Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum was born in 1917 and had a long marriage and career.

When I was a kid I was scared to death of Robert Mitchum and I don't think I had even seen Cape Fear or Night of the Hunter. He seemed equally good at playing the bad guy, the good guy, the cowboy, the romantic lead. He exuded masculinity and it's funny how seldom you see that trait in today's actors. I mean Robert Downey playing action figures? It seems ridiculous to me. Mitchum could do it just by lifting his eyebrow.

I pick OUT OF THE PAST as my favorite Mitchum role. What is yours?

24 comments:

Jerry House said...

You names my two favorites, Patti: NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, followed by CAPE FEAR.

Cullen Gallagher said...

Track of the Cat!

le0pard13 said...

Yep, OUT OF THE PAST is a great one, alright. So, too, his villainy in CAPE FEAR and THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. It's hard for me to pick a favorite with this actor as he had very few stinkers. Heck, he's the chief reason the Howard Hawks RIO BRAVO redux (EL DORADO) works as well as it does. I do favor his roles in war films, though. I'll watch THE ENEMY BELOW, HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON, THE LONGEST DAY, and the WINDS OF WAR/WAR AND REMEMBRANCE miniseries whenever they're on just for him.

Anonymous said...

Three great choices. NIGHT OF TEH HUNTER scared me silly when I first saw it. OUT OF THE PAST is definitely a classic. I see no one has mentioned the classic THUNDER ROAD yet, where Mitchum also co-wrote and supposedly co-directed, as well as co-writing the title song, which he later recorded! What a guy.

His son Jim played his younger brother in the film (he wrote the role for Elvis but Col. Parker's demands were exorbitant).

Others worth checking out: THE SUNDOWNERS, THE WRATH OF GOD, THE YAKUZA.

He was married for 57 years.


Jeff M.

le0pard13 said...

@ Jeff M: glad to see another fan of THE YAKUZA, here. Love that one. Nobody played weary, but dangerous like Mitchum (my appreciation of it is here, if you're interested).

Dana King said...

I'm a big Mitchum fan, but my favorite performance is one no one has mentioned: THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. Against type for Mitchum to play the beaten down loser, but he did it beautifully.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Scanning his list of movies was like a great hits list. I even like him in romances!

David Cranmer said...

OUT OF THE PAST, THE BIG STEAL, THUNDER ROAD, THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, and FAREWELL, MY LOVELY. And about a dozen more, Patti.

pattinase (abbott) said...

He may have the strongest list of movies ever.

Naomi Johnson said...

I'm really fond of Night of the Hunter but I'm especially fond of the way Mitchum plays against type in The Grass Is Greener. And holds his own nicely against Cary Grant.

pattinase (abbott) said...

See that's the good thing about him. He can do it all.

Cap'n Bob said...

Looks like all his good ones have already been mentioned. So I'll just note that he played a member of the villain's gang in a bunch of old Hopalong Cassidy movies. Even then he had that certain quality.

Ed Gorman said...

I'd have to mention The Friends of Eddie Coyle since he did so well playing against his persona. I like pretty much everything except Rio Bravo and a few things like that. I'm with you Patti. There are very few actors who have Mitchum,'s kind of masculinity. For me one of them is Alec Baldwin who's also very good with comedy. If you doubt me watch The Cooler one of the few mob movies that doesn't invoke the myth and the icons, something even the Sopranos did. Plus Bill Macy and Maria Bello as excellent too..

Ed Gorman said...

I'd have to mention The Friends of Eddie Coyle since he did so well playing against his persona. I like pretty much everything except Rio Bravo and a few things like that. I'm with you Patti. There are very few actors who have Mitchum's kind of masculinity. For me one of them is Alec Baldwin who's also very good with comedy. If you doubt me watch The Cooler one of the few mob movies that doesn't invoke the myth and the icons, something even the Sopranos did. Plus Bill Macy and Maria Bello as brilliant in it..

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love THE COOLER.

The Passing Tramp said...

Out of the Past would be my pick too, or night of the Hunter or Cape Fear. Hmmm....You can tell what sort of films I like!

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I saw RYAN'S DAUGHTER (for David Lean) recently — quite a nice film it was.

Deb said...

Mitchum's marriage may have been long, but his wife was long-suffering as Mitchum was a heavy drinker and a notorious womanizer. However, he was also a great actor and HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON (co-starring my namesake, Deborah Kerr) is my favorite: A soldier and a nun stranded on a Pacific island while WWII rages around them. Lots of erotic tension and not even a kiss between them.

Ben said...

I'm not the biggest Mitchum cognoscenti, but NIGHT OF THE HUNTER was an all-time great cinema performance. I liked him in DEAD MAN too as Boss Dickinson but the movie is an acquired taste in itself.

Heath Lowrance said...

All of his best ones have already been mentioned, so I'll just throw this one out there: CROSSFIRE, with the other Roberts, Ryan and Young. A great noir about anti-Semitism.

John said...

For a lighter side of Mitchum I will pick MACAO with Jane Russell. They made a great pair in that movie about smugglers in th South Pacific.

NIGHT OF THE HUNTER will always be the first movie I think of when anyone mentions Mitchum. It's an eerie and sublimely beautiful movie even with Mitchum's ferocious performance. One of my all time favorites - a movie I can watch repeatedly and still see something new.

George said...

BLOOD ON THE MOON and THE RED PONY.

Al Tucher said...

He also aged in a fascinating way. I remember him dominating the screen in his brief role in Dead Man.

Mike Dennis said...

OUT OF THE PAST was great, and he was great in it, but I believe he achieved his finest hour in THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE.