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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:
... Jeff
... Kathie
... Whit
... Meta Carson
... Jim
... Fisher
... Ann
... Joe
... The Kid
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 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:

 »
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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

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

Whit: You just sit and stay inside yourself. You wait for me to talk. I like that.
Jeff: I never found out much listening to myself.
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

 
Caught up by the Past
12 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

In a small town in California, the mysterious Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) owns a small gas station and is in love with the local Ann (Virginia Huston). When a stranger just arrived in town meets him, Jeff is ordered to travel to meet the powerful criminal Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). 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 (Jane Greer) that had shot Whit and stolen US$ 40,000.00. The competent Jeff finds Kathie in Acapulco, but she tells 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 (Steve Brodie), 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.

"Out of the Past" is an excellent film-noir, with a melancholic story and a magnificent and amoral female fatal. The direction of Jacques Tourneur is outstanding and the cinematography is very beautiful. Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer have top-notch performances, showing great chemistry. However, the fantastic screenplay is certainly the best in this movie, disclosing a complex plot with the use of flashback and great lines. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Fuga do Passado" ("Escape from the Past")


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