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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:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes), Daniel Mainwaring (novel) (as Geoffrey Homes)
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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
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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:

View content advisory »
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 7991. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff drives up to the cabin to meet Kathie, not only does he say it's getting dark but as he turns off the main road into the forest, headlights are 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 that were needed in the false evening. See more »

Quotes

Meta Carson: For a man who appears to be clever, you can certainly act like an idiot.
Jeff: That's one way to be clever! Look like an idiot.
Meta Carson: You look like an underweight ghost.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Forgotten: Living Doe (2010) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A classic--maybe the best film noir ever
14 September 2004 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) runs a small gas station in a little town in CA. He's in love with a beautiful girl. But he has a past which is about to catch up with him involving gangster Whit (Kirk Douglas) and evil Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer)...MANY twists and turns happen.

The plot is very complicated but this is a prime example of film noir. It's beautifully directed using darkness in almost every shot and has all the ingredients of a good noir--an innocent man (Robert Mitchum) in over his head, a bad guy (Kirk Douglas) and a totally amoral woman (Jane Greer). What makes this stands out (beside the incredible cinematography and direction) is a wonderful script. It's full of some truly incredible lines and delivered dead pan by the cast (as it should be). If any of them had winked at the camera once this would have failed. Mitchum plays it very stone-faced but Douglas is great and Greer is just fascinating as a totally evil, beautiful woman.

Basically a must-see film.


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