Out of the Past (1947) dir. Jacques Tourneur
It feels like there are 3 movies here, or maybe 4. The first is of a reformed man who starts a new life, only to be pulled in for one last job. There is the story of two lovers who double-cross the rich corner of the triangle. There is a convoluted murder mystery in San Francisco. And, there is the ending where the players' schemes come crashing down and all is revealed.
But Out out of Past is no noir pastiche. Its tone is deadly serious. Robert Mitchum has plenty of clever one-liners, but unlike the inhabitants of Sweet Smell of Success, he doesn't care about them. He doesn't seem to really care about anything. He knows his fate, and trudges on towards it.
Out of the Past is #121 on the Top 1000 Films list I’m working on. I’ve now seen 366.