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USA 1947
Directed by
Jacques Tourneur
97 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Out Of The Past

Robert Mitchum, in his first starring role, is the phlegmatic private eye, Jeff Markham, trying to mend his ways and go straight with a new identity in this excellent (many people claim it as exemplary) film noir. Doubling the chin dimple factor, Kirk Douglas is his gangster employer and Jane Greer the femme fatale who drags both them down.

The taut script by Geoffrey Homes (under the pseudonym of Daniel Mainwaring) from his own novel Build My Gallows High is well-plotted and has some terrifically cynical dialogue whilst Tourneur (best known for Cat People, 1942) brings his atmospheric directorial style to the job, helped considerably by Nick Musuraca’s camerawork, to tell the story of one man’s doomed attempt at redemption.

FYI: The film was loosely (and lamely) re-made in 1984 as Against All Odds with Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward in the leads.




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