Out of the Past

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ken123
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Out of the Past

Post by ken123 »

For you Noir & Mitchum fans. Please share your opinion on this RKO Gem. I would also welcome comments on Jane Greer and/or Rhonda Fleming. :wink:
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Sue Sue Applegate
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OOTP

Post by Sue Sue Applegate »

Mitchum has never been better for me.

I think this was Jane Greer's best, also, and she had fantastic lighting. I don't remember where I read or heard this info, but Jacques Tourneur, the director had given Jane very simple direction on her part. Something like: First half-good, Second half - bad. And she lived up to that lead he gave her. (Remember Jane was a Hughes' captive for seven years, I think.)

Her wardrobe was perfect. The hat she wears in the scene where she happens upon ole' panther-back Bob in the cantina frames her face perfectly with the minimal lighting and shadows that Tourneur wielded in that scene.

I am also proud for the way that the African-American actors were depicted for the times. Gee, they looked and acted just like the real Americans that they were. Beautifully coiffed, attired, no maids uniforms, and they didn't keep repeating "Yessum" and "Nossuh." No one ever much discusses this fact unless teaching an Afro-American Film Seminar. And that is a disgrace. When Bob is talking to them in the club, that is one of my favorite moments in this film, besides when Greer and Mitchum are on the beach or in the cantina. I think the initial cantina meet is one of the most powerful because it foreshadows the anxiety of the romance.

I suppose it took a foreign director to place Mitchum talking to the couple in the club to have the audience notice that Mitchum should have been an outsider, but his tenacity and level-headed pursuit of the truth made him seem like he belonged anywhere he happened to be. This was probably true of him in real life, also. At least except for that interview he did with Robert Osborne where he said "yes" and "no" and "maybe" each about
12 times. Shame on him. (And I know I ain't the first person that ever would have told him that!)

As for Rhonda Fleming, she was perky in that role and the camera just naturally followed her around. I think she commanded a great deal of attention in her OOTP moments, but I will always enjoy her in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court the most.

Miss Fleming has a website and is involved with spiritual growth and Bible teachings. If you email her at her site, you will receive some sort of response.

Out of the Past is a fantastic film on many levels. Kirk was a great ganster, and I'm glad he didn't go in to his rabid mode here, because his understatedly most evil moments are the quite, seething seconds he has when he's stewing in his own juices.

But the frame for the whole storyline is the young, deaf man. He knew everything that was happening. Omniscient representative of God as as the orchestrator of all that transpires. ( Famous former child actor, can't remember his name. Sorry. He was on the last special with Osborne.)

I used this film sometimes as the bridge for essay topics at the freshmen English level in some college courses I've taught. The sad part about that is many of the college freshmen have difficulty in following the story line and realizing the flashbacks and how they relate to the initial plot sequences.

That's scary.

Well, I didn't intend to write a book on this thread. But I do love this film.
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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

Great post Sue Sue. After all that, I don't know what I could possibly add except that "Out of the Past" is the cornerstone of Noir because it contains all the elements and works them to perfection:

Crime
Voiceover
Flashback
Light and Shadow Camerawork
Femme Fatale
Doublecross

If your students do write anything near as good as what you just did, share them with us sometime. I love hearing different perspectives on film.
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ken123
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Out of the Past

Post by ken123 »

Great Post Sue Sue ! :wink:
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Post by Sue Sue Applegate »

Thanks, Ken, and Mr. Arkadin! Gather ye kudos while ye may.... :lol:
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Post by mrsl »

Ditto on your post SueSue. I have to say my beautiful Bob is the epitome of the film noir antihero. That was his very best genre, and his teamings with Jane Russell were unmatched. Bogey and Bacall were great also, but I seriously don't think they elicited the electricity that Bob and Jane did.

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Post by MissGoddess »

Excellent post, Sue Sue and interesting observations. Very scary about the students, though. Hope they catch on!

I believe the direction Jacques Tourneur gave Jane was framed in his question, "Do you know what the french word, impassive means?" Then Jane understood exactly what he wanted.

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OOTP---Oops!

Post by Sue Sue Applegate »

OMG, Dickie Moore! That was his name! (The Kid.)

Thanks, Miss G., for your salient comments and a picture of THE hat. My mom went to millinery school in the early 40's, and I should post a photo of her in one of her creations once I decipher the protocol.

After OOTP, Jane Russell wore a couple of great hats here and there, but it just never had the same effect as Jane Greer's hat in OOTP. I am guessing it had to be the Tourneur touch.
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Post by movieman1957 »

Just got to watch it. Would have enjoyed more scenes with Mitchum and Douglas. Mitchum was very good. As long as I've been watching movies I don't know much about Greer. Lovely and no good all at the same time. Rhonda Fleming's part was almost too small to have noticed. But then how can you not notice Rhonda.

The plot was sometimes a little confusing (mostly the income tax section) for me. Nobody even really to like except Dickie Moore and Mitchum's girlfriend.

Terrific atmosphere. Douglas is well understated. Interesting contrast for Tourneur having just watched "Stars In My Crown" last week.
Chris

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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

Supposedly Greer's career was really sabotaged by Howard Hughes when she refused his advances. She was under contract (for 7 years I think) and after "Out of the Past" and "The Big Steal" he gave her a lot of crappy parts.

He was also checking up on her and tapping her phone and all kinds of crazy stuff. He even found out from her doctor (before Greer herself knew) that she and her husband were expecting their first child and called to let her know the rabbit died! :shock:
Last edited by Mr. Arkadin on April 22nd, 2007, 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ken123
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Post by ken123 »

Mr. Arkadin wrote:Supposedly Greer's career was really sabotaged by Howard Hawks when she refused his advances. She was under contract (for 7 years I think) and after "Out of the Past" and "The Big Steal" he gave her a lot of crappy parts.

He was also checking up on her and tapping her phone and all kinds of crazy stuff. He even found out from her doctor (before Greer herself knew) that she and her husband were expecting their first child and called to let her know the rabbit died! :shock:

Howard Hughes or Howard Hawks ? I believe that it had to be Hughes as he was the new head honcho at RKO . :wink:
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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

ken123 wrote:
Mr. Arkadin wrote:Supposedly Greer's career was really sabotaged by Howard Hawks when she refused his advances. She was under contract (for 7 years I think) and after "Out of the Past" and "The Big Steal" he gave her a lot of crappy parts.

He was also checking up on her and tapping her phone and all kinds of crazy stuff. He even found out from her doctor (before Greer herself knew) that she and her husband were expecting their first child and called to let her know the rabbit died! :shock:


Howard Hughes or Howard Hawks ? I believe that it had to be Hughes as he was the new head honcho at RKO . :wink:
Oops! Howard Hughes! Thanks for catching my error there Ken I will edit it! :oops: I guess the double H's threw me there!
klondike

Post by klondike »

Correct me if I'm wrong (no, really, all of you; just line up alphabetically), but wasn't Dickie Moore's "fishing cast counterattack" (against the stalking gunman) in "Out of the Past" borrowed nearly in toto by Warren Beatty's character in "The Parallax View"?

Klondike
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Dewey1960
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Out of the Parallax

Post by Dewey1960 »

RE: the spiritual umbilicord betwixt OUT OF THE PAST and THE PARALLAX VIEW; I'm glad I'm not the only one that's happened to. Each time I see the scene in one or the other, I immediately think of the other. I love both of those movies; PARALLAX VIEW is a modern mind-bender!!
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Post by Shonna »

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture!!
I'll be a copycat and agree with every single one of you! But of course I must point out one of my favorite lines by one of my favorite guys, When Robert Mitchum says,
"Baby, I don't care!" 8)
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