Monday Movie Mystery….
Out of the Past, it’s a Mitchum Monday.
OUT OF THE PAST; 1947; Studio: RKO; Director: Jacques Tourneur; Cast: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Adapted by Daniel Mainwaring from his own novel, Build My Gallows High, this quintessential film noir has all the elements celebrated in the genre, with a director at the helm that also helped to shape the early days of horror cinema with lush, atmospheric cinematography.
At its core, this tale of a man haunted by his past whose present day unravels when he’s recognized from his previous life features all of the nihilistic and complex themes that typify film noir, as well as many of its most memorable stylistic touches, including lots of smoking – so much of that, in fact, that a mistake in which Douglas offrered an already-smoking Mitchum a cigarette was left in the final cut of the film after the actors expertly played off the error with a well-placed ad-lib. The movie was remade as Against All Odds (1984). “I’m sorry he didn’t die.” “Give him time.”
Appreciation for the expert commentary on “Out of the Past” goes to Dr. Arnold Blumberg. THANKS DOC!! Doc is an educator, publisher, author, comic and pop culture historian, and former museum curator. He was the editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price guide and teaches courses in everything from comics to zombies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Find him on Twitter @DoctoroftheDead.