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.
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I didn't like the film the first time I saw it, but now I think I was totally crazy. This is a masterpiece. Tourneur takes style and figures of noir outdoor, into nature. The first kiss between the two protagonists is shrouded in the shadows... In a way, they were destined to die from the first kiss.
Gritty, bittersweet, and melancholic, Out of the Past is superbly acted and directed, and features some cracking dialogues (that might come from the fact that James M. Cain is told to have done rewrites on the script). One of the best noirs I've seen.
My first introduction of Robert Mitchum. And my, he did well in this. Overall, great performances and plenty of memorable quotable lines, but at times, loses its momentum due to its slow build-up and rushed ending. Hated the ending!
If there was ever a movie that was the very definition of film noir, Out of the Past just may be it. It's got all the noir staples--dark moody photography, a femme fatale you're not sure if you want to kiss or kill & a grade-A sap knowningly walking into a screw job. Out of the Past gets more amazing with every viewing and not a bad performance or off moment is anywhere to be found. A truly underrated classic.
I wouldn't argue with anyone claiming that this was the finest film noir ever made...or the best film of the 40s...or the greatest film of all time. It's that good. Tourneur and Musaraca essentially craft the template for all noirs that came after and Robert Mitchum was never cooler than as Jeff Bailey.