Although Noir City DC 2017 has come to an end, I’m still working my way thorough my notes and hope to report the films I haven’t already discussed. One of the highlights of the festival was seeing one of my all-time favorites on the big screen for the first time: Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past, which marked not only the film’s 70th anniversary, but also the Robert Mitchum Centennial.
August is off to a great start. In this month’s first week or so, I discovered two films by Jacques Tati, watched two new-to-me Robert Mitchum films, revisited a couple of old favorites, and just possibly found a new title for my All-Time Favorite 80s Movies category. Read on…
You can find lots of tributes today to one of my favorite actors, Robert Mitchum, so here’s one more. Although my post will be brief, my fascination for Mitchum knows no bounds. Here are just a few Mitchum films for your consideration in chronological order:
Robert Mitchum: “Baby, I Don’t Care” – Lee Server
St. Martin’s Griffin, originally published in 2001
paperback, 608 pages
When Robert Mitchum walked onto a movie set, you never knew what was going to happen. He might develop an affable relationship with his director (as he did with Raoul Walsh in Pursued) or he might not (as with David Lean in Ryan’s Daughter). When Joseph von Sternberg banned food and drink on the set of Macao, Mitchum “began bringing in bags of food and coffee, and handing them out to one and all.” (p. 218) He also urinated on David O. Selznick’s carpet.
May still has a couple of days left, time enough for me to try to sneak in enough films for a Part IV to follow this installment. If you missed Parts I and II, feel free to check out the links. Again, short and sweet (or sour, as the case may be for some films):
Some of these are pretty short… So much going on… Regardless, I hope you’ll find something of interest here:
Out of the Past (1947) Jacques Tourneur (4x)
Warner DVD, Blu-ray
We may be done with the past, but the past is never done with us. Robert Mitchum plays Jeff, a man trying to escape his shady past and settle down in a small rural community with a good woman (Virginia Huston, above left), but former big city boss Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) has other plans for him. First, find Whit’s girl Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer, below right), who shot him and stole $40,000 from him.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) Peter Yates
The first time I saw Friends of Eddie Coyle, I thought it was a pretty good realistic, gritty crime film that I watched mostly for Robert Mitchum, who was still getting it done at age 56. Watching it again, I begin to see just how good it is.
His Kind of Woman (1951) John Farrow
Warner Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 3 DVD
Confession time: I had always thought I had seen His Kind of Woman, but about two minutes into the film, I realized I hadn’t. I think I was getting it confused with The Big Steal (1949), another Robert Mitchum picture. I should’ve known something was up when I heard Eddie Muller say that His Kind of Woman makes Specter of the Rose (1946) look normal.