The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood

6.5 Out of the Past

When Jeff visits his nemesis Whit, Kathie is the last person Jeff expects to see. In walks Kathie. This revelation is shocking—all the more so because the filmmakers reintroduce their femme fatale so casually. For this shocking plot twist, one might expect some cinematic device to heighten the drama: perhaps a musical flourish, perhaps a cut to a close-up of Kathie, perhaps an emphatic dolly-in. The camerawork instead remains as understated as Robert Mitchum’s performance.

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