Robert Mitchum


Actor
Robert Mitchum

About

Also Known As
Robert Charles Durman Mitchum, Bob Mitchum
Birth Place
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Born
August 06, 1917
Died
July 01, 1997
Cause of Death
Emphysema And Lung Cancer

Biography

An iconic figure of post-war Hollywood, actor Robert Mitchum embodied the rugged and solitary anti-her s of American film noir in a string of classic dramas and mysteries, including "Out of the Past" (1947), "His Kind of Woman" (1952), and "Angel Face." However, he proved versatile in almost every genre, from Westerns and thrillers - he played two of the scariest villains in screen histo...

Photos & Videos

My Forbidden Past - Movie Posters
The Lusty Men - Movie Poster
Rachel and the Stranger - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Dorothy Mitchum
Wife
Stall-holder in Berwick Street market.
Dorothy Mitchum
Wife
Married in 1940; neighbor from Delaware.

Bibliography

"Robert Mitchum: 'Baby I Don't Care'"
Lee Server, St. Martin's Press (2001)
"Them Ornery Mitchum Boys: The Adventures of Robert and John Mitchum"
John Mitchum (1989)
"It Sure Beats Working"
Mike Tomkies (1975)
"Robert Mitchum"
John Belton, Pyramid Books

Notes

"People say I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in." --Robert Mitchum.

"This is not a tough job. You read a script. If you like the part and the money is OK, you do it. Then you remember your lines. You show up on time. You do what the director tells you to do. When you finish, you rest and then go on to the next part. That's it." --Robert Mitchum in Larry King's "People", USA Today, March 25, 1991.

Biography

An iconic figure of post-war Hollywood, actor Robert Mitchum embodied the rugged and solitary anti-her s of American film noir in a string of classic dramas and mysteries, including "Out of the Past" (1947), "His Kind of Woman" (1952), and "Angel Face." However, he proved versatile in almost every genre, from Westerns and thrillers - he played two of the scariest villains in screen history: Max Cady in the original "Cape Fear" (1962) and the homicidal false preacher in "Night of the Hunter" (1955 - to comedies and gentle romances like "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" (1957), the first of two films he made with Deborah Kerr. He was so beloved as a man's man by both genders, that Mitchum was one of the few actors from the Hollywood of the '40s and '50s to play leads in the '70s, finding an even bigger audience on television in the '80s with the miniseries "The Winds of War" (1983) and "War and Remembrance" (1988).

Born Robert Charles Durman Mitchum in Bridgeport, CT on Aug. 6, 1917, Mitchum's early life was as rough-and-tumble as the characters he would eventually play on screen. His father died in a rail yard accident when he was still an infant, and frequent discipline problems at school forced his mother to shuttle him between relatives in Delaware and New York. He dropped out of school shortly after 1930 and traveled the country via boxcar, working sporadically in all manner of jobs - including professional boxer, to which he attributed in part his most memorable physical feature - his heavy-lidded eyes - and serving a brief stint on a chain gang in Georgia for vagrancy. Mitchum also met a young woman named Dorothy Spence during this period, whom he would marry in 1940.

Mitchum eventually found his way to California, where he was inspired by sister Julie, a stage actress, to try his hand at performing. He joined the Players Guild of Long Beach, and supported himself as a stagehand, occasional actor, and even playwright and songwriter. After marrying Dorothy and the birth of their first child, son James (another son, Christopher, and a daughter, Petrania, would arrive in 1943 and 1954, respectively), Mitchum tried his hand at a 9-5 job with the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, but the monotony eventually forced him back into acting. He found initial success in a string of B-Westerns starring William Boyd as flawless good guy Hopalong Cassidy; Mitchum's broad build, deep voice and insolent expression made him a perfect heavy, which he essayed in countless pictures between 1942 and 1943. After a turn as a heroic co-pilot in "30 Seconds over Tokyo," RKO signed him to a seven-year contract, where he settled in as a lead in Westerns and war pictures at the lower tiered studio.

Mitchum's big break came as a war-weary lieutenant in "The Story of G.I. J " (1945), William Wellman's WWII biopic of correspondent Ernie Pyle's tenure with a combat unit in Italy. The film was a considerable success and won four Oscar nominations, including one for Mitchum as Best Supporting Actor. Surprisingly, it would be the only Academy nod in his long career. Mitchum himself was too busy to celebrate the nomination, having been drafted into the Army and serving time at Ft. MacArthur in California. He emerged in 1946 a bonafide leading man, and one on the cusp of a series of films that would define his acting career and screen persona.

