Out of the Past

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Clyde R., Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Clyde R.

    Clyde R. One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    USA
    I went back a few pages and didn't see any references to "Out of the Past" with Robert Mitchum. I've seen most of the classic noir and detective films of the golden era, but one of my all time favorites would have to be "Out of the Past." I was recently watching the movie on TCM and in the introduction to the film Robert Osborne said that Humphrey Bogart and George Raft turned the leading role down before it was offered to Mitchum. The script probably looked like just another detective movie...but it sure turned out differently. Any other fans of this one here?
    My favorite line from the movie is when Jane Greer(in possibly the ultimate femme fatale role in noirdom) tells Mitchum she did shoot Kirk Douglas(Whit) but did NOT take his money. Just before laying a passionate lip lock on Greer, Mitchum says flat out, "Baby, I don't care!" That pretty much summed up the Mitchum persona in one sentence and was the title of a good Mitchum biography recently.
     
  2. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,193
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    I posted a few comments about this film in another thread (film noir?) but will add them here. A great, great film! This movie made me a Robert Mitchum fan. The guy embodies the ideals of 'cool'. Even in the film while being used by a dame or assorted tough guys, Mitchum never loses his cool.
    Kirk Douglas impressed the heck out of me in this film! I think this was Douglas's first or second film role? His performance as 'Whit Sterling' is excellent. Does anyone really believe he did not want to hurt Jane Greer for what she did? He showed great talent and charisma on screen for a novice actor.
     
  3. Clyde R.

    Clyde R. One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    USA
    Feraud,

    I recall now it was mentioned in the thread on Noirs.
    It is amazing that Kirk Douglas was so new to the screen. I think on TCM they said it was his second screen role! Mitchum is very, very cool in the film and like you it made me a big Mitchum fan.
    Everyone in the movie does an excellent job. I can't really think of a weak performance in the bunch. It's understandable why it's considered one of the high points of the Noir era. Just a great film.
    As an aside, the trench coat worn by Mitchum in later scenes is battered almost to the point of tatters. It goes along with his character's progression from street smart gum shoe to battered refugee from his haunted past. It's just an example of how well the movie works.
     
  4. The Wolf

    The Wolf Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,153
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, Calif
    another early Douglas film to look for

    "the Strange Loves of Martha Ivers" was Kirk Douglas' first film and a definate recommendation to fellow Loungers. It also has Barbara Stanwyck, Lizbeth Scott and Van Heflin (who never goet the fame he should).
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038988/

    The Wolf
     
  5. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,193
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Good point. I also like the fact that he starts the movie fishing in his 'regular guy' clothes, including a lack of hat. When Mitchum goes to meet Whit he puts on his trenchcoat and fedora! Too cool!


    I agree with the comment about Van Heflin and will keep an eye out for the movie.
     
  6. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Suspended

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Tri-coastal
    Excellent film, excellent choice.

    This movie is so timeless, I'm glad to see so many fans here. Mitchum really is so under-rated, he was just the best. He did a lot of lesser films as well and he always towers above the material. Interesting that not only was this one of his best films it was also almost his last. It was right after this he did time for a pot bust, a big deal back in the day.

    Kirk Douglas was excellent in this as well. He too had some great noirs. "Champion," "Young Man with a Horn" and "Detective Story" are great as well.

    Harry Lime
     
  7. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,279
    Location:
    Taranna
    This really is the quintessential Mitchum role, cool and cagey even when everything's going to pieces around him. It would have been nice to see him play Philip Marlowe at this stage in his career, and Out of the Past gives us a little taste of what that might have been like. He did play Marlowe much later... and wearing what may very well have been the same hat and coat (and that farted up suit of Victor Mature's that was mentioned in another thread).

    Kirk Douglas was excellent as the slimy Whit Sterling... perhaps the model for son Michael's Gordon Gekko performance. Kirk was also fabulous in the really very wonderful The Bad and the Beautiful, A Vincente Minnelli film about old Hollywood becoming new Hollywood (circa 1952). His character is based, at least in the early parts of the film, on producer Val Lewton who made very cheap, but very effective horror films like Cat People and I Walked With a Zombie which were directed by Jacques Tourneur who directed... guess what.... Out of the Past. Six degrees?

    Out of the Past is a great movie, one which deserves greater recognition than it has. So spread the word.

    BTW: If you didn't already know, it is available as part of the excellent Film Noir Collection Vol. I.
     
