Jacques TourneurUSA97 minutes1947B&WEnglish
Featuring "Mitchum at his most romantically morose and fatalistic" (Philippe Garnier), this twistiest of tales remains the quintessential work of noir, its very title evoking the genre's trope of trouble arriving from a dark past long thought buried. Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, an ex-P.I. who now runs a gas station in a small California town and seems destined to marry the good girl next door. A chance encounter at the pumps leads to Bailey becoming embroiled once again with racketeer Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas, his dimple suddenly seeming sinister) and lethal beauty Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer as the most fatale of femmes), who had fled after stealing both Bailey's heart and a cache of cold hard cash. The trio's fateful (and fatal) reunion leads to a spreading web of sexual, financial, and murderous betrayal, which that bard of shadows and dusk Jacques Tourneur turns into haunting, obsidian poetry. "One of the most bewildering and beautiful films ever made…. once seen, never forgotten" (Time Out London).