Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2018) on… Out of the Past (1947)

Time for another noir for the wonderful month of Noirvember: that 1947 classic Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas!

Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, a former private eye.  As we find out, he was hired by mobster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) to find his girlfriend, Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer), who had run out on him (after shooting him) with $40,000.  Jeff finds her and falls in love with her, as they try to keep away from Whit.  Jeff’s private eye partner finds them, and threatens to turn them in, but Kathie kills him and leaves Jeff.  Later, after hiding out as the owner of a gas station, Whit finds Jeff again and hires him, with the intent to frame him for another murder.

From what I gather, the movie helped propel the careers of its various stars.  This managed to be the second starring role for Robert Mitchum, and it would make him a star, particularly in the film noir genre, which he would revisit numerous times over the years.  At the time, Kirk Douglas was a bit of a newcomer, but his role in this movie helped to establish him as a good villain for a few noirs, while he continued to rise as a star.  It also helped Jane Greer, who was just starting to become noticed.  Of course, the movie itself would be remade again in the 80s, as Against All Odds, which would feature Jane Greer playing the mother of her character!

Now, I’ll admit, prior to seeing this movie, I hadn’t really seen too many film noirs.  Oh, maybe a few of Humphrey Bogart’s movies, but that was it, for the most part.  I had seen Warner Archive release this movie on Blu-ray, but I wasn’t really interested in it until my family recorded it from Turner Classic Movies on our DVR a few months later.  While I missed bits and pieces of it as my father watched it, from what I could see, it looked like it would be a worthwhile movie.  Once I got my hands on the Blu-ray, I was able to see for myself just what the movie was like (and be able to understand the plot a whole lot better).  This is a movie I enjoyed, and I have been seeking out a few other film noirs ever since.

The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 36 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

Audience Rating:

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Robert Mitchum – Holiday Affair (1949)

Kirk Douglas – Young Man With A Horn (1950)

Rhonda Fleming – A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court (1949)

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