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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Thursday, January 01, 2015


Robert MitchumROBERT MITCHUM, born Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (1917-1997), was a top Hollywood tough guy who made making movies look like the easiest thing in the world. Often in trouble as a teen, I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang could have been his story, as he escaped from a Georgia chain gang at age fourteen. He drifted to Long Beach where he became involved with community theater. He appeared as a heavy in several Hopalong Cassidy Westerns before getting his big break in The Story Of GI Joe. Very nonchalant on screen, he became one of America's favorite actors and appeared in a string of excellent films. In later years, he portrayed memorable roles on television, which included the gigantic 18-hour miniseries Winds of War (1983) and the War and Remembrance (1988) miniseries. They don't make them like him any more.

Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957)Haven't you seen Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)? Mitchum plays an American Marine shipwrecked on a Japanese held island with nun Deborah Kerr. It is primarily a two person show and the stars are a dream. John Huston directed. This is a great place to start an appreciation of Mitchum's films.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Thunder Road (1958) Okay. I'm prejudiced on this one. A few scenes were shot in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I grew up. Mitchum plays a Kentucky moonshine runner and son James plays his younger brother. A lot of the stunt driving is handled by real Moonrunners (soon to become NASCAR drivers). They also provided some of the cars. Gene Barry portrays the law. Mitchum wrote the lyrics for the theme song and made a hit record from it. It was certainly better than Lee Marvin's recording of "Wanderin' Star". This is a fun, exciting film to watch.
Night Of The Hunter (1955) Mitchum is outstanding as a fake preacher con man and serial killer. He meets his match in Lillian Gish, an elderly lady who cares for orphans. Mitchum is in pursuit of two children who hold the secret to a stash of money stolen in a payroll robbery by their father. They escape and find shelter with Gish. Charles Laughton's direction is outstanding. This film is a true classic.
The Enemy Below (1957) Mitchum is the canny skipper of an American destroyer involved in a game of cat and mouse with a German U-Boat commanded by Curt Jurgens. Acting is superior and director Dick Powell has crafted a very suspenseful film. This movie was unofficially remade as the episode "Balance of Terror" during the first season of Star Trek.
The Wonderful Country (1959) Mitchum becomes involved in one of the many revolutions that rocked Mexico. Julie London costars. This is a superior Western.

Autographed still provided by: Eric Jamborsky
Text reads: Eric,
Thank you for your
kindness -

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Sat, Feb 17 2007 / 14:54:07 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1945 Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role: THE STORY OF G.I. JOE


  • Of all the tough guys, Mitchum was definitely my favorite because he just had that look in his eye that made you think he was capable of exploding in an instant ... Night of the Hunter is also definitely one of my all-time favorite flicks

    By Blogger Reel Fanatic, at Thu Mar 01, 01:46:00 PM PST  

  • My husband's favorite Christmas movie has Robert Mitchum, Holiday Affair. Both of us can't get enough of that film. I'm so glad it is finally available on DVD. Turner Classic Movies made it available on their web site.

    By Anonymous Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph, at Sat Jan 03, 08:35:00 PM PST