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The Avon
The Best of Independent Cinema
A Night of Noir: OUT OF THE PAST (1947)

DIRECTED BY: Jacques Tourneur

STARRING: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas



Introduction and post-film discussion with film noir expert Michael Kovner


This quintessential film noir made contract player Robert Mitchum a star and set the standard for the genre for years to come. Private eye Jeff Bailey (Mitchum) is hired by notorious gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) to find his mistress, Kathie Moffett (Jane Greer), who shot him and ran off with $40,000. Jeff traces Kathie to Mexico, but when he meets her he falls in love and willingly becomes involved in an increasingly complicated web of double-crosses, blackmail, and murder. Directed with supreme skill by Jacques Tourneur and brilliantly photographed by Nicholas Musuraca, this is an unrelentingly gloomy film set in a dark world of greed and deceit where love is used to trap the gullible. It was here that Mitchum created what became his characteristic screen persona: the droopy-eyed cynic who accepts fate with a studied nonchalance. Jane Greer is equally superb, perfecting the role of the femme fatale with a combination of erotic fire and cool detachment. Her first appearance in the film, in silhouette as she enters a dark cantina from the bright sunlight, is one of the great entrances in film history. OUT OF THE PAST is seminal genre film, certainly among the greatest whose influence is still felt today.


Michael Kovner is a long-time Greenwich resident, having gone to Rye Country Day School before graduating from Trinity Pawling and then Lafayette College with a major in government. He did postgraduate work at Georgetown University in the Foreign Service School and at the University of Dijon in France. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Army. While he is an accomplished VP and Managing Director with the real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens in his professional life, his personal passion is cinema. An avid Avon supporter and lover of film noir, he can repeat lines in his sleep, and he has probably spent more time in the dark confines of cinemas than anywhere else. His fascination with film noir began at a young age, starting with THE MALTESE FALCON all the way up to PSYCHO, which he first saw at the Avon. He has hosted numerous film noir screenings in Greenwich and is an audience favorite at the Avon.




RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes






Carte Blanche: FREE
Nonmembers - $12
Members - $7
Students/Seniors (Mon - Thu) - $9




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