8.0/10
30,648
233 user 142 critic

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:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes), Daniel Mainwaring (novel) (as Geoffrey Homes)
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1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Ken Niles ... Eels

In Memoriam: Kirk Douglas (1916 to 2020)

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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 MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Greer reported that wardrobe department once dressed her and sent her to set in an outfit that was incomplete: the backside wasn't finished. The dressers knew only her frontside would be filmed in this particular scene, so they justified saving the time and expense of completing the outfit. Greer explained her acquiesence to this as something along the lines of "I was 22 years old. I was just happy to be in a movie. I wasn't going to complain." Mitchum, however, threw a rod. "This is the leading lady of the film! Take this dress and don't come back until it's finished, etc.", Greer recalls him saying. Ultimately the dress was finished before the scene was filmed. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff is at Whit's gate getting ready to go in, there are two large dark stains on the bottom left side of his coat. But later on, when he is at Eels' place the stains are now gone. See more »

Quotes

Fisher: You're picture don't do you justice, baby.
Kathie: Why don't you break his head, Jeff.
Fisher: Cute.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sugar Plum (2004) 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
See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly touching film noir
19 June 2004 | by limshunSee all my reviews

This is an extremely stylish film noir with a balanced, touching performance by Robert Mitchum. I was not expecting to be as moved by this film as I ultimately was. It has the snappy banter that one would expect of a film from the 40s, but the dialogue transcends mere wit and left me more than a little emotional. Mitchum is remarkably understated and cool, making his self-destructive behavior all the more entrancing. Kirk Douglas also adds a really light touch to his role, keeping his slick gangster more genuine than one might expect. I would have to say that while it is in many ways a typical film noir (and a fine example of the style), I have never seen anything quite like it. There are locations you would never expect to see in a film noir and a surprising bittersweet ending. Fantastic film.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

December 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Build My Gallows High See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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