Out of the Past a.k.a. Build My Gallows High [1947]

“Baby, I don’t care”

Director : Jacques Tourneur

Writers : Daniel Mainwaring (novel), Frank Fenton

Actors : Jane Greer, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas

Story : One day when Jeff is pumping gas in his station he has a customer all to familiar to him from his past and when the past comes back to haunt you there is not much to do but to deal with it. So when he is ordered to meet with the powerful gangster Whit Sterling he gets in the car with his girlfriend Ann and starts the engine. On the way Jeff tells his story : he used to be a private eye and was hired by Whit to find his girlfriend Kathie who has shot him and left with $40.000 and bring her back. He manages to track her down to Acapulco but instead of bringing her home, he falls in love and escapes with Kathie in San Francisco. But fate does not want them together, and the one thing that shouldn’t happen happens, they got spotted. After a tumultuous night Kathie leaves Jeff alone to deal with mess. he can’t do much but go in hiding and that is story of he showed up and settled in Bridgeport, California.

And now he is at the gates of Whit Sterling’s home and is ready to face the consequences of his betrayal.

What I Liked About It :

I have to admit this is my all time favorite movie, and if you have seen it you would understand

Robert Mitchum – this is one of his greatest roles, his dead eye looks and indifference makes him perfect for the role of the world-weary detective. you didn’t see a character, you saw him. and that love struck indifference was simply the most brilliant (as in character) and undeniable the most sexy look I ever saw on a man. he is my noir hero.

Jane Greer – now that’s a femme fatale

it is a textbook noir – femme fatal, crack wise private eye, double crosses, murders, flashbacks, shadowy corners, our hero doomed from the beginning, moral ambiguity and the list goes on.

screenplay – feels like it was build up from one liners : “You’re like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another”, “Oh Jeff, you ought to have killed me for what I did a moment ago – There’s time.”, “Let’s go down to the bar. We can cool off while we try to impress each other. “, “Just get out, will you? I have to sleep in this room.”

Final Note : 4 out 4

Interesting Facts :

Humphrey Bogart wanted to play Jeff, but Warner Bros. didn’t like the idea and RKO bought the material instead.

Trailer :

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