Film noir gave Mitchum some of the best showcases for his talent, and his unique blend of strength, slow-burning sexuality and devil-may-care attitude helped to make him the personification of the noir hero. He starred in many of the genre's best efforts - from "The Locket" (1946), as a painter who discovers that his bride-to-be is a kleptomaniac and murderer; to the Western noir "Pursued" (1947), as an amnesiac cowboy on the trail of his family's killer; and "Crossfire" (1947), as an aimless demobilized soldier who discovers that a fellow ex-GI has committed a hate crime. His finest noir was Jacques Tourneur's "Out of the Past" (1947), in which he played a small town man whose sordid past comes back to haunt him in the form of a cold-blooded femme fatale (Jane Greer). A modest hit upon its release, the film was later praised as one of the genre's best by critics and film scholars, who singled out Mitchum as the perfect depiction of the noir anti-hero.

Mitchum's hot streak came to a brief halt in 1948 when he was arrested for possession of marijuana during a police sting operation on Hollywood parties. Mitchum was sentenced to a week in the county jail before serving a 43-day stretch at a prison farm, where he grinned for Life magazine photographers while mopping the penitentiary floors. While arrests of this nature were career disasters for most actors, Mitchum emerged from jail with his popularity intact, as evidenced by the success of the Western, "Rachel and the Stranger" and the John Steinbeck family drama "The Red Pony" (1948), which were both released after his sentence had been served. Since audiences perceived Mitchum as something of a bad boy on-screen, they were undoubtedly pleased to see that he was carrying out the role off screen as well.

Mitchum's popularity as an anti-hero stretched well into the 1950s. He was well partnered with Jane Russell in a pair of steamy crime dramas, "His Kind of Woman" (1951) and "Macao" (1952), which made much of the stars' considerable sex appeal; and appeared opposite Jean Simmons (in several films, most notably 1952's "Angel Face") and Marilyn Monr in the Western "River of No Return" (1955). In a career highlight, Mitchum tapped his menacing side for Charles Laughton's frightening thriller "Night of the Hunter" (1955) - a part which was incidentally Mitchum's favorite role - where his murderous con worked a fire-and-brimstone preacher fa├žade (his monologue on the war between love and hate, illustrated by both words tatto d on his knuckles, is among the most memorable scenes in film history) while hot on the trail of two children who know the location of hidden loot. The film kicked off a new chapter in Mitchum's film roles - one that emphasized richer, more nuanced characters for the actor, including "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" (1957) with Mitchum in a BAFTA-nominated turn as a WWII Marine shipwrecked with nun Deborah Kerr; "Home from the Hill" (1960), as a wealthy and cruel landowner who makes life miserable for his wife and son; and "The Sundowners" (1960), with Mitchum displaying a knack for accents as an Australian sheep rancher. Though never an Oscar winner, he did win the National Board of Review's award for Best Actor for the latter role.

Continuing his hot streak, Mitchum also made for a charming romantic lead opposite Shirley MacLaine in "Two for the Seesaw" (1962), and that same year sent chills up the audiences' collective spines as an unrepentant sex criminal who terrorizes lawyer Gregory Peck and his family in "Cape Fear" (1962). Mitchum also underscored his own cool quotient with the low-budget moonshine drama "Thunder Road" (1958), which he also co-wrote, produced, and allegedly directed - even crooning that film's twangy theme song, which went to #69 on the Billboard charts - and released an album of authentic calypso music, Calypso - Is Like So in 1957. His vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, combined with his declared interest in marijuana and general tone of disinterest, only solidified his high standing with hipsters.

By the mid-60s, the quality and quantity of Mitchum's movies began to wane - there were a few notable exceptions, like "El Dorado" (1966), Howard Hawks' remake of "Rio Bravo," with Mitchum as a drunken sheriff who helps John Wayne defend a town against unscrupulous cattlemen; and the Italian-lensed WWII drama "Anzio." But for the most part, Mitchum breezed through a string of forgettable films like the bizarre "Secret Ceremony" (1968) with Mitchum as one part of a perverse sexual triangle with Elizabeth Taylor and Mia Farrow, "Villa Rides" (1968), and "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys" (1969). If Mitchum was bothered by the lack of substance in his projects, it certainly did not show on his face, but by the end of the decade, a certain degree of boredom could be detected in his performances. Mitchum reportedly considered retiring from film during this period and ironically, passed on a number of projects that might have buoyed his career, including "The Misfits" (1962), "Patton" (1970), "Dirty Harry" (1971), and later, "Atlantic City" (1980).

