Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
ERROL23

Out Of The Past(1947)

Recommended Posts

I wanted to revive this thread, instead of making a new one, because I just saw this film for the first time. I guess it was one I'd been avoiding, because I was afraid it would be too overrated and wouldn't live up to expectations.

And yes, that is what happened. Using Maltin's four-star rating system, I'd give it a 2.5. On the IMDb, I give it a strong 7 out of 10. 

The comments in this thread, which I've just read, are interesting. But none of the comments address the problems I had with the film.

My biggest problem is the set-up feels way too gimmicky. As for the poster who said it's not gritty enough, I can see where it would have felt less gimmicky, less slick, if it had been grittier.

Nothing's dirty or grimy in this film. All the cars are shiny and the streets are perfectly clean, even the streets in Mexico are ultra clean (which were obviously streets on the RKO backlot). The gas station Mitchum runs is spotless. I've never been to a gas station in my life that was ever so neatly arranged and tidy. No sight of dropped tools or oil spilt on the ground. Dickie Moore's clothes are neatly pressed, like they'd just come back from a dry cleaner, hardly any evidence he'd been working on cars or fixing leaky things. 

But this is minor, compared to the other things that seem artificial or contrived about this picture. I can see why people like it, because it is still an entertaining piece of hokum. But it lacks realism at almost every turn.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I wanted to revive this thread, instead of making a new one, because I just saw this film for the first time. I guess it was one I'd been avoiding, because I was afraid it would be too overrated and wouldn't live up to expectations.

And yes, that is what happened. Using Maltin's four-star rating system, I'd give it a 2.5. On the IMDb, I give it a strong 7 out of 10. 

The comments in this thread, which I've just read, are interesting. But none of the comments address the problems I had with the film.

My biggest problem is the set-up feels way too gimmicky. As for the poster who said it's not gritty enough, I can see where it would have felt less gimmicky, less slick, if it had been grittier.

Nothing's dirty or grimy in this film. All the cars are shiny and the streets are perfectly clean, even the streets in Mexico are ultra clean (which were obviously streets on the RKO backlot). The gas station Mitchum runs is spotless. I've never been to a gas station in my life that was ever so neatly arranged and tidy. No sight of dropped tools or oil spilt on the ground. Dickie Moore's clothes are neatly pressed, like they'd just come back from a dry cleaner, hardly any evidence he'd been working on cars or fixing leaky things. 

But this is minor, compared to the other things that seem artificial or contrived about this picture. I can see why people like it, because it is still an entertaining piece of hokum. But it lacks realism at almost every turn.

Look. Mitchum is one of my favorite actors so I have a reason to want to overhype this film. I agree with it being overrated.  I felt the plot was good all the way up until the cabin scene. It went downhill from there for me.  It wasn't gritty or hard enough for me.  It was contrived like you said.  Its been a while sense I saw it but I would give it around a 6.5 or 7 out of 10...

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give it about a 8-9/10, mostly for some of the reasons TopBilled mentioned. It could have been a little grittier.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

I'll give it about a 8-9/10, mostly for some of the reasons TopBilled mentioned. It could have been a little grittier.

Thanks. Here are the notes I took on the film when I watched it the other night, random thoughts--

*****

This film is described as a moody crime yarn. I think it goes out of its way to be moody to the point of bleakness. Did Mitchum's character really have to die at the end? Wasn't it enough that Greer died, so he could return to the more wholesome girl he loved?

I did find it interesting that Virginia Huston's good girl ended up with Richard Webb's protector he-man, but only by default, not by choice.

Mitchum's character is given lines near the end he's bad and deserves Greer. But I didn't find him to be that bad. Kirk Douglas' character was no good and is the one who deserved Greer.

Some of the third act felt like it had things edited out. So we had to guess why Mitchum was with Greer at the end and didn't leave her.

The whole set-up is a lousy one. Lousy for Mitchum and lousy for viewers.

He knows going into it that she's already shot a man (Douglas). So why doesn't he seem to worry that she's a real threat to him as well? Is he that dumb? We're told how smart he is as a detective. But he's really stupid when it comes to women, especially ones who've done criminal things that he's been hired to track down? I don't believe it.

Dickie Moore's deaf mute seemed like a gimmick. How did his impairments serve the plot? Now if the role had been designed to facilitate the hiring of a deaf actor that would be understandable, but Moore was not deaf in real life. He could've just as easily played his scenes with dialogue and nothing would've really been any different.

