Out of the Past (1947) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • In a small town in California, the mysterious Jeff Bailey owns a small gas station and is in love with the local Ann. When a stranger just arrived in town meets him, Jeff is ordered to travel to meet the powerful criminal Whit Sterling. Before traveling, Jeff calls Ann and tells her the story of his life, when he was a private eyes hired by Whit for US$ 5,000.00 to find his former mistress Kathie that had shot Whit and stolen US$ 40,000.00. The competent Jeff finds Kathie in Acapulco, but she tells him that she had not taken Whit's money and they fall in love for each other and escape from Whit. When the former partner of Jeff, Fisher, finds the couple living in an isolated cabin, Kathie kills him and Jeff buries his corpse. Jeff accidentally finds the receipt of deposit of the amount in Kathie's purse and leaves her forever. When Jeff meets Whit, he surprisingly finds Kathie living with him; Whit asks Jeff one last job to get even and release Jeff from his debt. But Jeff finds that Whit is actually framing him.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • For the last three years, Jeff Bailey has been laying low and trying to live a normal life. He's been running his own gas station but prior to that, had been a pretty good private detective. His last job had been for a gangster, Whit Sterling, who hired him to find Kathy Moffat, who just happens to have shot him, and recover the $40,000 she stole. Jeff found her in Mexico but fell in love with her. She eventually ran out on him and he decided it might be better if he found a new line of work. When one of Sterling's henchmen happens to see him pumping gas, he's summoned to the gangster's Lake Tahoe estate. Sterling's offer is quite simple: recover some incriminating tax files and all will be forgotten. Jeff soon realizes however that he's being set up and framed for murder.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • 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.

    - Written by J. Spurlin


Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) seems to be a mundane gas station owner in Bridgeport, California. He is dating local girl Ann Miller (Virginia Huston) and lives a quiet life...

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