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Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 November 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.



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

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1 win. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
The Kid
Ken Niles ...


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


A guy without a fortune! A girl with too much past! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

13 November 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goldenes Gift  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


French visa # 7991. See more »


When Jeff visits Leonard Eels' office building there are clearly five names on the directory under 'E' in the long shot, but just two in the POV shot that follows immediately. See more »


Whit Sterling: You just sit and stay inside yourself. You wait for me to talk. I like that.
Jeff Bailey: I never found out much listening to myself.
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Referenced in Once Upon a Time in America (1984) See more »


The First Time I Saw You
from 'The Toast of New York' (1937)
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Used as main theme in score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic--maybe the best film noir ever
14 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) runs a small gas station in a little town in CA. He's in love with a beautiful girl. But he has a past which is about to catch up with him involving gangster Whit (Kirk Douglas) and evil Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer)...MANY twists and turns happen.

The plot is very complicated but this is a prime example of film noir. It's beautifully directed using darkness in almost every shot and has all the ingredients of a good noir--an innocent man (Robert Mitchum) in over his head, a bad guy (Kirk Douglas) and a totally amoral woman (Jane Greer). What makes this stands out (beside the incredible cinematography and direction) is a wonderful script. It's full of some truly incredible lines and delivered dead pan by the cast (as it should be). If any of them had winked at the camera once this would have failed. Mitchum plays it very stone-faced but Douglas is great and Greer is just fascinating as a totally evil, beautiful woman.

Basically a must-see film.

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This is the greatest film noir ever JPLogan54
JANE GREER WAS.......... psychonoir89
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Jeff and Kathie in Acapulco Cleon29
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Best line ever? dr_toothpick
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