Out Of The Past Film Analysis

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The film Out of the Past (1947) begins in a rural setting. I particularity like the opening shot, a vast scenic view of high mountains and beautiful forest. The camera presents us with a crisscross road sign showing direction, miles, to all the major cities nearby. The sign in part tells us you are entering Bridgeport and that Los Angles is 349 miles distance. A man driving a convertible enters the sleepy little town of Bridgeport. Filmed in POV of an invisible passenger riding in the back, the mysterious drive’s backside is to the camera prevent us from seeing who it is as he deliberately drives up to a gas station named Jeff Bailey’s. The stranger is looking for Bailey, heads over to the local café, and starts asking question about him. And thus, begins Jeff’s dilemma. In film noir, there is often the wrong man scenario, where the main characters are pawns and victims of criminal actions done by others, …show more content…

The trail leads him to Mexico, Jeff narrates throughout the film, and the entrance of Jane Geer as Kathie is breathtaking. The movie graciously promotes Jeff and Kathie’s attraction by placing them in a passionate silhouette of the night along the beach that sparks a natural romance. I really enjoy the use of silhouettes to enhance an unspoken emotion between two characters, were the action is subtle, and yet defined in that moment. Both characters seem to struggle with conflicting emotions about their growing love, but a carry on as if on a romantic holiday. Even the backdrop of a rainstorm conveys the secrecy, isolation, and passion Jeff and Kathie have for each other, but is any of it real, unbeknownst to Jeff, Kathie will ultimately ruin his life repeatedly, “the doomed ex-detective is seduced once again by the charming, wicked woman he had loved and lost, and becomes hopelessly embroiled in a maze of double - and triple-crosses” (Hirsch

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