The tide turned for Mitchum in the 1970s, starting with a role as a schoolteacher who falls for the spoiled daughter of an Irish informant for the British Army in David Lean's "Ryan's Daughter" (1970). Though the film was not well received upon its release - and Mitchum clashed with Lean over his directorial style - the actor later regarded the picture and his performance as one of his best. A string of gritty crime dramas followed, helmed by a new breed of directors who grew up watching Mitchum's noir titles. He was a low-rent Boston crook who finds himself on the wrong end of the mob's attentions in Peter Yates' excellent "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" (1973) and a retired detective sent to Japan to rescue a client's daughter from gangsters in Sydney Pollack's cult favorite "The Yakuza" (1974). He also shone as a near-perfect Philip Marlowe in "Farewell, My Lovely" (1975), and reprised the role three years later in Michael Winner's disappointing take on "The Big Sleep" (1978). His last interesting role in this late-career revival came with the film version of Jason Miller's play "That Championship Season" (1982), with Mitchum as the coach of a quartet of former high school basketball teammates who struggle to adjust to middle age and maturity.

Mitchum turned to television in the early 1980s and found steady work there, as well as a few genuine projects of quality. Most notable among these were the massive WWII miniseries "The Winds of War" (1983) and its sequel "War and Remembrance" (1988), for which Mitchum was top-billed as navy man Pug Henry, whose family is deeply involved in the events leading up to America's involvement in the war. Though he was 65 years of age at the time, Mitchum's presence lent the role and the project the right level of commanding presence, and he even managed a degree of his old, effortless cool in a slightly unbelievable romance with the decades-younger Victoria Tennant. Mitchum was also among the star-studded guest cast of ABC's sudsy Civil War miniseries "North and South" (1985), and played William Randolph Hearst opposite Virginia Madsen as Marion Davies in "The Heart-Davies Affair" (1985). There was an agreeable reunion with Deborah Kerr in "Reunion at Fairborough" (1985), about WWII sweethearts finding each other decades later, and Mitchum replaced old friend John Huston in his son Danny's largely ignored comedy "Mr. North" (1988). Mitchum even tried his hand at a weekly series with the sodden "A Family For J " (NBC, 1990), as a homeless man who is recruited by four orphans to play their father.

Mitchum and his original "Cape Fear" co-stars Gregory Peck and Martin Balsam appeared in small roles in Martin Scorsese's 1991 remake; Mitchum made the most of his scenes as a downtrodden detective and seemed to stand up well against Robert DeNiro's amped-up version of Max Cady (the duo had appeared together once before in 1976's "The Last Tycoon," and Mitchum had reportedly poked considerable fun at DeNiro's Method leanings). He also lent his distinctive tone to narrate George Cosmatos' troubled Western "Tombstone" (1993) - he was originally slated to play Charlton Heston's role in the film, but was unable to carry out the role due to back problems. He also gave a lively performance as a robber baron of sorts who drives Johnny Depp's character into the wilderness in Jim Jarmusch's eccentric Western, "Dead Man" (1995).

