Out of the Past. OUT OF THE PAST! Virginia Huston has a small role, lines-wise, but it’s our identification with her that’s the heart, the emotional pivot for the whole thing. Sigh. Why can’t we be better?
Thunder Road. It’s not amazing, but it’s fun, funny and memorable, which is close to the same thing. Good music. Nice engine roars. There’s one car crash that’s just amazing. Lemme spoil it: the car spins out, and skids off the road. Okay, no big deal. Then, wait, now it’s going downhill. And gaining speed. And then it catches fire! And tumbles end over end! And THEN it plunges into a waterfall! Exhilarating. Also, how could Mitchum’s character not go for Roxy?
The Night of the Hunter. So strange and so cool. This is the most German Expressionist film made by an American I’ve ever seen. I love the shifting between naturalistic location shoots and the strange, surreal sets in dramatically lit interiors and highly staged outdoors scenes later. Strange biblical dialogue and a few main characters you never quite become easy with. Some things aren’t right in this neighborhood. Perfect horror.
Out of the Past. Said it before, I’ll say it again:
OUT OF THE PAST. #greatestmovieofalltime
— Mark Larson (@mlarson) June 12, 2012
Part of what sets it apart is an incredible script.
Ann: Every time I look at the sky, I think of all the places I’ve never been.
Jeff: Yes, and every time you look up, they’re all the same.
A: You’ve been a lot of places, haven’t you?
J: One too many.
A: Which did you like best?
J: This one right here.
A: I bet you say that to all the places.
I fear that my feelings about the rest of Jacques Tourneur’s work mirror my feelings about about Larry McMurtry’s:
I realized I can’t read another Larry McMurtry novel because it won’t be Lonesome Dove. #librarytweets
— Mark Larson (@mlarson) May 25, 2012
To sum up, this is my reflex film. It’s what I turn to when there is no other hope. Though there are many very good reasons to love this film, my enthusiasm is now well beyond the bounds of rationality, and I won’t have it any other way.
Robert Mitchum in county jail. Photo ©Bettmann/CORBIS.
“I don’t want to die.”
“Neither do I, baby, but if I have to, I’m gonna die last.”
Out of the Past is a wonderful, wonderful movie. Great shots, some really snappy dialogue, a perfect villain, a dame that can’t do right, a guy who tries to convince himself he can. The best I’ve seen in a while. Roger Ebert’s review