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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goldenes Gift  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Mitchum told Roger Ebert he smoked so much, that when the camera was rolling on this film and Kirk Douglas offered him a pack and asked, "Cigarette?", Mitchum, realizing he'd carried a cigarette into the scene, held up his fingers and replied, "Smoking." His improvisation saved the take, and they kept it in the movie. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jeff Bailey: If you'll drop this Junior League patter we may get the conversation down where it belongs.
Meta Carson: You worried about something?
Jeff Bailey: I don't know. Should I be?
Meta Carson: Not if you do what you're told.
Jeff Bailey: That's why I'm here. I do what I'm told. People trust me. Whit even trusts me twice. Do you?
Meta Carson: Just as far as I have to.
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

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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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