If I Were Guest Programmer . . .

mitchum1On the evening of November 30 on Turner Classic Movies, Anthony Hopkins cohosts his selection of four movies as part of TCM’s Guest Programmer series.  Hopkins settled on a set of well-known films from four important directors: Orson Welles’s The Lady from Shanghai, John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. All of these American classics should be on everyone’s required viewing lists, because they represent Hollywood at its best. Those of you who haven’t seen these films will not be disappointed in any of them. Personally, however, I was not excited by Hopkins’s selections. I found his list to be a bit obvious, and this prompted me to look up the lists of past Guest Programmers to see if anyone’s choices were quirkier or yielded any films I had not heard of. The exercise proved surprising to me in a couple of ways.

For example, of the 60 Guest Programmers currently listed on the TCM website, only thirteen were women. Yikes! Given TCM’s generally supportive attitude toward women’s contributions to film history, I was surprised at this under-representation. I know the Guest Programmer series goes back farther than those mentioned on the website, and I hope the ratio of women to men is better overall. Of those 13 women, I found the selections of star Sally Field and editor Thelma Schoonmaker to be the most intriguing. Field’s choices represented four defining performances by four great American actresses: Natalie Wood in Love with the Proper Stranger, Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth, Bette Davis in All About Eve, and Betty Hutton in The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. I don’t know what Field and Robert Osborne discussed during her evening at TCM, but I found her selection to be a subtle criticism of contemporary Hollywood’s complete disregard for women’s roles and female audiences. Here were four hit films carried by women in the leading roles—a slap against those current studio executives who claim that female stars can’t carry a film. Cybill Shepherd’s list was similar to Field’s in its focus on great performances by classic female stars, including Garbo in Ninotchka, Ingrid Bergman in Notorious, and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. The choices of Schoonmaker, who has edited many of Martin Scorsese’s best films, stood out for me because I had not seen any of them: Green for Danger, Edge of the World, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and Age of Consent (the 1969 version by her husband Michael Powell). I wonder if she selected the films based on personal taste or out of professional respect.

mitchumpast

GUEST PROGRAMMER ROSE McGOWAN PICKED 'OUT OF THE PAST' AS ONE OF HER SELECTIONS: A GIRL AFTER MY OWN HEART.

Looking at the lists of other programmers yielded some notable observations. For example, the choices of comic actor Rainn Wilson seemed the quirkiest: High School Confidential, The Gene Krupa Story, Singin’ in the Rain, and The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. Of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s four selections, three were Cary Grant films, and, surprisingly, Grant’s movies were better represented in general than those of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, or Bogart.  I questioned why some of the Guest Programmers were tapped to participate at all: Maria Menounos and her “accomplishments” lacked the weight of other programmers and their achievements, while asking Kermit the Frog for his four selections seemed like a mere stunt. Kermit did have a selection in common with director John Singleton, however, which was Lassie, Come Home! My favorite list of films was provided by Paul Aquirre, the unknown actor/writer who won a contest to be the TCM Guest Programmer. His selection of The Greatest Show on Earth, Happy Time, The Crowd, and Westward the Women represents the eclectic list of a true movie-lover!

Of all the Guest Programmers, my own tastes ran closest to Rose McGowan, who included two Robert Mitchum films, Night of the Hunter and Out of the Past, in her selection. I was surprised that certain Guest Programmers, such as director John Sayles,  Devo founder Mark Mothersbaugh, and character actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister—who pride themselves on going against the grain in one way or another, did not include any Mitchum movies. After all, Robert Mitchum was the ultimate Hollywood maverick both on and off the screen. The only other programmer to pick a Mitchum movie was film historian David Thomson, who chose the noirish thriller Angel Face.

mitchum2

ROBERT MITCHUM WAS A SKIRT-CHASING, ANTI-AUTHORITY REBEL AND HEARTBREAKER---MY KIND OF GUY.

If I were a TCM Guest Programmer for a night—and I don’t see anyone asking me anytime soon—all four of my selections would be Robert Mitchum films. To date, no Guest Programmer has focused on the films of a single actor, but because of the diversity of genres that Mitchum worked in and the length of his career, it is easy to select four completely different films. Being a major Mitchum fan (I would have been a “Mitchum Droolette” back in the day, according to the studio publicity machine), I naturally found it difficult to narrow my selection down to only four films. So, I decided NOT to go with the obvious by selecting films such as Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear, Home from the Hill, The Sundowners, Out of the Past, or Heaven Knows Mr. Allison—wonderful films that are widely acknowledged as his best work. Instead I thought I would offer a selection of my quirky favorites because . . . hey, I’m the Guest Programmer.

