Robert Mitchum - Rotten Tomatoes

Robert Mitchum

Highest Rated:   100% The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
Lowest Rated:   0% What a Way to Go! (1964)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
The day after 79-year-old Robert Mitchum succumbed to lung cancer, beloved actor James Stewart died, diverting all the press attention that was gearing up for Mitchum. So it has been for much of his career. Not that Mitchum wasn't one of Hollywood's most respected stars, he was. But unlike the wholesome middle-American idealism and charm of the blandly handsome Stewart, there was something unsettling and dangerous about Mitchum. He was a walking contradiction. Behind his drooping, sleepy eyes was an alert intelligence. His tall, muscular frame, broken nose, and lifeworn face evoked a laborer's life, but he moved with the effortless, laid-back grace of a highly trained athlete. Early in his career critics generally ignored Mitchum, who frequently appeared in lower-budget and often low-quality films. This may also be due in part to his subtle, unaffected, and deceptively easy-going acting style that made it seem as if Mitchum just didn't care, an attitude he frequently put on outside the studio. But male and female audiences alike found Mitchum appealing. Mitchum generally played macho heroes and villains who lived hard and spoke roughly, and yet there was something of the ordinary Joe in him to which male audiences could relate. Women were drawn to his physique, his deep resonant voice, his sexy bad boy ways, and those sad, sagging eyes, which Mitchum claimed were caused by chronic insomnia and a boxing injury. He was born Robert Charles Duran Mitchum in Bridgeport, CT, and as a boy was frequently in trouble, behavior that was perhaps related to his father's death when Mitchum was quite young. He left home in his teens. Mitchum was famous for fabricating fantastic tales about his life, something he jokingly encouraged others to do too. If he is to be believed, he spent his early years doing everything from mining coal, digging ditches, and ghost writing for astrologer Carroll Richter, to fighting 27 bouts as a prizefighter. He also claimed to have escaped from a Georgia chain gang six days after he was arrested for vagrancy. Mitchum settled down in 1940 and married Dorothy Spence. They moved to Long Beach, CA, and he found work as a drop-hammer operator with Lockheed Aircraft. The job made Mitchum ill so he quit. He next started working with the Long Beach Theater Guild in 1942 and this led to his becoming a movie extra and bit player, primarily in war movies and Westerns, but also in the occasional comedy or drama. His first film role was that of a model in the documentary The Magic of Make-up (1942). Occasionally he would bill himself as Bob Mitchum during this time period. His supporting role in The Human Comedy (1943) led to a contract with RKO. Two years later, he starred in The Story of G.I. Joe and earned his first and only Oscar nomination. Up to that point, Mitchum was considered little more than a "beefcake" actor, one who was handsome, but who lacked the chops to become a serious player. He was also drafted that year and served eight months in the military, most of which he spent promoting his latest film before he was given a dependency discharge. Mitchum returned to movies soon after, this time in co-starring and leading roles. His role as a woman's former lover who may or may not have killed her new husband in When Strangers Marry (1944) foreshadowed his import in the developing film noir genre. The very qualities that led critics to dismiss him, his laconic stoicism, his self-depreciating wit, cynicism, and his naturalism, made Mitchum the perfect victim for these dark dramas; indeed, he became an icon for the genre. The Locket (1946) provided Mitchum his first substantial noir role, but his first important noir was Out of the Past (1947), a surprise hit that made him a real star. Up until Cape Fear (1962), Mitchum had played tough guy heroes and world-weary victims; he provided the dying noir genre with one of its cruelest villains, Max Cady. In 1955, Mitchum played one of his most famous and disturbing villains

