I have a friend who watches Out of the Past (1947) once a week, every single week. As you all should! It’s so good, it’s insane. And it holds a very unique place in film noir history. Basically, in the pantheon of film noir, The Maltese Falcon (1941) is the most iconic, The Third Man (1949) is the most copied, Sunset Boulevard (1950) is the most beloved and Double Indemnity (1944) is the best. And Out of the Past is the most ‘noir’ of them all. It’s the one everyone agrees is the quintessential film noir, the one you show people when they want to learn about film noir. The flashbacks, the long drive in the rain, the voice-over, the ruthless femme fatale, played by he wonderful and underrated Jane Greer, the fallen hero, played by the one and only Robert Mitchum, and the overall plot development as well as the resolution and the ‘feel’ of it… It has all the elements and in the right order and it plays them to perfection. And it contains possibly the greatest line in film noir history *points to the title of this post*. It’s noir 101. And it’s brilliant.