Jeff lies that Kathie slipped past him and is on a steamer going south. Whit arranges for Jeff to go with Meta Carson, Eels’ secretary, to the apartment of her boss. Jeff Bailey, small-town gas pumper, has his mysterious past catch up with him one day when he's ordered to meet with gambler Whit Sterling. Jeff finishes his confession to Ann just as they reach Sterling's palatial Lake Tahoe estate, ending the flashback. Ann asks The Kid if Jeff had been planning to run away with Kathie. He tells them he will only deal with Sterling and flees, only to find him himself the focus of a police dragnet for an accused double murderer. Jeff overreacts and tells Sterling he's finished both with the case and their relationship, to which Sterling responds threateningly, “I fire people. Whit takes the offer and Jeff believes he has worked his way out of Kathie's web. At a gas station in the hamlet of Bridgeport, California owner Jeff Bailey is meeting with a former business associate of his named Joe Stefanos who informs him that his boss, one Whit Sterling, requests his presents the following morning in Lake Tahoe. When Jeff meets Whit, he surprisingly finds Kathie living with him; Whit asks Jeff one last job to get even and release Jeff from his debt. He offers that the death of Stefanos, Eels' actual murderer, can be made to look like a guilt-ridden suicide, removing Jeff from that frame-up. Parents Guide, Films Carla & I Agree Are At Least “Especially Worthwhile”. | And Jane Greer is very sleek as his Delilah, Kirk Douglas is crisp as a big crook and Richard Webb, Virginia Huston, Rhonda Fleming and Dickie Moore are picturesque in other roles. This is the beginning of OUT OF THE PAST, one of the American studio cinema’s most fully realized works, a film noir so richly imbued with visual style that you may take for granted its humaneness, its profoundly tragic denouement, and its regret that things of the heart can be so completely squandered. Film historians consider Out of the Past a superb example of film noir for its complex, fatalistic storyline, dark cinematography, and classic femme fatale. If only we had some way of knowing what's going on in the last half of this film, we might get more pleasure from it. Jeff found her in Mexico but fell in love with her. He traces her to Acapulco, where the delectable Kathie makes Jeff forget all about Sterling. She eventually ran out on him and he decided it might be better if he found a new line of work. A man from his past has seen him pumping gas, and now his old life reaches out and pulls him back. Directed by Jacques Tourneur. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring (using the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes) from his novel Build My Gallows High (also written as Homes), with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M. Cain. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring (using the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes) from his novel Build My Gallows High (also written as Homes),[1] with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M. Cain. Jeff agrees to meet him. "[12], In a 2004 review of the film, critic Roger Ebert wrote "Out of the Past is one of the greatest of all film noirs, the story of a man who tries to break with his past and his weakness and start over again in a town, with a new job and a new girl. Those details revolve around up to three years ago he was a private detective named Jeff Markham working in NYC. He is dating local girl Ann Miller (Virginia Huston) and lives a quiet life, but is secretive about his past. He agrees to go with her, but phones the state police while she is upstairs packing. A crooked San Francisco lawyer, Leonard Eels, has helped Whit dodge $1,000,000 ($11.5 million today) in taxes, but now is blackmailing him for $200,000 or he will turn the incriminating records over to the United States Treasury. When he is confident he has given Fisher the slip, Jeff arranges to meet Kathie at a cabin in the Sierra Nevada, only to find that Fisher had been following her instead. Jeff guesses Mexico instead, since shots were not needed for Florida but still were to visit that country in those days. After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. Only now does Jeff finally learn that Kathie actually did steal Whit’s money which brings his narrative told to Ann to an end. Bailey smells a rat, especially as the caper involves the person who caused all the problems with Sterling in the first place, his girlfriend, Kathie. The couple leave, Jeff trails Carson, then returns and finds Eels dead. When Jeff arrives at Whit’s lodge in Tahoe, he realizes that Kathie has completely double-crossed him by not only going back to the gambler, but telling him everything about their affair in Mexico and San Francisco. This meeting has been arranged to use Jeff’s culpability in the events as a means of coercing him into getting back some sensitive tax documents that Whit claims are in the hands of lawyer named Leonard Eels for the purpose of blackmail. Plot Keywords [7][8][9] Robert Ottoson hailed the film as "the ne plus ultra of forties film noir". Jeff manages to retrieve the tax papers from some of Sterling's thugs and mails them to a safe location, substituting a local phonebook in the briefcase to throw off Sterling's henchmen when he is captured. Ann confirms her continued love for Jeff and promises she will wait for him to return from Tahoe against the advice of both her parents and Jim, a local cop who has himself been in love with Ann since they were kids. Whit wants Jeff to recover them and sends him on the afternoon train to San Francisco. Stephanos' boss, crooked gambler Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas), had hired Jeff to track down Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer), a girlfriend who shot Whit and made off with $40,000 of his. Out of the Past was remade as Against All Odds (1984) with Rachel Ward in the Greer role, Jeff Bridges filling in for Mitchum, and James Woods as a variation of Kirk Douglas' villain, with Jane Greer as the mother of her original character in Out of the Past and Richard Widmark in a supporting role. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Whit assures Jeff he just wants her back, and will not harm her, but, having an impulsive disregard for Fisher, tells Markham he wants him to handle the case alone. Nobody quits me.“. Robert Mitchum is magnificently cheeky and self-assured as the tangled 'private eye,' consuming an astronomical number of cigarettes in displaying his nonchalance. Kathie finally admits to Jeff that when she killed Fisher she was also forced to sign a confession and, furthermore, that signed document is now in the safe inside Eels’ apartment. Direction by Jacques Tourneur pays close attention to mood development, achieving realistic flavor that is further emphasized by real life settings and topnotch lensing by Nicholas Musuraca...Mitchum gives a very strong account of himself. Kathie suddenly shoots Fisher dead. On the way, Jeff tells Ann of a dark episode in his past (in flashback) involving both men and a beautiful but dangerous woman. Which means that now Jeff has been implicated in not just one murder he didn’t commit, but two. An editor A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Trying to sugar-coat things, he indicates it is the only way to square things between them. Jeff and Kathie make it safely onto a steamship that night and set sail for San Francisco. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Out of the Past by Jacques Tourneur.

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