definitive Film Noir
18 May 2000 | by (Long Island NY) – See all my reviews

This film established the Robert Mitchum screen persona. In it he established the easy going laconic style that was to become his trademark. His Jeff Bailey is the epitome of the 1940s tragic hero.

The story is told in flashback, a Film Noir tradition. Bailey owns a gas station in a small California town. But he is a man with a past, a past that comes back to haunt him(as in Hemingway's "The Killers")

Bailey tells us that he was a detective in his previous life. He was hired by a gambler to find a girl who had stolen $40,000 from him. Bailey found the girl and the money , but love got in the way.

To reveal anymore of this convoluted plot would ruin it for those who have not had the pleasure of not seeing this masterpiece.

In addition to Mitchum, the rest of the cast excels as well. Jane Greer is the perfect Femme Fatal. Kirk Douglas is mean and sadistic as the gambler. Rhonda Fleming, Virginia Huston, Steve Brodie and Paul Valentine provide excellent support.(Greer and Valentine were in the 1985 remake "Against the Odds".

Jacques Tourneur one of the great Noir directors does a fine job with Daniel Mainwaring's story and script(using the pseudonym Geoffery Homes) and the Roy Webb music is the perfect compliment.

A lot of young talent went into the making of this classic. Many of the people involved went on to bigger and better things. It is easy to understand why.


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