Mitchum kept working steadily up until the end of his life, though the projects were largely dreary - including a ghastly "Airplane"-style (1980) comedy called "Backfire!" (1995), and the Family Channel series "African Skies" (1991-94). He could also be heard frequently on television as the spokesperson for the National Beef Council. Still, the current efforts could not erase the stellar body of work he had created. For his onscreen efforts, Mitchum received numerous accolades during this period, including a lifetime achievement award from the National Board of Review and the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press. Mitchum died in 1997 from lung cancer and emphysema - one day before his "Big Sleep" co-star James Stewart - with one project still unscreened - a biopic of James Dean titled "Race with Destiny" (1997), for which he played "Giant" (1955) director George Stevens. His ashes were scattered by wife Dorothy and longtime friend Jane Russell. In addition to his legacy of classic films and his enduring screen presence, he left behind a generation of offspring who followed in his footsteps, including grandchildren Bentley and Carrie Mitchum.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Chop Suey (2001)
Waiting For Sunset (1998)
Ernest Bogan
James Dean: Race With Destiny (1997)
Dead Man (1996)
John Dickinson
Back Fire! (1995)
Fire Marshall Marc Marshall
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
Himself
Tombstone (1993)
Narrator
Woman of Desire (1993)
Walter Hill
Midnight Ride (1992)
Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star (1991)
Cape Fear (1991)
A Family For Joe (1990)
Joe Whitaker
Presume Dangereux (1990)
Professor Forestier
William Holden: The Golden Boy (1989)
Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989)
Mr. North (1988)
John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick (1988)
Narrator
Scrooged (1988)
Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1986)
Interviewee
Thompson's Last Run (1986)
The Hearst and Davies Affair (1985)
William Randolph Hearst
The Ambassador (1985)
Promises To Keep (1985)
Jack Palmer
Reunion at Fairborough (1985)
Maria's Lovers (1985)
A Killer in the Family (1983)
One Shoe Makes It Murder (1982)
That Championship Season (1982)
Coach Delaney
Nightkill (1980)
Agency (1980)
Ted Quinn
Teil Steiner - Das Eiserne Kreuz 2 (1979)
The Big Sleep (1978)
The Amsterdam Kill (1978)
Quinlan
Matilda (1978)
Midway (1976)
The Last Tycoon (1976)
Farewell, My Lovely (1975)
The Yakuza (1974)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
The Wrath of God (1972)
[Father Oliver] Van Horne
Going Home (1971)
Harry K. Graham
Ryan's Daughter (1970)
Charles Shaughnessy
Young Billy Young (1969)
Kane
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969)
Marshal Jim Flagg
5 Card Stud (1968)
Reverend Rudd
Villa Rides (1968)
Lee
Anzio (1968)
Dick Ennis
Secret Ceremony (1968)
Albert
El Dorado (1967)
J. P. Harrah
The Way West (1967)
Dick Summers
Mister Moses (1965)
Joe Moses
Man in the Middle (1964)
Lieut. Col. Barney Adams
What a Way To Go! (1964)
Rod Anderson
Rampage (1963)
Harry Stanton
The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
Cape Fear (1962)
Max Cady
Two for the Seesaw (1962)
Jerry Ryan
The Longest Day (1962)
General Cota
The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961)
Archie Hall
The Grass Is Greener (1961)
Charles Delacro
Home from the Hill (1960)
Capt. Wade Hunnicutt
The Sundowners (1960)
Paddy Carmody
The Night Fighters (1960)
Dermot O'Neill
The Wonderful Country (1959)
Martin Brady
The Angry Hills (1959)
Michael Morrison
The Hunters (1958)
Maj. Cleve Saville
Thunder Road (1958)
Lucas Doolin
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
Mr. Allison
The Enemy Below (1957)
Captain Murrell
Fire Down Below (1957)
Felix
Foreign Intrigue (1956)
Dave Bishop
Bandido (1956)
Wilson
Not As a Stranger (1955)
Lucas [Marsh]
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Preacher Harry Powell
Man with the Gun (1955)
Clint Tollinger
River of No Return (1954)
Matt Calder
Track of the Cat (1954)
Curtis Bridges
She Couldn't Say No (1954)
Dr. Robert "Doc" Sellers
Angel Face (1953)
Frank Jessup
White Witch Doctor (1953)
John "Lonni" Douglas
Second Chance (1953)
Russ Lambert
The Lusty Men (1952)
Jeff McCloud
One Minute to Zero (1952)
Col. Steve Janowski
Macao (1952)
Nick Cochran
The Racket (1951)
Capt. Tom McQuigg
His Kind of Woman (1951)
Dan Milner
My Forbidden Past (1951)
Dr. Mark Lucas
Where Danger Lives (1950)
[Dr.] Jeff Cameron
The Red Pony (1949)
Billy Buck
The Big Steal (1949)
Lt. Duke Halliday
Holiday Affair (1949)
Steve [Mason]
Blood on the Moon (1948)
Jim Garry
Rachel and the Stranger (1948)
Jim [Fairways]
Desire Me (1947)
Paul Aubert
Crossfire (1947)
[Sgt. Felix] Keeley
Pursued (1947)
Jeb [Rand]
Out of the Past (1947)
Jeff [Bailey, previously known as Jeff Markham]
The Locket (1946)
Norman Clyde
Undercurrent (1946)
Michael Garroway
Till the End of Time (1946)
William Tabeshaw
The Story of G. I. Joe (1945)
Lieutenant [Bill] Walker
West of the Pecos (1945)
Pecos Smith
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
Bob Gray
Johnny Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1944)
Jeff [Daniels]
When Strangers Marry (1944)
Fred Graham
Girl Rush (1944)
Jimmy Smith
Cry 'Havoc' (1944)
Groaning soldier
Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944)
Corporal
Nevada (1944)
Jim Lacy [also known as Nevada]
Leather Burners (1943)
Member of Slack's gang
The Dancing Masters (1943)
Mickey Halligan
Gung Ho! (1943)
Pig-Iron [Matthews]
Aerial Gunner (1943)
Benson
Minesweeper (1943)
Ryan
Colt Comrades (1943)
Dirk Mason
Doughboys in Ireland (1943)
Ernie Jones
The Lone Star Trail (1943)
Ben Slocum
We've Never Been Licked (1943)
Panhandle Mitchell
Corvette K-225 (1943)
Sheppard
Riders of the Deadline (1943)
Nick Drago
Bar 20 (1943)
Richard Adams
Hoppy Serves a Writ (1943)
Rigney
False Colors (1943)
Rip Austin
Follow the Band (1943)
Tate Winters
Beyond the Last Frontier (1943)
Trigger Dolan
The Human Comedy (1943)
Quentin "Horse" Gilbert
Border Patrol (1943)
Quinn

