Out of the Past (PG)

Film

Film noir

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

The definitive flashback movie, in which our fated hero Mitchum makes a rendezvous with death and his own past in the shape of Jane Greer. Beguiling and resolutely ominous, this hallucinatory voyage has two more distinctions: as the only movie with both a deaf-mute garage hand and death by fishing-rod, and as one of the most bewildering and beautiful films ever made. From a traditionally doomed and perversely corrupt world, the mood of obsession was never more powerfully suggestive: Mitchum waiting for Greer in a Mexican bar beneath a flashing neon sign sums it up - nothing happens, but everything is said. Superbly crafted pulp is revealed at every level: in the intricate script by Daniel Mainwaring (Phenix City Story, Invasion of the Body Snatchers), the almost abstract lighting patterns of Nick Musuraca (previously perfected in Cat People and The Spiral Staircase), and the downbeat, tragic otherworldliness of Jacques Tourneur (only equalled in his I Walked with a Zombie). All these B movie poets were under contract to RKO in the winter of 1946, and produced the best movie of everyone involved - once seen, never forgotten. (The source novel was by Mainwaring writing as Geoffrey Homes.)
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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

1947

Duration:

97 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Todd T

I hope no one is put off from watching this classic by Touchy's bizarre review--although I don't know how many people will be able to keep reading past the absurd claim that Mitchum couldn't project world-weary cynicism. Not only is Mitchum's cynicism nonpareil, but Greer puts on a femme fatale clinic. A noir classic that stands with The Maltese Falcon and Double Indemnity as film that transcends genre.

Todd T

I hope no one is put off from watching this classic by Touchy's bizarre review--although I don't know how many people will be able to keep reading past the absurd claim that Mitchum couldn't project world-weary cynicism. Not only is Mitchum's cynicism nonpareil, but Greer puts on a femme fatale clinic. A noir classic that stands with The Maltese Falcon and Double Indemnity as film that transcends genre.

touchy

[warning: spoilers] an unbelievably bad film. terrible writing, terrible acting (douglas excepted), poor directing. mitchum's attempt at a world-weary cynicism is like a robot fashioned from wood reciting the contents of "100 more amazing putdowns Volume 12". hearing the one-dimensional characters mouth endless desperately unfunny cracks with the intonation of someone who thinks they're really nailing it is a soul-crushing experience. the only slight consolation is that everybody dies, which is the least they deserve, except for the deaf-mute boy who is, absurdly, the most believable thing in the film. although the bit where he kills an assassin with some ninja fly fishing is a bit of a jaw-dropper, even in this ridiculous context. there's a brilliant scene towards the end where the three worst actors stand around and face off in a wood; it's just possible the director was having a laugh at everyone's expense here. one hopes so, as everything else he did was hack: in a film of endless double- and triple-crosses, seeing the odd reaction shot rather than just the lips that happen to be moving would have given some nuance. woeful.