Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Out of the Past" with Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas and Rhonda Fleming (1947)

Robert Mitchum is quiet, but tough, in this thriller set a few hundred miles from Los Angeles in the late 1940's. As a former Private Investigator, Jeff Bailey has a past which he wants to leave behind him. He works at a small town garage with a deaf mute, played by Dickie Moore. Life seems a bit boring, but sometimes boring can be a good thing.  All of that is about to change, however, when a stranger comes to town, summoning Jeff back to his old life, and his former underworld connection, Whit Sterling, played by Kirk Douglas.

Jeff has been seeing a local girl, Ann, played by Virginia Huston, and she knows nothing of his past. Before he leaves town to meet Whit at Lake Tahoe, Jeff calls her and tells her the truth about his past. He had been hired by Whit to find his missing girlfriend Kathie, played by Jane Greer, who has run off with $40,000 of Whit's money. Jeff finds her in Acapulco, but not the money. At the same time that he is trailing her, he falls in love with her. Making their escape from Whit, they hide out in a cabin in the mountains outside of Los Angeles. But a former partner of Jeff's finds them there, launching the pair into a series of double crosses and half truths, which result in his partner's death. When Jeff finds that Kathie does have the $40,000 he leaves her, setting off a chain of events that can have only one conclusion.

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