IMDb > Out of the Past (1947)
Out of the Past
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Out of the Past (1947) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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8.1/10   18,591 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
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View company contact information for Out of the Past on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 November 1947 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
A desert island movie See more (148 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Mitchum ... Jeff

Jane Greer ... Kathie

Kirk Douglas ... Whit

Rhonda Fleming ... Meta Carson
Richard Webb ... Jim
Steve Brodie ... Fisher
Virginia Huston ... Ann
Paul Valentine ... Joe

Dickie Moore ... The Kid
Ken Niles ... Eels
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brooks Benedict ... Kibitzer in Blue Sky Club (uncredited)

Oliver Blake ... Tillotson - Night Clerk (uncredited)
Eumenio Blanco ... Mexican Waiter (uncredited)
Wesley Bly ... Harlem Club Headwaiter (uncredited)
Mildred Boyd ... Woman at Harlem Club (uncredited)
Hubert Brill ... Car Manipulator (uncredited)
James Bush ... Doorman (uncredited)
Ted Collins ... Man at Harlem Club (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Bartender in Acapulco (uncredited)
Homer Dickenson ... Kibitzer in Blue Sky Club (uncredited)
Lee Elson ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jess Escobar ... Mexican Doorman (uncredited)
Mary Field ... Marny - Diner Owner (uncredited)
Adda Gleason ... Mrs. Miller (uncredited)
Theresa Harris ... Eunice Leonard (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... Canby Miller (uncredited)
John Kellogg ... Lou Baylord (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Kibitzer in Blue Sky Club (uncredited)
Primo López ... Mexican Bellhop (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... The Porter (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Croupier (uncredited)
Caleb Peterson ... Man with Eunice (uncredited)
Jose Portugal ... Mexican Waiter (uncredited)
Charles Regan ... Mystery Man (uncredited)
Victor Romito ... Mexican Waiter (uncredited)
Tony Roux ... Jose Rodriguez (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Extra in Nightclub Cloakroom (uncredited)
Wallace Scott ... Petey - Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Archie Twitchell ... Rafferty (uncredited)
William Van Vleck ... Cigar Store Clerk (uncredited)
Bill Wallace ... Kibitzer in Blue Sky Club (uncredited)
Sam Warren ... Harlem Club Waiter (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Sheriff Ed Douglas (uncredited)

Directed by
Jacques Tourneur 
 
Writing credits
Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes)

Daniel Mainwaring (novel "Build My Gallows High") (as Geoffrey Homes)

James M. Cain  uncredited
Frank Fenton  uncredited

Produced by
Warren Duff .... producer
Robert Sparks .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
Nicholas Musuraca (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Samuel E. Beetley 
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Jack Okey 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
James H. Anderson .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harry Mancke .... assistant director
Earl Harper .... assistant director (uncredited)
Lynn Shores .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound
Francis M. Sarver .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Russell A. Cully .... special effects (as Russell A.Cully)
 
Visual Effects by
Linwood G. Dunn .... optical effects (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
 
Other crew
Boyd Cabeen .... stand-in: Robert Mitchum (uncredited)
Robert De Grasse .... fill-in photographer (uncredited)
Frank Fenton .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
M. Gutterman .... stand-in: Jane Greer (uncredited)
Leonard Shannon .... unit publicity writer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (video rating) | Germany:18 (nf) (original rating) | Germany:12 (re-rating) | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1955) | Spain:13 | Sweden:(Banned) | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1965) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (1998) | UK:PG (video rating: Out of the Past) (1998) (2006) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #12082)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
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.
See more »
Soundtrack:
THE FIRST TIME I SAW YOUSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Why did The Kid lie to Ann about Jeff planning to go away with Kathie?
See more »
78 out of 94 people found the following review useful.
A desert island movie, 21 March 2007
Author: imogensara_smith from New York City

How do I love it? Let me count the ways...First, like a few perfect jazz albums, OUT OF THE PAST has a distinctive, coherent sound developed through various moods and tempos and melodies. Robert Mitchum is the lead soloist who dominates the score; the sound of the film is his sound, cool and weary and knowing. Though he doesn't sing in this one, no performance better demonstrates Mitchum's musicality, his sense of rhythm, pace and inflection. He referred to his dialogue as "the lyrics," and treated it that way, delivering his lines behind the beat, the way Sinatra sings. Jane Greer contributes her gorgeous dry contralto and Kirk Douglas adds a light, sneering counterpoint to an inspired group improvisation on the theme of disillusionment.

