Out of the Past

“Out of the Past is the finest film noir I know - intelligent, expertly crafted and uncompromisingly heartless. Private detective Jeff Bailey's struggle to build a new life is doomed by the memory of his affair with the silkily evil Kathi Moffat.... (The) complex narrative structure keeps us constantly aware of the inescapable pressure of the past upon the present. Jacques Tourneur's direction is gratifyingly tactful, bringing to perfection the elliptical techniques he developed in his work with Val Lewton; Nicholas Musuraca's atmospheric, largely location photography surrounds the shadowed past with a bleakly sunlit present. Robert Mitchum is at his tough, cunning best and Jane Greer, a carnal, dry-ice madonna, is even better. When somebody says of her ‘She can't be all bad. No one is,' Mitchum knowingly replies, ‘She comes the closest.'”

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