Out of the Past

1947

Out of the Past

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 34

92%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,980

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

92%
Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Movie Info

This quintessential film noir made contract player Robert Mitchum a star and set the standard for the genre for years to come. Private eye Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is hired by notorious gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) to find his mistress, Kathie Moffett (Jane Greer), who shot him and ran off with $40,000. Jeff traces Kathie to Mexico, but when he meets her he falls in love and willingly becomes involved in an increasingly complicated web of double-crosses, blackmail, and murder. Directed with supreme skill by Jacques Tourneur and brilliantly photographed by Nicholas Musuraca, this is an unrelentingly gloomy film set in a dark world of greed and deceit where love is used to trap the gullible. It was here that Mitchum created what became his characteristic screen persona: the droopy-eyed cynic who accepts fate with a studied nonchalance. Jane Greer is equally superb, perfecting the role of the femme fatale with a combination of erotic fire and cool detachment. Her first appearance in the film, in silhouette as she enters a dark cantina from the bright sunlight, is one of the great entrances in film history. A seminal genre film, certainly among the greatest whose influence is still felt today. Out of the Past was remade as the distinctly inferior Against All Odds.

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Critic Reviews for Out of the Past

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8)

  • Fairly well played, and very well photographed (by Nicholas Musuraca), the action develops a routine kind of pseudo-tension.

    Jan 24, 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 ...

    Apr 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.

    Apr 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.

    Apr 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.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • One of the greatest of all film noirs.

    Jan 20, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Out of the Past

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. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

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
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

½

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

Ken Stachnik
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
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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