Out of the Past

Our next film is Out of the Past (1947), directed by Jacques Tourneur.

Happy Noirvember! This month we will explore noir and neo-noir, starting with a film widely considered to be quintessential to the genre.

Out of the Past features strong examples of noir motifs: shadows, smoke, deadpan dialogue, double-crosses, and of course, the femme fatale. The film was adapted for the silver screen by Daniel Mainwaring, who also authored the source novel, then rewritten by B-movie writer Frank Fenton. It was produced at RKO by the legendary Val Lewton unit on a relatively large budget.

Director Tourneur (Cat PeopleI Walked with a Zombie) crafts a moody, suspenseful atmosphere while lead Robert Mitchum performs the perfect hard-boiled anti-hero. Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas also give breakout performances. Out of the Past is a multi-layered, affecting noir known for its snappy dialogue and brooding sense of fate.

Out of the Past will be screened LIVE via Zoom on November 10th at 8:00pm EDT. All club members will receive a zoom link on the day of the screening. Also be sure to check out our resources page for additional essays and videos.

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