I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Out Of The Past (1947)

Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum), a guy who owns a gas station in a small town, finds he couldn't run far enough from his past. He's ordered to a meeting with an underhanded gambler named Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). Whit wants Jeff to track down Kathie (Jane Greer), a woman who shot Whit and ran off with $40,000. Jeff was once a private detective, and uses his skills to track Kathie to Acapulco. Kathie claims that she was being victimized by Whit. Jeff suspects things aren't what they seem, despite of being caught up in Kathie's charms. Soon, Jeff finds himself deeper into a web with seemingly no way out.

This film is a great example of the film noir genre, where people find themselves entangled in messy, dangerous situations, and the outcomes are seldom happy. One of my all time favorite movie lines is when Kathie cries to Jeff that she doesn't want to die. He replies, "Neither do I baby, but if I have to, I'm gonna be last." Whit also gets off a good one: "My feelings? About ten years ago, I hid them and haven't been able to find them." All the elements of the genre are in place--shadowy places, scheming people, tough talk, double and triple crosses.

Ms. Greer, who played a sympathetic ex-con in The Company She Keeps (1951), is perfect as the sneaky Kathie, who has her own agenda. Robert Mitchum was the perfect tough guy actor, and Kirk Douglas shows off his talent at playing weasels (he also wear some sharp suits!). Rhonda Fleming also appears in the film; her credits include The Spiral Staircase (1946) and Cry Danger (1951).

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