Writer (Feature Film)

Thunder Road (1958)
Based on an Original story by

Producer (Feature Film)

The Night Fighters (1960)
Executive Producer
The Wonderful Country (1959)
Executive Producer
Bandido (1956)
Co-producer

Music (Feature Film)

A Bigger Splash (2016)
Song Performer
Broken Noses (1987)
Song Performer
Thunder Road (1958)
Composer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

James Stewart, Robert Mitchum: The Two Faces of America (2017)
Archival Footage
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
Other

Cast (Special)

Private Screenings: Mitchum/Russell (1996)
Himself
Intimate Portrait: Janet Leigh (1996)
100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994)
49th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1992)
Performer
The Year of the Generals (1992)
Voice
America's All-Star Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor (1989)
Performer
The Golden Years? (1989)
Narrator
Remembering Marilyn (1988)
War and Remembrance: A Living History (1988)
Host
The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards (1987)
Presenter
The American Film Institute Salute to Lillian Gish (1984)
Performer
The American Film Institute Salute to John Huston (1983)
Performer
Dean's Place (1975)

Cast (Short)

Ryan's Daughter (Featurette) (1970)
Himself
TDistant Drummer: A Movable Scene (1970)
Narrator

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Brotherhood of the Rose (1989)
War and Remembrance (1988)
North and South (1985)
The Winds of War (1983)

Life Events

1926

Lived with aunt and uncle on a farm in Woodside, DE

1930

Moved to Manhattan with family

1932

Moved to Rising Sun, DE; ran away from home

1933

Hopped a freight train; ended up in Savannah, GA, where he was arrested sentenced to 180 days on a Georgia chain gang for vagrancy; got away after a month

1934

Family moved to Long Beach, CA

1937

Joined Long Beach Players Guild; stage debut in "Rebound"

1938

Appeared in LBPG productions including "The Petrified Forest," "Stage Door", "Dear Octopus", and "The Ghost Train"

1940

Wrote material for astrologist Carroll Righter; worked as a gag writer for comedian Benny Rubin; contributed some ideas and material to a nightclub act performed by his sister Julie Mitchum; worked at the Lockheed aircraft factory on the night shift

1940

Wrote several one-act plays, including "Trumpet in the Dark" (date approximate)

1941

Acted in the Guild production of "The Lower Depths"; was employed for a time in a shoe store

1942

Film acting debut in "Leather Burners"

1943

Appeared in over a dozen films

1944

Signed long-term contract with RKO

1944

Played first leading and first-top billed role in the RKO B Western, "Nevada"

1945

Served for a short time with Army as medical assistant (Fort MacArthur, CA)

1945

Supporting role in "The Story of G.I. Joe" helped make him a star; received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor

1947

Earliest radio work included "We Were Expecting You at Dakar" for "Radio Reader's Digest" and a radio version of his feature film "Till the End of Time" for the "Lux Radio Theater"

1948

Received 60 day jail sentence and two years' probation for "conspiracy to possess marijuana" (guilty verdict dropped by appeals court in 1951)

1954

Left RKO; last film there, "She Couldn't Say No"

1955

Release of "Foreign Intrigue," made by Mitchum's own production company, Mandeville Films; subsequent companies included Bandido Productions ("Bandido" 1956), DRM Productions ("Thunder Road" 1958) and Talbot Productions ("Cape Fear" 1962)

1956

Made first of four acting appearances opposite Deborah Kerr, "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison"

1957

Released hit song, "Mama Look a Boo-boo"

1958

Had a second chart single with "The Ballad of Thunder Road" from the film, "Thunder Road", which also marked his first screen credit as executive producer

1963

Was an interviewee for the TV documentary, "The Legend of Marilyn Monroe"

1968

First film made in a country whose primary language was not English, the Italian-produced "Anzio", shot in both English-language and Italian-language versions

1969

Turned down the title role in the feature film biography, "Patton"; reportedly suggested George C. Scott for the role (date approximate)

1982

Made TV acting debut in the TV-movie, "One Shoe Makes It Murder"; Mitchum filmed "The Winds of War" earlier but this movie aired first

1983

First TV miniseries, "The Winds of War", as Victor "Pug" Henry

1985

Acted opposite his son Christopher Mitchum and Christopher's son Bentley as three generations of a family in the TV-movie, "Promises to Keep"

1985

Was reunited with his co-star of three features, Deborah Kerr, for the TV-movie, "Reunion at Fairborough"

