Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Win Premiere Tickets
To see Mission: Impossible in Vienna.
Feature
Become A Film Noir Expert In Ten Easy Movies
Master a genre in just a handful of films

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Back 4 of 10 Next
Become A Film Noir Expert In Ten Easy Movies | Out Of The Past (1947)
Out Of The Past (1947)

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Cast: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Tagline: “A guy without a fortune! A girl with too much past!”

If RKO, the edgiest of Hollywood’s big five studios, stumbled on noirs as a cheap way of keeping its slate ticking over, it sure unleashed some firecrackers. Unsurprising perhaps, considering the quality of directors patrolling its lot. The likes of Anthony Mann, Robert Wise and Nicholas Ray all cut their teeth at the studio in the ‘40s. Then there’s this gem. Subtitled ‘Build My Gallows High’, it’s a black-as-pitch template for anyone who wants to make a classic film noir, giving us twisted timelines and enough fatalistic loners, double-dealing molls and unrepentant villains to staff an entire circle of hell. Director Jacques Tourneur’s crew also boasted a cinematographer, Nicholas Musuraca, who did so much to establish the genre’s ‘noir’ look. Borrowing from German expressionism styles of Lang, Murnau and co., his chiaroscuro lighting offers plenty of dark nooks from which bad guys (and girls) could emerge with teeth bared and revolvers cocked. And there are plenty of bad guys to fill them. Chief among them is a young Kirk Douglas as a gangster with an almost Tex Avery-like weakness for his ex-girlfriend Jane Green. We say ‘ex’ only because she’s shot him and made off with $40,000, hardly a deal-breaker in film noir relationships. Bullet wound or no bullet wound, he still yearns for her badly enough to send Robert Mitchum’s P.I. after her. “I just want her back,” he growls at the laconic gumshoe. “When you see her, you'll understand better." He does. It doesn’t end well.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Back
4 of 10
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Mirror Match: 10 Movies Where Your Evil Twin Attacks
A new challenger enters… and it’s YOU (but with bad facial hair)

Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Terminator Genisys: Empire's Verdict
It wants your clothes and your (re)boots

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains exclusively revealed!

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)