Cinema: The New Pictures, Dec. 15, 1947

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Out of the Past (RKO Radio) is a medium-grade thriller about a not-very-smart young man (Robert Mitchum) who is hired to hound down the runaway mistress (Jane Greer) of a hard guy (Kirk Douglas). Mitchum finds the girl, sets up housekeeping with her, and lets himself in for no end of melodramatic consequences. Fairly well played, and very well photographed (by Nicholas Musuraca), the action develops a routine kind of pseudo-tension.

When he performs with other men (most memorably in The Story of G.I. Joe), Robert Mitchum is a believable actor. But it seems to be a mistake to let him tangle—as a hero, anyhow—with the ladies. In love scenes his curious languor, which suggests Bing Crosby supersaturated with barbiturates, becomes a brand of sexual complacency that is not endearing. Jane Greer, on the other hand, can best be described, in an ancient idiom, as a hot number.

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