Out of the Past (1947)

Out of the Past



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Out of the Past is so perfect a film noir that it is considered practically a textbook example of the genre. In his first starring role (it had previously been offered to John Garfield and Dick Powell), Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, the friendly but secretive proprietor of a mountain-village gas station. As Jeff's worshipful deaf-mute attendant (Dick Moore) looks on in curious fascination, an unsavory character named Joe (Paul Valentine) pulls up to the station, obviously looking for the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Geoffrey Homes, Daniel Mainwaring
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 6, 2004


as Kathy

as Meta Carson

as Fisher

as The Kid

as Policeman

as Sheriff Douglas

as Marney

as Doorman

as Doorman

as Car Manipulator

as Kibitzer

as Kibitzer

as Bellhop

as Man with Eunice

as Headwaiter

as Jose Rodriguez

as Waiter

as Baylord

as Tillotson

as Cigar Store Clerk

as Mystery Man

as Canby Miller

as Mrs. Miller

as Croupier
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Out of the Past

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (7)

Each change of angle and shift of light evokes an inner disturbance; the actors seem to push through the dense shadow as through water, revealing fast people in slow motion ...

Full Review… | April 7, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

Direction by Jacques Tourneur pays close attention to mood development, achieving realistic flavor that is further emphasized by real life settings and topnotch lensing by Nicholas Musuraca.

Full Review… | April 18, 2007
Top Critic

The most delicate and nuanced of film noirs, graced with a reflective lyricism that almost lifts it out of the genre.

Full Review… | April 18, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of the greatest of all film noirs.

Full Review… | January 20, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

It's very snappy and quite intriguingly played by a cast that has been well and smartly directed by Jacques Tourneur.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Out of the Past


A stranger uncovers the secret past of a small town gas station owner drawing him back into the shadowy world he was trying to forget. This was Robert Mitchum's first starring role and it's easy to see why it made him a star; he is superb as the ex-private eye who falls for the charms of one of the quintessential femme fatales in the shape of Jane Greer. Kirk Douglas also gives brilliant support as the great manipulator looking for revenge and the web of deceit he weaves makes for an intriguing plot that's complex without being overly convoluted. The icing on the cake is the artistic eye of Jacques Tourneur who makes the film one of the most visually attractive crime dramas ever made. Years ahead of its time, Out Of The Past is one of THE greats of Film Noir.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


The director of Cat People strikes again with what may be a perfect noir.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

I really got lost with the plot around the middle, something about tax papers and what not. I guess i either didn't pay attention or i'm just stupid. So it will need a rewatch. Also, BITCHES AND WHORES!

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

Out of the Past Quotes

– Submitted by Melinda C (14 months ago)
– Submitted by John L (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jim O (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Out of the Past on our Movie forum!