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May 27, 1993|GEOFF BOUCHER

"Out of the Past" (1947), directed by Jacques Tourneur. 97 minutes. Not rated. Robert Mitchum, surly and laconic, hits just the right chord as an apathetic private detective hired by a sleazy gangland hood (Kirk Douglas) to track down his girlfriend (Jane Greer) and the $40,000 she took with her to Mexico. It's a tough-talking, gin-soaked excursion through the seedy side of the 1940s where every love is doomed and every lover has an angle.

"The Molly Maguires" (1970), directed by Martin Ritt. 123 minutes. Rated PG. Unflinching honesty lends power to this story of exploited miners in 19th-Century Pennsylvania who turn to terrorism. Sean Connery is the Maguires' hard-bitten leader, and Richard Harris is outstanding as the undercover officer sent to infiltrate the group.

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