Movies visit the Family Entertainment Center for more entertainment resources
Browse by Title
Browse by Release Date

Out of the Past (1947)

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Drama, Suspense/Thriller
Release Date:January 1, 1947
Running time:97 minutes
Cast:Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Director:Jacques Tourneur
Writer:Daniel Mainwaring

Description: 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 owner. Jeff is all too aware of Joe's identity; he's been dreading this moment for quite some time, knowing full well that it will mean the end of his semi-idyllic existence, not to mention his engagement to local girl Ann (Virginia Huston). In a lengthy flashback, the audience is apprised of the reasons behind Jeff's discomfort. Several years earlier, he'd been a private detective, hired by 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. The flashback over, Jeff agrees to meet Whit face to face in Lake Tahoe. Surprisingly, Whit apparently bears no malice, and even offers Jeff an opportunity to square himself by retrieving Whit's tax records from mob attorney Eels (Ken Niles). Even more surprisingly, Kathie has returned to Whit on her own volition. When Jeff is taken to Eels' apartment by the beautiful Meta Carson (Rhonda Fleming), he quickly figures out that he has been set up and tries to clue Eels into the plot, but Eels is later found murdered, and Jeff is accused of the crime. Worse yet, Whit has forced Kathie to sign an affadavit that also pins another murder on him. Crosses, double-crosses and triple-crosses abound for the next few reels, culminating in disaster for the oh-so-clever Whit, who has fatally underestimated the deceitful (and icewater-veined) Kathie. And in the end, it is Jeff who must resort to drastic measures to force Kathie to pay the price for her cold-hearted treachery. Out of the Past was remade in 1984 as Against All Odds, with Jane Greer cast as the mother of her original character.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Movie summaries and listings powered by Cinema-Source

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!