Sunday, August 06, 2017

Robert Mitchum Top Ten


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Happy 100th birthday (dead) Robert Mitchum. Here is my Mitchum top ten
1) Heaven Knows Mr Allison (1957) - a nun and a sailor trapped on a tropical island... and it's done really tastefully!
2) The Sundowners (1960) - Mitchum as an Aussie - he doesn't nail the accent but he's the best American star who ever captured the essence of this particular type of Australian and makes me wish he'd been able to play one of the cutters in Summer of the 17th Doll instead of Ernest Borgnine
3) His Kind of Woman (1951) - bonkers film noir which is one of my favourite movies (with a nod to all his RKO noirs which are all great flawed fun eg Big Steal, Macao, Angel Face)
4) Farewell My Lovely (1975) - enjoyable Chandler adaptation with Mitchum as Phil Marlowe
5) The Winds of War (1983) - I actually haven't seen this mini series in like 30 years so I hope it holds up but I remember loving it
6) El Dorado (1967) - to my mind a better film than Rio Bravo (which it remakes) and made me wish he'd made more films with John Wayne (and James Caan for that matter)
7) Night of the Hunter (1955) - a film buff's favourite and a great scary movie
8) Out of the Past (1947) - fantastic noir
9) Cape Fear (1962) - he's a terrifying villain in a performance that one suspects was closer to the real Mitchum than anyone wanted to know
10) Matilda (1978) - sure there are heaps of better movies I could have put at number ten instead of a comedy made by AIP about a boxing kangaroo (Pursued, Thunder Road, The Longest Day, Crossfire) - but you watch this silly comedy, and see how Mitchum, despite his wealth, despite his age, despite the quality of the material, was still completely and utterly committing and you can see why he lasted so long

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