Posted by Mark A:
Bob, I can call him Bob since he’s a fellow Nutmegger (from Connecticut) like me, Mitchum was one of the coolest actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood. His one-of-a-kind looks and voice made him something special on screen. Night of the Hunter and Cape Fear are two of his most famous, but he was so much more than that. Check out his 1958 calypso album - yes, he recorded a calypso album and, guess what. He’s a pretty good singer.
It can be hard to convince younger people to go back and look at actors and movies from a long time ago. There’s so much NEW stuff out there, that who wants to go back and see something that feels and looks dated. Regardless of how good the movie actually is, it’s still from another time and you can’t get around that. But Robert Mitchum started in movies in the 40s. He was prolific up until the 90s - so he’s been in old movies and contemporary films - I know, many people consider films from the 90s now to be ancient. What are you going to do?
Anyway, he was also a very colorful character off-screen. He got in a lot scrapes (fistfights) that totally gelled with his on-screen vibe. He was a tough SOB. He threw a basketball at a female reporter while promoting That Championship Season (1983) and knocked out her teeth. He later apologized, as he did when he made some anti-semitic remarks in an interview. But these feel like the exception to the rule. He was self-effacing about his acting style. While Roger Ebert called him “the soul of film noir”, MItchum would counter and say that he has two types of acting style: One on a horse and one off a horse.
So, he’s old school all the way. His on-screen villains are some of the best of all-time. Check them out - it won’t feel dated or old at all. You’ll be intimidated.