8.1/10
27,929
207 user 135 critic

Out of the Past (1947)

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

RKO borrowed Kirk Douglas from Paramount for the picture. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff is walking away from the lake, he is carrying a fishing rod with no reel on it. See more »

Quotes

Kathie: Did you miss me?
Jeff: No more than I would my eyes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Date (1991) 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

 
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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