Rent Out of the Past (1947)

4.0 of 5 from 120 ratings
1h 36min
Rent Out of the Past (aka Build My Gallows High) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas star in this quintessential film noir which catapulted Mitchum into superstardom and set the standard for the genre for years to come. When Kathie Moffett (Greer) shoots her admirer, Whit Sterling (Douglas), a big-time gambler, and absconds with $40,000 of his money, Starling hires private detective Jeff Bailey (Mitchum) to find her. Bailey leaves New York and catches up with Kathie in Mexico. Kathie denies taking the money and after falling for her charms, Bailey notifies Sterling that he could not find her.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Wesley Bly, , , , Ted Collins,
Directors:
Producers:
Warren Duff
Writers:
Daniel Mainwaring, James M. Cain, Frank Fenton
Aka:
Build My Gallows High
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Romance, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
12/02/2007
Run Time:
96 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BBFC:
Release Date:
05/11/2018
Run Time:
97 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Commentary by Author / Film-Noir Specialist James Ursin

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Reviews (2) of Out of the Past

Build My Gallows High, baby. - Out of the Past review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert
Updated 10/03/2021

 One of the very best film noirs and an American cinema classic. Robert Mitchum as Jeff Bailey owns a garage in rural California when his past catches up with him by chance. He flashbacks to when he was a PI run by a tough gangster, Whit (Kirk Douglas) to bring back Kathie Moffatt (Jane Greer) who has turned a gun on him and escaped down to Mexico with $40000.

Only when Bailey catches up with Kathie, rather than turn her in, he becomes romantically entrapped by her, leading to murder. When Whit finds Bailey many years later he attempts to exact a complicated revenge...Mitchum and Greer were such dynamite together they reformed in 1949 for The Big Steal. They are noir legends.

Though an engaging but convoluted narrative, it's the images that tell the story that stay in the mind and create a sense of the certainty of entrapment. The lovers kissing among the fishing nets on a beach in Acapulco, both under false names. Mitchum sitting in a Mexican Bar under a big neon sign, thinking he is the trap, when really it's Kathie Moffat. These images are gloriously captured by genre great Nicholas Musuraca.

The dark cynicism of the film allows in no light. Nothing can end well. The pessimistic philosophy of film noir is expressed so exquisitely visually and lyrically, especially by Bailey in the casino as he watches Kathie lose at roulette:

 "That's not the way to win.  

Is there a way to win?

There's a way to lose more slowly..."

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

A trenchcoat of a film. - Out of the Past review by RhysH

Spoiler Alert
14/01/2017

It is probably de rigueur to state that this is film noir and it is one of the films that sets the standard and to some extent lays out the rules of the genre. This is the film that made Robert Mitchum, maybe the word wasn't in use, in this context, in 1947 but he is the epitome of "cool". His facial expression never changes whether his life is in danger or he is about to kiss the femme fatale and his vocal register remains on one level. It is a masterclass in non-acting acting. Jane Greer's performance is also understated, it exudes eroticism without even trying. The plot is complicated but following it is not necessary to enjoy the film, the dialogue by Daniel Mainwaring (aka novelist Geoffrey Holmes) crackles along with some great exchanges. At one point, I forget the details, he says to her something like "you're quite small" and she replies "I'm bigger than Napoleon." Great stuff.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.