Last update at 04 · 03 · by milo‧‧‧ One of 770
The coolness of Robert Michum: Celluloid dipped sensebility on the way to his own hell. In 1948, he, along with actress Lila Leeds, was arrested for possession of marijuana. The arrest was the result of a sting operation designed to capture other Hollywood partiers, as well, but Mitchum and Leeds didn’t receive the tip-off. Mitchum spent 60 days in the local lock-up, with Life magazine right there snapping photos of him mopping up in his prison uniform. The arrest became the inspiration for the later film “She Shoulda Said ‘No’!”, which starred Leeds.
The quintessential classic film noir masterpiece, a definitive flashback film of melodramatic doom, contains all the elements of the genre. First and foremost, there is an irresistible but deadly, chameleon-like femme fatale, the object of romantic fascination for both a detective and a gangster. Betrayal, passion, and a cynical, perverse, and a morally ambiguous atmosphere are all interwoven and entangled together in a confusing and convoluted dark plot with both double- and triple-crosses. Eventually, all three individuals meet their inescapable, tragic ends typical of a Shakespearean-level tragedy.
Out of the Past is featured at the Time magazine’s Top 100 movies: It has the smartest dialogue and the most persuasively labyrinthine plot of any film noir. And Robert Mitchum gives a great performance as the tough, laconic guy in a trench coat, undone by his love for–or is it merely sexual obsession with?–Jane Greer’s scheming bitch-goddess.
In the little town of Bridgeport, California, Jeff Bailey runs a gas station with the assistance of a mute boy, Jimmy, and courts Ann. Joe Stefanos drives into town and informs Jeff that Whit Sterlin and a racketeer, wants to see him. Jeff relates his life’s story to Ann as they drive to Sterling’s Lake Tahoe mansion. As a private detective named Jeff Markham, he was hired to find Sterling’s mistress, Kathie Moffett, who had shot Sterling and escaped with $40,000.
Rating: ★★★★★ by milo