*****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks. Here are the notes I took on the film when I watched it the other night, random thoughts--

*****

This film is described as a moody crime yarn. I think it goes out of its way to be moody to the point of bleakness. Did Mitchum's character really have to die at the end? Wasn't it enough that Greer died, so he could return to the more wholesome girl he loved?

I did find it interesting that Virginia Huston's good girl ended up with Richard Webb's protector he-man, but only by default, not by choice.

Mitchum's character is given lines near the end he's bad and deserves Greer. But I didn't find him to be that bad. Kirk Douglas' character was no good and is the one who deserved Greer.

Some of the third act felt like it had things edited out. So we had to guess why Mitchum was with Greer at the end and didn't leave her.

The whole set-up is a lousy one. Lousy for Mitchum and lousy for viewers.

He knows going into it that she's already shot a man (Douglas). So why doesn't he seem to worry that she's a real threat to him as well? Is he that dumb? We're told how smart he is as a detective. But he's really stupid when it comes to women, especially ones who've done criminal things that he's been hired to track down? I don't believe it.

Dickie Moore's deaf mute seemed like a gimmick. How did his impairments serve the plot? Now if the role had been designed to facilitate the hiring of a deaf actor that would be understandable, but Moore was not deaf in real life. He could've just as easily played his scenes with dialogue and nothing would've really been any different.

*****

You might have to go to the source novel by Daniel Mainwaring to find out the original story line and how they adapted that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

You might have to go to the source novel by Daniel Mainwaring to find out the original story line and how they adapted that.

You mean how they adapted Moore's character? I just didn't see any purpose in his being a deaf mute. Now if there had been some dangerous explosion he couldn't hear while his back was turned, or couldn't hear someone crying for help in a key scene, then I would understand it. But his handicap did not seem to feed into the plot at all. As I said, if he was played by a handicapped actor and they were making an accommodation for special casting, I could understand. But Moore was not handicapped so I don't see the purpose in making him deaf or a mute. That's why it seemed like a gimmick to me. Maybe there was more to his character in the original story that was left out of the film? I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

You mean how they adapted Moore's character? I just didn't see any purpose in his being a deaf mute. Now if there had been some dangerous explosion he couldn't hear while his back was turned, or couldn't hear someone crying for help in a key scene, then I would understand it. But his handicap did not seem to feed into the plot at all. As I said, if he was played by a handicapped actor and they were making an accommodation for special casting, I could understand. But Moore was not handicapped so I don't see the purpose in making him deaf or a mute. That's why it seemed like a gimmick to me. Maybe there was more to his character in the original story that was left out of the film? I don't know.

That second to last sentence was more of what I was getting at. Who knows the why, my guess that he's a more significant character in the novel.

It's interesting how these stories have been adapted.

For example, I've been rereading Cornell Woolrich's Deadline At Dawn. The book is seriously, completely different from the film. In the film the Hayward character June is a taxi dancer and the Williams character Alex is a sailor. The deadline in the film is a bus that he has to catch to get to Virginia Beach for Naval training. 

In the novel the taxi dancer is named Bricky for her red hair. There is no sailor, he is replaced by Quinn a guy from Bricky's hometown in Iowa, the proverbial "boy next door". Quinn worked for an electrician in Manhattan until the old man died.

On one particular job they did they had to add a new socket in a bathroom wall, while Quinn was cutting through the plaster and lath wall he hit the wooden backside of a safe embedded in the wall only the safe door and frame were of cast iron. Quinn also came into possession of the latch key for the house that accidentally fell into his tool box that he had placed near the small table near the foyer. Weeks go by and he forgets bout the key.

When the old man died the shop he ran closed up and Quinn was going broke by the day. He remembered the latch key that he had forgotten about and the safe that would be easy picking. So he waited until the owner left the house, went in and broke through the back of the safe making away with about $2500 in cash. He's now feeling that everyone is watching him. He spends some of the money on food then decides to hide out in the taxi dance ballroom until it closes there he meets Bricky.

He basically confesses to Bricky who falls for him and then Bricky decides that the thing for them to do is to put the money back and catch the 6AM Bus to Iowa. That is the deadline in the novel. When they get back to the townhouse to put the money back they find the owner shot dead. Now the two act like detectives picking up various clues and following them. They figure out that there was a man and a woman in the room with the dead man and figure out that one of them must be the murderer.  With only four hours to go before that 6AM deadline they split up to follow the leads Quinn after the man Bricky after the woman, agreeing to rendezvous at the town house. The novel details the various trails they follow. 

The whole novel is pretty much is Quinn and Bricky vs Manhattan with just minor characters.

Another novel that's way more intense than the film is Nightmare Alley. Some of these sources should be remade and without the hindrance of the MPPC.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...