Kathie Moffat is the main antagonist of the 1947 film noir Out of the Past. She's Whit Sterling's former girlfriend/mistress who shot him and stole $40,000 from him, as well as Jeff Markham's on-off girlfriend.
She was portrayed by Jane Greer.
Why She Rocks
- Jane Greer is just amazing as the mysterious femme fatale, and considering Greer had a fairly short acting career, this just make her role his this character all the more noteworthy. Her role features just the right combination of erotic fire and cool detachment.
- She’s discussed at length long before we see her. We first hear of her when Whit Sterling (her ex-lover) hires two private detectives – Jeff Bailey and his partner Jack Fisher – to find her. Whit’s got two good reasons for trying to track her down: she shot him and she stole a $40,000 from him. Except Whit was more interested in Kathie herself than reclaiming his money.
- She may just be the most insidious femme fatale in film noir history -- and that's saying a lot considering how mysterious they can be. And then there's the fact that she's competing with another femme fatale within the same film. It's purposefully left ambiguous just she was planning to do with the money she'd steal from Whit which adds to the mystery.
- Like most great femme fatales, she’s not just beautiful and attractive, but she also seems to have a sweet, sensitive side that inspires a man’s protective side. She does a pretty amazing job keeping the ruse up and even came up with a lie that she didn't steal the $40,000 and had shot Whit in self-defense.
- She always knows when there's a good opportunity and nearly always takes matters into her own hands. For starters, when she realizes she and Jeff she being spied on by Jack Fisher, she doesn't take any risks with Jeff carry the task out and just fatally shoots Jack without a second thought. For most of the film, she in absolute control. The only time she loses control is near the film's end when Whit realizes she's a lying, manipulative murderess, and slaps her face delivering a somber, chilling threat.
- She's a serious determinator and can't be easily brought down. Even when Whit realizes her true nature and boldly threatens her, Whit's next seen dead on the floor, with Kathie packed and ready to hit the road. It's unknown just how she killed Whit though, but there's doubt about Jeff’s future if he doesn’t go along with her plan. Even though Kathie doesn’t make it to her planned destination, you can’t deny that she came extremely close.