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LARAINE DAY AND ROBERT MITCHUM IN 'THE LOCKET'

The Locket (1946). This little-known film noir from RKO features Robert Mitchum in a secondary role as one of femme fatale Laraine Day’s victims. Day stars as Nancy, a young woman driven to kleptomania by a childhood trauma in which she was denied a locket. Beautiful and sophisticated, Nancy attracts the attention of men whom she can use. She pretends to love them in order to get close to a higher class of people, who have the goods and the lifestyle she wants. The tagline for the film sums it up: “Men Worshipped . . . Cursed . . . Hated . . . Loved Her.” Mitchum stars as Norman Clyde, an artist who falls for and then is abandoned by Nancy. He is so distraught that he loses his grip and kills himself. The Locket was released early in Mitchum’s career before his tough-guy image as the maverick anti-hero was established. I like this film because he plays a sensitive artist who is so overwrought at losing the woman he once loved that he jumps out of the skylight of his atelier—which seems completely out of the norm for Mitchum. And, frankly, he isn’t entirely convincing as the character with the excruciatingly geeky name of Norman Clyde, but he is young and drop-dead handsome in a tailored wardrobe of fancy suits and jackets. Mitchum wanted to keep the wardrobe after the film, which was not unusual for stars during the studio era, but RKO balked, riling the rebellious star-in-the-making. Eventually RKO decided he could have the clothes for a dollar, but Mitchum never handled authority very well, and he resented the studio’s control over his life and career, so he refused their offer with a nasty insult. His irritability is understandable considering he was making three films simultaneously. After shooting The Locket at night, he reported to a different RKO set in the morning to work on Undercurrent, and then he was flown to Monterey in the afternoon to appear in the MGM film Desire Me. RKO received $25,000 a week for loaning Mitchum to MGM, while the actor was paid $350 per week while working on all three films.

The Locket makes for good viewing for other reasons, including the beautiful high-contrast cinematography by RKO’s great DP Nick Musuraca in addition to other film noir conventions. Noirs are famous for complex, often convoluted, narrative structures, and The Locket’s use of a flashback within a flashback within a flashback qualifies as one of the most interesting structures I have ever watched. The way the story starts in the present, goes back in time, then moves farther back in time, and then reverses itself until it has returned to the present, is reminiscent of a person trying to peel back the layers of his past in psychotherapy. Not coincidentally, the dominant storyteller in the film is Nancy’s former husband, a psychiatrist who uncovers her past to figure out her issues.

mitchumroad

THIS STILL WAS LABELED AS 'THUNDER ROAD,' BUT I AM NOT SURE IF IT IS FROM THE FILM, OR NOT. HOWEVER, IT'S MITCHUM WITHOUT HIS SHIRT, SO WHO CARES?

Thunder Road (1958). Mitchum wrote, starred in, and produced this independent film through his own company, D.R.M. Productions. In a previous post, I wrote in depth about how the film perfectly fits Mitchum’s cool, anti-authoritarian persona, so I won’t repeat that information here, but no Mitchum film fest would be complete without this movie. The actor stars as Luke Doolin, a legendary bootlegger who runs moonshine from the mountains to the city while revenue agents do their best to catch him. In addition to his other creative functions, Mitchum wrote two songs for the movie, “The Whippoorwill,” which Keely Smith sings in the film, and “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” which doesn’t appear in the movie but was released by Mitchum as a single on Capitol Records. Mitchum’s son, Jim, costarred as Luke’s little brother, a role supposedly offered to Elvis Presley. According to one of Elvis’s buddy-bodyguards, the singer did not take the role because his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, did not want him to be in the film. After years of reading and writing about Elvis Presley, I have learned that the recollections of members of Presley’s entourage are “foggy” to put it kindly and can’t be trusted. However, even if parts of the story are true, the Colonel was probably correct to turn it down, because Thunder Road went unnoticed by distributors and audiences at the time of release. It did not gain a following until the late 1960s, after years of playing the drive-in circuit and third-run houses across the Midwest and South. I like the film for its authentic and sympathetic portrayal of the rural South as well as the romanticized depiction of old-school bootleggers who drove at breakneck speeds along mountain roads in the pitch-black of night to deliver their cargo.