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Agency
  • Ted Quinn
2004
69% Chop Suey
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Best of Film Noir
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet James Dean: Live Fast, Die Young
  • George Stevens
1997
71% Dead Man
  • John Dickinson
1995
No Score Yet Wild Bill Hollywood Maverick
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Backfire!
  • Marshal
1994
73% Tombstone
  • Narration
1993
No Score Yet Woman of Desire
  • Walter J. Hill
1993
No Score Yet Entrepreneurs: An American Adventure
  • Host
1992
76% Cape Fear
  • Lt. Elgart
1991
No Score Yet Full Fathom Five
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Midnight Ride
  • Dr. Hardy
1990
No Score Yet John Huston - The Man, the Movies, the Maverick
  • Narrator
1989
68% Scrooged
  • Preston
1988
43% Mr. North
  • Mr. Bosworth
1988
No Score Yet Hollywood Home Movies
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Thompson's Last Run
  • Actor
1986
No Score Yet The Hearst and Davies Affair
  • Randolph Hearst
1985
No Score Yet Hollywood Collection
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Reunion at Fairborough
  • Carl Hostrup
1985
No Score Yet Maria's Lovers
  • Ivan's Father
1984
No Score Yet The Ambassador
  • Peter Hacker
1984
No Score Yet One Shoe Makes It Murder
  • Harold Shillman
1982
60% That Championship Season
  • Coach Delaney
1982
No Score Yet Night Kill
  • Donner
1980
No Score Yet Steiner - Das eiserne Kreuz, 2. Teil (Sergeant Steiner) (Breakthrough)
  • Col. Rogers
1979
No Score Yet Matilda
  • Duke Parkhurst
1978
No Score Yet The Big Sleep
  • Philip Marlowe
1978
No Score Yet The Amsterdam Kill
  • Quinlan
1977
44% The Last Tycoon
  • Pat Brady
1976
54% Midway
  • Adm. William F. Halsey
1976
84% Farewell, My Lovely
  • Philip Marlowe
1975
45% The Yakuza
  • Harry Kilmer
1975
100% The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle
1973
No Score Yet Going Home
  • Harry K. Graham
1972
No Score Yet The Wrath of God
  • Father Oliver Van Horne
1972
50% Ryan's Daughter
  • Charles Shaughnessy
1970
No Score Yet Good Guys and the Bad Guys
  • Flagg
1969
No Score Yet Young Billy Young
  • Ben Kane
1969
50% Secret Ceremony
  • Albert
1968
No Score Yet Villa Rides
  • Lee Arnold
1968
67% Anzio (Lo sbarco di Anzio)
  • Dick Ennis
1968
No Score Yet 5 Card Stud
  • The Rev. Jonathan Rudd
1968
100% El Dorado
  • Sheriff J.P. Harrah
1967
No Score Yet The Way West
  • Dick Summers
1967
No Score Yet Mister Moses
  • Joe Moses
1965
0% What a Way to Go!
  • Rod Anderson, Jr.
1964
No Score Yet The Winston Affair (Man in the Middle)
  • Lt. Col. Barney Adams
1964
69% The List of Adrian Messenger
  • Jim Slattery
1963
No Score Yet Rampage
  • Harry Stanton
1963
60% Two for the Seesaw
  • Jerry Ryan
1962
92% The Longest Day
  • Brig. Gen. Cota
1962
95% Cape Fear
  • Max Cady
1962
78% The Sundowners
  • Paddy
1960
100% Home from the Hill
  • Captain Wade Hunnicutt
1960
100% The Grass Is Greener
  • Charles Delacro
1960
No Score Yet The Angry Hills
  • Mike Morrison
1959
No Score Yet The Wonderful Country
  • Martin Brady
  • Executive Producer
1959
70% Thunder Road
  • Lucas Doolin
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
1958
No Score Yet The Hunters
  • Maj. Cleve Saville
1958
80% The Enemy Below
  • Capt. Murrell
1957
No Score Yet Fire Down Below
  • Felix
1957
88% Heaven Knows Mr. Allison
  • Cpl. Allison, USMC
1957
No Score Yet Bandido
  • Wilson
1956
No Score Yet Foreign Intrigue
  • Dave Bishop
1956
No Score Yet Man with the Gun
  • Clint Tollinger
1955
0% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger)
  • Lucas Marsh
1955
98% The Night of the Hunter
  • Harry Powell
1955
62% River of No Return
  • Matt Calder
1954
No Score Yet She Couldn't Say No
  • Dr. Robert Sellers
1954
No Score Yet Track of the Cat
  • Curt Bridges
1954
No Score Yet Second Chance
  • Russ Lambert
1953
No Score Yet White Witch Doctor
  • John 'Lonni' Douglas
1953
80% Angel Face
  • Frank Jessup
1952
100% The Lusty Men
  • Jeff McCloud
1952
No Score Yet One Minute to Zero
  • Col. Steve Janowski
1952
44% Macao
  • Nick Cochran
1952
33% The Racket
  • Capt. Thomas McQuigg
1951
No Score Yet His Kind of Woman
  • Dan Milner
1951
No Score Yet My Forbidden Past
  • Dr. Mark Lucas
1951
No Score Yet Where Danger Lives
  • Jeff Cameron
1950
No Score Yet Holiday Affair
  • Steve Mason
1949
No Score Yet The Big Steal
  • Lieut. Duke Halliday
1949
No Score Yet The Red Pony
  • Billy Buck
1949
No Score Yet Rachel and the Stranger
  • Jim Fairways
1948
No Score Yet Corvette K-225
  • Shepard
1948
No Score Yet Blood on the Moon
  • Jim Garry
1948
97% Out of the Past
  • Jeff
1947
No Score Yet Desire Me
  • Paul Aubert
1947
79% Crossfire
  • Sgt. Peter Keeley
1947
100% Pursued
  • Jeb
1947
No Score Yet Hoppy's Holiday
  • Actor
1947
No Score Yet The Locket
  • Norman Clyde
1946
No Score Yet Undercurrent
  • Michael Garroway
1946
No Score Yet Till the End of Time
  • William J. Tabeshaw
1946
No Score Yet West of the Pecos
  • Pecos Smith
1945
77% The Story of G.I. Joe
  • Lt. Walker
1945
No Score Yet Nevada
  • Jim Lacy
1944
No Score Yet Girl Rush
  • Jimmy Smith
1944
No Score Yet Betrayed
  • Fred Graham
1944
No Score Yet Mr. Winkle Goes to War
  • Corporal
1944
100% Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
  • Bob Gray
1944
No Score Yet Gung Ho!
  • Pig Iron
1943
No Score Yet Riders of the Deadline
  • Drago
1943
No Score Yet The Dancing Masters
  • Mickey Halligan (uncredited)
1943
No Score Yet False Colors
  • Rip Austin
1943
No Score Yet The Leather Burners
  • Randall
1943
No Score Yet Aerial Gunner
  • Sergeant
1943
80% The Human Comedy
  • Horse
1943
No Score Yet Hoppy Serves a Writ
  • Rigney
1943
No Score Yet Minesweeper
  • Chuck
1943
No Score Yet Border Patrol
  • Quinn
1943
No Score Yet The Lone Star Trail
  • Ben Slocum
1943
No Score Yet Bar 20
  • Richard Adams
1943
No Score Yet Colt Comrades
  • Dirk Mason
1943

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Host
  • Guest
  • 1987

Quotes from Robert Mitchum's Characters