Thursday, May 17, 2007

Awfully cold around the heart.

Last night I watched Out of the Past, from 1947 and starring Robert Mitchum. This one was good. So good. Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, a man in a small town trying to make an honest living when his dirty past and unpaid debts come back to haunt him. It was so hot it boiled over. Mostly I think it was the way the characters interacted (sometimes you couldn't tell who was messing with who), and the incredible dialogue full of stinging one-liners straight out of a pulp novel. Check out all these quotes.

Kathie Moffett: Oh, Jeff, I don't want to die!
Jeff Bailey: Neither do I, baby, but if I have to I'm gonna die last.

Ann Miller: She can't be all bad. No one is.
Jeff Bailey: Well, she comes the closest.

Leonard Eels: All women are wonders, because they reduce all men to the obvious.

Kathie Moffett: Can't you even feel sorry for me?
Jeff Bailey: I'm not going to try.
Kathie Moffett: Jeff ...
Jeff Bailey: Just get out, will you? I have to sleep in this room.

Cold, man. Cold.

I also took note of how as Jeff Bailey narrated, femme fatale Kathie Moffet either "came in out of the sunlight," or "walked into the moonlight," and then "I saw her in those headlights." Really nice.

Robert Mitchum had permanent bedroom eyes and you can't really tell if he's in love with you or wants to smack you upside the head. And when he and Kirk Douglas shared scenes, it was like Ultimate Deathmatch: Cleft Chin vs. Dimple Chin. Douglas was an awesome villain, charming and smarmy 'til the end when he really turned into a snake.

Not action-packed, but definitely thrilling with lots of twists and turns.