Out of the Past – Jacques Tourneur (1947 D: Jacques Tourneur, W: Daniel Mainwaring, James M Cain)
It’s a simple line, sure. But one of the most memorable. Jane Greer’s femme fatale is trying desperately to convince Robert Mitchum that she may have done bad things, but she did them for a reason. We know the truth. So does Mitchum, it seems. “Baby,” he says, “I don’t care.” Jacques Tourneur’s noir masterpiece is the peak of the genre, gorgeously shot, appropriately muddied. Tourneur was coming off his run with Val Lewton at RKO and those films’ shadows populate Out of the Past’s aesthetic; Cat People’s Nicholas Musuraca shot Out of the Past. Tourneur would go on to make the great demonic horror movie Curse of the Demon (also known as Night of the Demon).