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1,868 Ratings

Out of the Past

Build My Gallows High

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
United States, 1947
Thriller, Crime, Film noir


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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Out of the Past Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Mitchum’s homme fatale was distinct, “oddly subversive,” as the more appreciative Andrew Sarris put it. In Out of the Past, he no sooner enters a room charged with tension, when, without breaking his stride, his fist flies out, flooring a mouthy wannabe heavy. The impulse is rote, but behind it is a gut-tested ethos: lightning appraisal of who’s in the way and what they’re made of, triggering decisive action… While the gesture is pure noir, Mitchum lends it a soulful mien.
September 29, 2017
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Many of [Mitchum’s] films could have been called Out of the Past, like Jacques Tourneur’s sublime, definitive noir, in which Mitchum floats from place to place like a sleeper through a series of ravishing yet uneasy dreams.
September 03, 2017
The film’s downbeat ending draws a sceptical conclusion, suggesting that past mistakes are impossible to overcome, and salvation is not available, even to those who want it. However, aside from the story’s often daunting complexity, Out of the Past is nonetheless a captivating study in male pride, stung by the lethal wiles of a dangerous woman. Undoubtedly, within this traditionally ill-fated and perversely crooked world, the mood of obsession was never more powerfully suggestive.
March 17, 2017
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