1987

Took over as lead of the CBS TV series, "The Equalizer", for two episodes due to heart attack suffered by regular star Edward Woodward

1988

Reprised the role of "Pug" Henry on the TV miniseries, "War and Remembrance"

1989

Hosted the syndicated documentary covering WWI and WWII, "The Eyes of War"

1990

Played Joe Whitaker on the short-lived NBC sitcom, "A Family for Joe"

1991

Subject of the made-for-Cinemax interview and compilation documentary, "Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star"

1997

Made final screen appearance playing George Stevens in "James Dean: Race With Destiny"; did final interview with Bob Osborne at Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Photo Collections

My Forbidden Past - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters for RKO's My Forbidden Past (1951), starring Robert Mitchum and Ava Gardner.
The Lusty Men - Movie Poster
The Lusty Men - Movie Poster
Rachel and the Stranger - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from RKO's Rachel and the Stranger (1948), starring Loretta Young, William Holden and Robert Mitchum.
Out of the Past - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several Behind-the-Scenes photos taken during production of the classic Film Noir, Out of the Past (1947).
Where Danger Lives - Lobby Cards
Here are a few lobby cards from RKO's Where Danger Lives (1950), starring Robert Mitchum and Faith Domergue. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Crossfire - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken during production of RKO's Crossfire (1947), directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Gloria Grahame, and Robert Ryan.
Second Chance - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from RKO's Second Chance (1953), starring Robert Mitchum and Linda Darnell. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Rachel and the Stranger - Lobby Cards
Here are a few lobby cards from RKO's Rachel and the Stranger (1948), starring Loretta Young, Robert Mitchum and William Holden. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Undercurrent - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Undercurrent (1946). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Holiday Affair - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills for Holiday Affair (1949). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Racket - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's The Racket (1951), starring Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, and Robert Ryan, and directed by John Cromwell.
The Racket - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's The Racket (1951), starring Robert Mitchum. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Night of the Hunter - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for The Night of the Hunter (1955), directed by Charles Laughton. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Cape Fear - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Cape Fear (1962), starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Cape Fear - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for Cape Fear (1962). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Big Steal - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to help publicize RKO's The Big Steal (1949), starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Big Steal - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's The Big Steal (1949), starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Holiday Affair - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from RKO's Holiday Affair (1949). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Holiday Affair - Alternate "Noir" Movie Poster
Here is a movie poster RKO sent out for Holiday Affair (1949). When the comedy-drama did not perform well at the box-office, RKO attempted an alternate ad campaign reminiscent of star Robert Mitchum's earlier Film Noir successes.
Out of the Past - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for RKO's Out of the Past (1947). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Second Chance - Publicity Still for 3-D showings
Here is a Publicity Still for 3-D showings of RKO's Second Chance (1953), starring Robert Mitchum. The studio art department configured this still - a combination of artwork and photography - to emphasize the depth in 3-D showings of the film.
Holiday Affair - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Holiday Affair (1949), starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh.
Out of the Past - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from the classic Film Noir, Out of the Past (1947).
His Kind of Woman - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from RKO's His Kind of Woman (1951), starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.
His Kind of Woman - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's His Kind of Woman (1951). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Angel Face - Publicity Art
Here is art created to publicize RKO's Angel Face (1953), starring Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons.