Mitchum is Jeff Markham, alias Jeff Bailey, an ex-private eye who made a big mistake by falling for Kathie (Jane Greer), the gangster's mistress he was hired to track down. Splitting up after he discovers she's a liar and a killer, he hides out in a small town, taking up with a nice girl named Ann, knowing it's just a matter of time before the past catches up with him. His narration and dialogue carry the film along on a laid-back high, like a series of perfect smoke rings. He sums up his philosophy of life in a casino when Kathie asks, "Is there a way to win?" and he answers, "There's a way to lose more slowly." When she says she's sorry the man she shot didn't die, he murmurs dreamily, "Give him time." His enveloping pessimism is strangely elated; Jeff knows the score and savors it like some private hipster knowledge. "She can't be all bad. No one is," Jeff's nice girlfriend says of Kathie, but he returns, "She comes closest."

Kathie Moffat is the greatest of all femmes fatales, because she's the least caricatured. She's not a scheming black widow, just a totally selfish, cowardly woman who feels no remorse for anything she does, and who happens to be beautiful and alluring enough that we can believe any man, even a smart and tough one, would fall for her. Jeff and Kathie's romance is genuinely rhapsodic, nothing like the usual mating of temptress and chump; they're both so sexy and smart and wised-up, always getting the joke together. The disillusionment wouldn't be so compelling if the illusion weren't so lovely. When Kathie shoots Jeff's partner, Mitchum—in a reaction shot lasting all of two seconds—shows Jeff realizing, and instantaneously coming to terms with, the fact that the best thing that ever happened to him is also the worst thing that ever happened to him. He looks simultaneously shocked to the core, and as though he'd expected it all along.

Jeff Bailey is a paradox: you'd think nobody could put anything over on this guy, yet he acts like a sucker; he exemplifies both cynical pride and romantic blindness. Does he know what he's getting into and deliberately delude himself? Is he drawn to Kathie because she can rouse him from his torpor of indifference, because he can only really care about his life when he's in danger of losing it? You're never sure, but Mitchum knows how to hold your interest without explaining himself. His essential "Mitchumness" lies in hidden depths, those hints of melancholy, amusement and cold violence that seep through his impassive surface, the suggestions of menace and compassion and old wounds. He gives the movie a core of mystery that's eternally captivating. Like great American popular music, it's sublime hokum, so well-crafted that it stays eternally fresh and means more to you the more you hear it.

Here is a world in which every throwaway gesture—ordering a cup of coffee, checking a briefcase—has drop-dead style, every word spoken is a wisecrack or a line of pulp poetry. Even minor characters and incidental scenes are rich and unforgettable: Theresa Harris as Eunice the maid in her fabulous Billie Holiday hat in the Harlem nightclub; the check-room clerk at the bus station, witness to who knows how many noir entanglements, with his hollow-man motto: "I always say everyone's right"; Joe Stefanos's black overcoat appearing like an ink-spot in the clean white town; the signs the mute Kid flashes to Jeff by the glittering lake, as the sky clouds over…

The movie floats from place to place, blending real landscapes and studio sets, expressionistic stairwells and Ansel Adams mountains. The episodes run together fluid and compulsive as a dream. Sometimes there's nothing but music and movement: Jeff prowling cat-like around Meta Carson's apartment while boogie-woogie piano plays in the next room. The cinematography is distractingly gorgeous, drifting into glistening abstract patterns of black and white, like the web of bare tree-branches projected onto the bodies of Jeff and Ann at their last meeting. A seamless blend of romance and cynicism, drama and humor, OUT OF THE PAST is not only a perfect Hollywood studio product, it's a definitive movie experience. It's supersaturated, yet it never feels overworked, never tries too hard. It just seems to happen, almost by casual serendipity; the wit and elegance and glamour are so unforced and alive. You succumb to it instantly and helplessly as Jeff succumbs to Kathie's magic. The spell breaks for him, but not for us. Disenchantment may be the theme of OUT OF THE PAST, but the movie itself is a source of perennial wonder.

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Best line ever? dr_toothpick
JANE GREER WAS.......... psychonoir89
Jeff and Kathie in Acapulco Cleon29
Paul Valentine/Joe Stephanos Noir-It-All
Kathie's hat orionlogic
Jukebox in Marny's Cafe (Joe plays a record) tfulford
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