  8. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    DOWNTOWN.
    I first saw this via a newly restored print in the private theater at DeNiro's Tribeca Grill 'round ten years back. There was a lecture by an NYU professor about the movie before the screening. If memory serves, both Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain were hired at different points to punch up the dialogue, tho both went uncredited.
    There was free booze that night too.
    This film was unfortuately remade years later as AGAINST ALL ODDS, you may recall the excrutiating Phil Collins theme song.
     
  9. JPS

    JPS New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Another great one from Robert Mitchum

    In addition to Out of the Past, one of my faves by RM is "Cape Fear." He makes such a great slimeball juxtaposed to the wholesome Gregory Peck! This version is much spookier than the remake with Robert De Niro. De Niro plays it psycho. RM plays it like he knows exactly what he's doing.

    JPS
     
  10. Clyde R.

    Clyde R. One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    USA
    JPS...I agree wholeheartedly regarding Cape Fear. I was just telling a friend the other day the same thing, that Mitchum is much scarier and menacing than De Niro. It's another classic Mitchum performance...understated and perfect!
     
  11. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The Beautiful Diablo Valley
    Great pic

    Cape Fear, the Mitchum and Peck version, is much better than the REMAKE. He is a total sleeze, Peck is great.

    That movie rings so true.
     
  12. Doh!

    Doh! One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    Tinsel Town
    Another reason -- amongst many -- to prefer the original "Cape" is the ending. Peck's character knew it would be worse for Cady to spend many, many years in prison instead just blowing him away like in the remake (typical "modern" way to deal with the villain).

    Scorcese is such a good filmmaker, I was really disappointed he wasted his talent on an unnecessary remake. Plus, graphically showing the woman getting her cheek bitten off seemed a bit... harsh.
     
  13. Flitcraft

    Flitcraft One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,037
    I agree 100%!
    If you've watched Cape Fear recently, notice how Mitchum is so menacing just by the way he uses space and distance- he's always invading someone's "personal space"- getting as close to them as possible to make them feel uncomfortable.
    Much as I admire Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, I was disappointed that their version was so exaggerated and cartoonish.
    I would watch the Mitchum/Peck version again, but once was enough of the remake.
     
  14. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,907
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Agreed that Mitchum's performance in "Cape Fear" is monumentally scary. It really freaked me out when I first saw the film as a kid. I thought it was the scariest performance he ever gave... until I saw "The Night of the Hunter".

    This one is another must-see, a fascinatingly offbeat film that continually defies your expectations, and which contains extremely dark, twisted moments counterbalanced by instances of fairy tale-like, almost magical good. Though set in "reality", it's like a German Expressionist film inspired by Edward Hopper paintings. Mitchum's performance as the monstrous villain is remarkable, as is the noirish b/w photography. It also has memorable performances by the late Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. Released in 1955 and originally a flop, "The Night of the Hunter" was the only film directed by actor Charles Laughton. Totally unique and quite haunting...

    To those who have already seen it: "Chil-dren?..."
     
  15. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,279
    Location:
    Taranna
    Doctor Strange, you beat me...

    ... and it really hurt.


    But seriously folks. Mitchum is just so good in everything. He's one of those actors who makes any movie he's in a little better just by being there. Cape Fear is one of his best though. I love the scene where he and Peck are at a very cool looking bar and he is talking up peanuts salted in the shell. Beautiful.

    And, Doc, I love - love, love, love - Night of the Hunter. It is an idiosyncratic classic. I was going to post a few profound insights on this, one of my favourites, but you beat me to it.

    Mitchum's last role was in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man. It's a kind of Ilead/Divine Comedy done in the style of the silent cinema (only without being silent). I love it. Mitchum's a rickety old white-haired villain in just one scene, and he's just as menacing and commanding as he ever was.
     
  16. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,097
    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    It was fun seeing Bob in Dead Man, a great, hilarious movie.

    Out of the Past remains to be probably by secondmost favorite noir of all time - and in my mind, the first movie anyone interested in noir should take a look at. (My personal favorite noir is Murder, My Sweet w/Dick Powell)

    I love Mitchum and Cape Fear. (And side note: My dad's in the business and Mitchum was his favorite person to work w/ever. Bob hated directors and actors and all that flash and was not above making friends w/the crew. Here's a little story:

    If forget which movie this is, but...

    Mitchum came to eat w/the crew at lunch break once, not something a star would ever do, and asked how the guys liked it. The crew said the food was terrible - Mitchum was surprised because his was very good.

    -We don't get the same meals as you, Bob.

    The next day, Mitchum says he'll take his meal in his trailor. He gets the food, closes the door - ten seconds later, he throws the trailor door open, tosses the food to the ground and shouts in a rage - This is the worst catering I've ever experienced!

    The next day there was a new caterer. :p )
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.