Videos

Movie Clip

Blood On The Moon (1948) - You'll Make Up The Difference Rilling (Robert Preston) brings pal Jim (Robert Mitchum) to meet crooked partner Pindalest (Frank Faylen), explaining his proposition, in Robert Wise's high-brow Western Blood On The Moon, 1948.
Blood On The Moon (1948) - If I Can Find My Blanket Opening sequence finds Jim Garry (Robert Mitchum) making camp, dodging a stampede, and meeting cowboy Bart (Robert Bray), in director Robert Wise's arty Western Blood On The Moon, 1948.
Blood On The Moon (1948) -- You're Working For Us Now? En route to deliver a note for a rancher, Garry (Robert Mitchum) meets his feisty daughter Amy (Barbara Bel Geddes), then her sister (Phyllis Thaxter) and brother (Tom Tully), in Robert Wise's range-war Western Blood On The Moon, 1948.
Ryan's Daughter (1970) - Good Luck To All Irishmen In Ireland during the First World War, widower schoolteacher Charles (Robert Mitchum) returning from Dublin, at the pub with Father Collins (Trevor Howard), Ryan (Leo McKern), McArdle (Archie O'Sullivan) and Brit soldiers, early in David Lean's Ryan's Daughter, 1970.
Ryan's Daughter (1970) - Is No One Going To Kiss The Bride? At their wedding party in rural Ireland, 1916, the bride Rosy (Sarah Miles) is overwhelmed by attention, especially outcast Michael (John Mills), rescued by Charles (Robert Mitchum) her widower husband, her father (Leo McKern) and the priest (Trevor Howard) monitoring, in David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter, 1970.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) - Did You Ever Catch My Act? Beginning the two-scene performance that won Sylvia Miles her second Academy Award nomination, as Raymond Chandler’s boozy former showgirl Jessie Florian, visited by Robert Mitchum as an older, wearier Philip Marlowe, in 1941 L-A, in director Dick Richards’ film from David Zelag Goodman’s screenplay, Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) - To Hell With Polite Drinking More than 40-minutes into the picture, shooting at the since-burned Max Busch house in Pasadena, Robert Mitchum narrates as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, on a case that is, for now, unrelated to the initial investigation, introducing second-billed Charlotte Rampling as Mrs. Grayle, and the now-revered writer Jim Thompson in his only movie role as her power-broker husband, in Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) - Buy Yourself A New Suit Summoned to a plush 1941 L-A nightclub, Robert Mitchum as P-I Philip Marlowe, older than ever imagined by Raymond Chandler, consults with his neither client nor love-interest Mrs. Grayle (Charlotte Rampling) about her ancient husband (legendary writer Jim Thompson) and fixer Laird Burnette (Anthony Zerbe), later directly in Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.
Out of the Past (1947) - I'm Not Smart Anymore Halfway into the movie dominated by his flashback, ex-private eye Jeff (Robert Mitchum) is already smoking as ex-boss Whit (Kirk Douglas) offers a cigarette and a surprise (Jane Greer, his double-crossing ex-flame Kathie), Lake Tahoe in the background,in Jacques Tourneur's Out Of The Past, 1947.
Crossfire (1947) - Open, Murder Dark and dramatic opening to Edward Dmytryk's Crossfire, 1947, starring Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Gloria Grahame, from a novel by Richard Brooks.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) - Open, Tired And Growing Old Striking an odd balance here, Robert Mitchum, who could have played Philip Marlowe in the 1940’s, instead plays him in 1975, though much older than Raymond Chandler ever wrote him, in a period story set in 1941, through David Zelag Goodman’s adaptation and Dick Richards’ direction, opening Farewell, My Lovely, John Ireland and Harry Dean Stanton his cop buddies.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) - Ten Dollars For Elephants On a routine case collecting a straying teen (Noelle North, Lola Mason and Wally Berns her parents) in 1941 L-A, Robert Mitchum as private eye Philip Marlowe narrates and cracks wise, introducing ex-boxer Jack O’Halloran as Moose Malloy, Dick Richards directing from David Zelag Goodman’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel, in Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.

Trailer

One Minute To Zero (1952) -- Original Trailer Noisy and spectacular, if uninformative, theatrical trailer for producer Edmund Grainger’s contemporary Korean War drama, One Minute To Zero, 1952.
One Minute To Zero - (Original Trailer) A U.S. colonel (Robert Mitchum) tries to evacuate American civilians during the Korean War in One Minute To Zero (1952).
Good Guys And The Bad Guys, The (1969) -- (Original Trailer) Original trailer for director Burt Kennedy’s comic-Western The Good Guys And The Bad Guys, 1969, with Robert Mitchum, George Kennedy, David Carradine and Tina Louise.
Secret Ceremony - (Original Trailer) A tormented rich girl (Mia Farrow) hires a prostitute (Elizabeth Taylor) to act as her mother in Joseph Losey's Secret Ceremony (1968).
El Dorado -- (Original Trailer) John Wayne and Robert Mitchum take on a corrupt cattle baron in Howard Hawks' El Dorado (1967).
Big Steal, The - (Original Trailer) Seduction and murder follow the theft of an Army payroll. Starring Robert Mitchum, directed by Don Siegel.
Bandido - (Original Trailer) Robert Mitchum is an American adventurer in Mexico who joins a rebel band against a corrupt gun runner in Bandido (1956).
Sundowners, The - (Original Trailer) An Australian sheep-herder and his wife clash over their nomadic existence and their son's future in The Sundowners (1960) starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr.
Macao -- (Original Trailer) The original theatrical trailer for Macao, 1952, in which Josef von Sternberg, the director of The Blue Angel (1930), tried his hand at a film noir mystery, with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.
Midway - (Original Trailer) Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda star in Midway (1976), a spectacular re-creation of the World War II battle that turned the tide for the U.S. in the Pacific.
Angel Face - (Original Trailer) Jean Simmons goes to the dark side playing an unscrupulous woman who murders her loved ones for profit in Otto Preminger's Angel Face (1952).
Cry Havoc - (Original Trailer) Cry Havoc (1943) as a group of nurses stay behind to treat the wounded after the Japanese seize Bataan during World War II.

