Out of the Past 1947

Out of the Past

Critics Consensus

Anchored by a wistful Robert Mitchum, Out of the Past is an exemplary noir steeped in doom and sensuality.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 37

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,021

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Out of the Past Photos

Movie Info

The quiet life of small-town gas station owner Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is interrupted when a figure from his shady past, small-time crook Joe Stephanos (Paul Valentine), recognizes him. Stephanos' boss, crooked gambler Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas), had hired Jeff to track down Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer), a girlfriend who shot Whit and made off with $40,000 of his. Jeff and Kathie fell in love, but she left him to go back to Sterling, who now wants Jeff to settle a few old scores.

Cast & Crew

Richard Webb
Jim
Frank Wilcox
Sheriff Ed Douglas
Robert Sparks
Executive Producer
Roy Webb
Original Music
Nicholas Musuraca
Cinematographer
Samuel E. Beetley
Film Editor
Jack Okey
Art Director
Darrell Silvera
Set Decoration
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News & Interviews for Out of the Past

Critic Reviews for Out of the Past

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (2)

  • The players acquit themselves histrionically if not morally. Mitchum, [Kirk] Douglas and the Misses [Jane] Greer and [Rhonda] Fleming are all commendable.

    June 28, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Fairly well played, and very well photographed (by Nicholas Musuraca), the action develops a routine kind of pseudo-tension.

    January 25, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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 ...

    April 7, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    April 18, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

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

    April 18, 2007 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Out of the Past

  • Dec 01, 2015
    Mitchum is little more than a big slab of beef walking around in a Macintosh trench coat, mumbling to himself, as all around him conspire in some way to dupe everyone else. He only just holds onto his hat, all the doublecrossing, doubletalking, backstabbing rigamarole going on. Did I mention that there's a bad girl in the middle of it all? Did I have to mention it? And yeah, she's got legs down to there and back up again. I'm gonna need a drink. Make that two.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2011
    The problem with an old film being a signpost of its genre is that it can seem like nothing but cliches in the present day. Cigarettes, guns, dangerous dames, trenchcoats, corny narration, syrupy orchestrations, the overly "written" dialogue, yes yes. And all the women look alike with their similar haircuts, makeup and solid-color dresses. I'm not much of a film-noir fan, but I hoped to enjoy this more than expected. No such luck. I'd much rather watch "Night of the Demon" again. Making Dickie Moore's character a deaf-mute was an interesting touch. Not sure how this detail helped the story.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2010
    Jacques Tourneur' masterful film noir where a man named Jeff Bailey, played magnificently by Robert Mitchum, who owns and runs a gas station in California will soon discover that he cannot escape his former life as a private detective, when his one-time employer, a charismatic gangster named Whit, played impressively by Kirk Douglas, and his wicked lover Kathie, brilliantly played by Jane Greer, an evil women that will stop at nothing to get her way, entangle Bailey in a web of murder and double-dealings. Astute direction by Tourneur, with striking black & white cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca. Outstanding dialogue, thanks to the exquisite script by Geoffrey Homes. One of the greatest crime classics in cinematic history. Highly Recommended.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A great movie, it stars both Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas, so how could it be bad? I loved it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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