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Jane Greer Movies: 'Out of the Past' & 'The Company She Keeps'

Jane Greer, Out of the Past
Jane Greer, Out of the Past

Today is neither Jane Greer's birth nor death anniversary. Even so, Turner Classic Movies is devoting Saturday evening/night to the dangerously seductive star of a number of (mostly) RKO productions of the late '40s and early '50s. And who's complaining?

Unfortunately, Out of the Past, perhaps Greer's best-known film and performance, is already in the past. It was shown earlier this evening. Right now, TCM is showing Don Siegel's Mexico-set crime drama The Big Steal, featuring Greer, her Out of the Past co-star Robert Mitchum, William Bendix, Patrick Knowles, and silent film veterans Ramon Novarro and Don Alvarado.

Next comes my favorite Jane Greer performance, as the good girl gone bad – or bad girl attempting to go good – in John Cromwell's The Company She Keeps. This all-but-forgotten little melodramatic gem is a must for another reason as well: Lizabeth Scott, Paramount's sultry answer to Warner Bros.' Lauren Bacall – and a stunning film presence even though Scott wasn't exactly the greatest actress of the time.

I've yet to watch both Station West and Desperate Search, but I can cautiously recommend Run for the Sun. The plot is intriguing – a couple (Greer, Richard Widmark) is hunted by Nazis (!) in some Central American jungle – but Roy Boulting's handling of the proceedings made me yearn for Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel's The Most Dangerous Game, of which Run for the Sun is a remake. Having said that, Run for the Sun has two good things going for it: Jane Greer, of course, and Joseph LaShelle's color cinematography.

Schedule (ET) and synopses from the TCM website:

8:00 PM OUT OF THE PAST (1947) A private eye becomes the dupe of a homicidal moll. Dir.: Jacques Tourneur Cast: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas. Black and white. 97 mins

10:00 PM THE BIG STEAL (1949) Seduction and murder follow the theft of an Army payroll. Dir.: Don Siegel Cast: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix. Black and white. 71 mins

11:30 PM THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS (1951) A lady con artist sets out to steal her parole officer's fiance. Dir.: John Cromwell Cast: Lizabeth Scott, Jane Greer, Dennis O'Keefe. Black and white. 83 mins

1:00 AM STATION WEST (1948) A federal agent takes on a gang of gold thieves. Dir.: Sidney Lanfield Cast: Dick Powell, Jane Greer, Agnes Moorehead. Black and white. 80 mins

2:30 AM RUN FOR THE SUN (1956) A British traitor hunts humans in the jungles of Mexico. Dir.: Roy Boulting Cast: Richard Widmark, Trevor Howard, Jane Greer. Black and white. 99 mins

4:15 AM DESPERATE SEARCH (1953) A man fights to find his children after their plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. Dir.: Joseph Lewis Cast: Howard Keel, Jane Greer, Patricia Medina. Black and white. 71 mins

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