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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 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:

Build My Gallows High  »

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

By all accounts, it was obvious that an undeniable tension developed between Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum early on during the filming. Certainly the acting styles of the two men could not have been more different. Mitchum's relaxed, laconic manner contrasted with the aggressive, grandstanding Douglas. In the first scenes to be shot with the two actors, Douglas attempted some scene stealing by manipulating distracting props, such as swinging a key chain or flipping a coin, George Raft style. Jacques Tourneur saw through these ploys and put a stop to them. For his part, Mitchum would retaliate by making faces when the camera was behind his head, so as to throw off Douglas' reaction shots. Eventually the one-upmanship faded, and the two let their natural styles compliment each other. 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: You know, I'm a much better guide than Jose Rodriguez. Want to try me?
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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

 
Excellent example of film noir at its best
17 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

Full of atmosphere and heat, "Out of the Past" is a classic film noir, directed by a master, Jacques Tourneur. Although considered only an above-average B movie at the time of release, it's doubtful anyone thinks of it that way today, as it is superior to many "A" films. With a top-notch cast and a deceptively easy pace that belies the tension and danger underneath, "Out of the Past" makes for an intriguing, absorbing film.

Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer make a great pair - both are sultry, sexy, hard to read, and gorgeous. I found Greer's performance quite interesting. In the beginning, she appears quite warm, frightened, and sincere, as opposed to, say, Lizabeth Scott in "Dead Reckoning." When she turns hardboiled, it's subtle, with only a change in her eyes and voice, when she comments that Fisher isn't going to say anything to anybody. I love the way Mitchum sizes up women. He absolutely smolders, and 40 years later, in "The Winds of War," he was still smoldering.

Kirk Douglas is appropriately edgy in his supporting role as Whit. Rhonda Fleming has a small role, but no one that incredibly beautiful was going to go unnoticed for long.

What a wonderful film, what a perfect example of a genre.


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