Promo

Family

James Mitchum
Father
Matthews was the seventh of 16 children.
James Mitchum
Father
Died in railway accident in 1919 when Mitchum was 18 months old.
Anne Mitchum
Mother
Had one; paraplegic.
Anne Mitchum
Mother
After husband's death eventually remarried British journalist Major Hugh Cunningham Morris; died in 1990 at the age of 96.
Julie Mitchum
Sister
Survived him.
Julie Mitchum
Sister
Nightclub singer. Born 1914.
John Mitchum
Brother
Factory director.
John Mitchum
Brother
Actor; songwriter. Born 1919; appeared in several of brother's films, and in other films including "The Prairie" (1947), "The Pace That Thrills" (1952) and "The Enforcer" (1976); used pseudonym in the 1950s; married Gloria Grahame's sister Joy in 1941; died November 27, 2001 after a series of strokes.
Carol Allen
Sister
Carpenter. Went blind.
James Robin Mitchum
Son
Actor. Born on May 8, 1941; film debut in "Thunder Road" (1957) playing his father's brother(!); later acted in films including "Young Guns of Texas" (1962), "Moonrunners" (1974) and "Trackdown" (1976).
James Robin Mitchum
Son
Died in infancy.
Christopher Mitchum
Son
Older.
Christopher Mitchum
Son
Actor. Born on October 16, 1943; has acted in films including "Once" (1974) and "Eyes of the Dragon" (1981).
Petrina Mitchum
Daughter
Married.
Petrina Mitchum
Daughter
Born on March 3, 1952.
Bentley C Mitchum
Grandson
Married for five years.
Bentley C Mitchum
Grandson
Actor. Father, Christopher Mitchum; made acting debut in the TV-movie, "Promises to Keep" (1985) opposite his father and grandfather; has also acted in features including "Rich Girl" (1991), "The Man in the Moon" (1991) and "Ruby in Paradise" (1993).
Carrie Mitchum
Granddaughter
Housewife. Went deaf.
Carrie Mitchum
Granddaughter
Actor. Father, Christopher Mitchum; appeared on CBS daytime serial "The Bold and the Beautiful"; formerly married to actor Casper Van Dien; appeared with grandfather and then-husband in "James Dean: Race With Destiny" (filmed in 1996).

Companions

Dorothy Mitchum
Wife
Stall-holder in Berwick Street market.
Dorothy Mitchum
Wife
Married in 1940; neighbor from Delaware.

Bibliography

"Robert Mitchum: 'Baby I Don't Care'"
Lee Server, St. Martin's Press (2001)
"Them Ornery Mitchum Boys: The Adventures of Robert and John Mitchum"
John Mitchum (1989)
"It Sure Beats Working"
Mike Tomkies (1975)
"Robert Mitchum"
John Belton, Pyramid Books

Notes

"People say I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in." --Robert Mitchum.

"This is not a tough job. You read a script. If you like the part and the money is OK, you do it. Then you remember your lines. You show up on time. You do what the director tells you to do. When you finish, you rest and then go on to the next part. That's it." --Robert Mitchum in Larry King's "People", USA Today, March 25, 1991.

"Anybody who really has known me for a long time knows I never changed anything, except my socks and my underwear. And I never did anything to glorify myself or improve my lot. I took what came and did the best I could with it." --Robert Mitchum, in "A Star in Spite of Himself", by Kathleen Sharp in Parade Magazine, June 12, 1994.

Describing his tenure as one of the last contract stars at RKO during the years from the late 1940s through the mid-50s when Howard Hughes gradually drove the studio into the ground, Mitchum wryly remarked, "Usually I'd appear in a film entitled "Pounded to Death by Gorillas". As the film opens I'd be standing there in a jungle or somewhere and a gorilla would come up behind me and "Pow!" knock me down. I would then get up and he'd knock me down again. This would continue for most of the picture--"Pow!" he'd knock me down and I'd just keep getting up again. Finally, near the end of the picture the poor gorilla would collapse on top of me, exhausted. Then the leading lady would show up, drag me out from under, dust me off and say straight into the camera, "I don't care what you think. I like him!" The End." --Quoted in "Robert Mitchum" by John Belton; it should be noted that in only one film, 20th Century-Fox's "White Witch Doctor" 1953, does Mitchum wrestle a gorilla ... and win

Referring to Mitchum's iconic status in the 1980s as one of the last regularly working Hollywood stars of the classic studio days who seemed to embody something sturdy and larger than life, one writer noted, "He's our last Gary Cooper."