Out of the Fog (1941)

220px-Out_of_the_Fog_FilmPoster Out of the Fog (1941)

Run time: Approved | 85 min | Crime, Drama
Director: Anatole Litvak
Writers: Robert Rossen, Jerry Wald
Stars: Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Thomas Mitchell
Storyline
Racketeer (Garfield) falls for the daughter of one of his victims (Ida) in this adaptation of Irwin Shaw’s The Gentle People.  The picture benefits from wonderful acting from a top drawer cast and Litvak’s skillful direction.
Fun Facts
1
. Humphrey Bogart was originally chosen to play Harold Goff. However, Ida Lupino had just finished shooting They Drive by Night (1940) and High Sierra (1941) with Bogart, and they had not gotten along. Lupino protested, and because she’d had a bigger name than Bogart at the time, she got her way, forcing an angry Bogart to shoot off a telegram to Jack L. Warner asking, “When did Ida Lupino start casting films at your studio?”
2. After the courtroom scene, when Jonah and Olaf stop in front of a music hall to exchange a couple of words, the music coming out of the hall is “The Merry Go Round Broke Down”, better known as the theme from Looney Tunes, another Warner Brothers property.
3. For this film, which was based on Irwin Shaw’s play “The Gentle People“, nearly all of the characters’ names were changed from the play.

4 responses to “Out of the Fog (1941)”

  1. IMDBReviewer says:

    What a treat! I just watched this movie, and apart from the ending which makes things come into place a little too neatly and quickly for my taste, I loved it. Not least the sense of style that Litvak and cameraman par excellence Wong Howe use to make this not very inspiring script come to life. The huge set, a provincial fishing village in Brooklyn, is wonderfully lit and photographed, only partly visible through the fog that weigh on young lusty Ida Lupino’s mind as she dreams of better things, of Cuba and crystal-clear water, of glamorous, dangerous men who take what they want and make no excuses for themselves. At times the story is so downbeat that it takes a small miracle here and there to rise above it, but nearly all is ultimately forgiven. John Garfield is deliciously wicked as the racketeer who sets out to destroy everybody’s lives in order to eke out his own beastly living, Thomas Mitchell and Anthony Qualen are brilliant in the real starring parts as the two old-timers who finally realize that they have to make a stand against the evil of this world. In a small, but significant part as a hilarious, bankrupt man in a sauna, George Tobias shines. If it ever comes your way, you should see it. It’s the real thing.

  2. IMDBReviewer says:

    John Garfield is a sadistic, heartless thug in "Out of the Fog," starring Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell, John Qualen, and Eddie Albert. Garfield's life centers around intimidating scared, weak people into coughing up "protection" money so that he won't set their boats or businesses on fire or beat them to a pulp. Ida Lupino plays Stella, a young woman who's bored with her boyfriend (Eddie Albert) and sick of her life, and when she meets Garfield, she sees a chance for excitement. Little does she know that he's shaking down her father (Mitchell) and his partner in a fishing boat (Qualen).

    This drama was interesting, had a rich atmosphere and a good cast. That, however, doesn't mean I enjoyed it. Garfield was so mean he was disgusting, John Qualen was so lily-livered I wanted to slap him, and all I could do was pity poor Thomas Mitchell. How Lupino could have had anything to do with Garfield after she found out he was demanding money from her father is beyond me.

    The point of the film, brought home by Eddie Albert and Mitchell, is that Stella is just an ordinary girl and she shouldn't want or reach for anything special. Well, maybe she shouldn't have wanted or reached for any special via John Garfield, but how's that for a nice sexist 1940s message. However, the ending (not liked by at least one of the posters commenting here) does indicate that Stella will be able to achieve a balance in her life, so in that way, it was very satisfying.

    The best characters were played by Mitchell and Qualen who, not surprisingly, give the best performances. They had a lot more to work with, Mitchell especially, and he gave it everything he had. Garfield's role was one-dimensional, and we learn nothing about how he came to be such a rat, so all you can do is hate him. Lupino's role is strictly ingénue – she found a better niche later on.

    Interesting movie that, whether you like it or not, will hold your interest.

  3. IMDBReviewer says:

    ‘Out of the Fog’ is director Anatole Litvak’s excellent film version of the Irwin Shaw play, ‘The Gentle People,’ starring two of Warner Brothers greatest stars, John Garfield and Ida Lupino. Garfield plays a cruel, small-time racketeer who terrorizes two Brooklyn fishermen as the one’s restless daughter (Lupino) falls in love with him. Both stars offer terrific performances, with Garfield especially good in a rare villainous role. Top honors, though, go to Thomas Mitchell and John Qualen, two of our very best character actors, who steal the film from the stars with their top-notch performances as the terrorized fishermen.

    Highly recommended.

  4. tfsadmin says:

    This story features John Garfield at his nastiest. He is a dirty little thug who spends his time beating up poor fishermen in order to extort money from them. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does as later in the movie Garfield not only wants one sailor’s money but his lovely daughter as well! But, because Garfield is tough and ruthless, no one seems willing to go to the police or stand up to him in any other way. However, how this dilemma was solved was very atypical of Warner Brothers movies of this era and helps to raise this picture above most others. I won’t divulge the exact ending, but it really tied the movie together well and felt very real as well as satisfying.

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