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THE FILM'S POSTER TEASES AUDIENCES WITH THE GIMMICK OF MOVIE STARS IN DISGUISE.

The List of Adrian Messenger (1963) is not really a Robert Mitchum film. A classic mystery set in England among the fox-hunting upper crust, The List of Adrian Messenger tells the story of wartime informer George Brougham who wants to surreptitiously gain control of his family’s fortunes. He methodically eliminates the men on the titular list who could identify him and thus reveal his plans. Intelligence officer Anthony Gethryn steps in to untangle the plot by following the clues in the style of a classic English mystery. John Huston directed this oddball addition to his filmography, with Kirk Douglas as Brougham and George C. Scott as Gethryn. Brougham was a master of disguise, and the audience sees Kirk Douglas several times without recognizing him in false moustaches, hairpieces, and heavy makeup. To underscore the theme of disguise, the movie features several famous stars of the day in heavy makeup in cameo roles, including Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, and Robert Mitchum. Just before the end credits, the actors take off their makeup for the big reveal. Mitchum’s turn as wheelchair-bound Jim Slattery is more than a cameo, because the role actually has significance to the plot. The handsome Mitchum is unrecognizable under pounds of makeup, and he manages a credible if not entirely authentic East End accent. Mitchum was friends with Huston, who had directed him in one the actor’s best films, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, so when the director asked him to participate in the fun, Mitchum readily agreed. Though critics such as Pauline Kael griped about the gimmick, calling it “campy,” I think the idea of the movie stars in disguise is fun, and the mystery holds up.

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MITCHUM WAS THE PERFECT PHILIP MARLOWE IN 'FAREWELL, MY LOVELY.'

Farewell, My Lovely (1975) alternates with Out of the Past as my favorite Robert Mitchum film, depending on my mood. The latter represents the beginning of Mitchum’s run as a film noir protagonist and helped establish his screen persona as the cool, chain-smoking anti-hero who walks the line between proper society and the criminal underworld. Farewell, My Lovely, made 28 years later, depends on that screen image to flush out the character of Philip Marlowe in this melancholy version of Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled novel. Robert Mitchum’s history with the genre adds resonance to the film, while his lined face and world-weary air make Marlowe look like he has tangled with countless femme fatales and lost. As Martin Scorsese once said in an oft-repeated line, “Mitchum is noir.” Futility and failure hang in the atmosphere as Marlowe fails to keep his client from getting killed, a war with Hitler looms on America’s horizon, and the hitting streak of the era’s biggest hero—Joe DiMaggio—is ended by two nobody pitchers from the Cleveland Indians. Though set in the 1940s, the film is more about the mid-1970s, when Vietnam, social unrest, and Watergate killed our collective belief that one person could make a difference and that heroes always won.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUakkv22AuI]

Though known primarily for his roles in film noir, Robert Mitchum also starred in westerns, romantic dramas, family melodramas, war films, and comedies. He brought a unique combination of masculinity and sensitivity to his characters, and his approach to those roles was colored by his offbeat real-life experiences, his inner demons, and his aversion to authority. And, that’s why if I were Guest Programmer, I would spotlight Robert Mitchum, who is my favorite actor of all time . . . ever . . .  no contest. As the cliché goes, they don’t make stars like this anymore, and we are the worse for it.

0 Response If I Were Guest Programmer . . .
Posted By debbe : November 16, 2009 2:59 pm

two words. loved this.

I would have to think about what I would do if I were the programmers, and what fun it would be to do so. But I love your choices and why. Robert Mitchum… yeah… cool, sexy, bad!!! It would be cool to have a cat named thunder road dont you think? :)

As ever great blog… i would see these movies in a heart beat…

Posted By debbe : November 16, 2009 2:59 pm

two words. loved this.

I would have to think about what I would do if I were the programmers, and what fun it would be to do so. But I love your choices and why. Robert Mitchum… yeah… cool, sexy, bad!!! It would be cool to have a cat named thunder road dont you think? :)

As ever great blog… i would see these movies in a heart beat…

Posted By Virginia Lee : November 16, 2009 3:18 pm

Yes! Mitchum films! Not only is he swoonworthy, he could do anything. His ability to do comedy is amazing in its subtlety and when he’s scary or tough his brutality is as mesmerizing as it is shocking.

I’d have a terrible time choosing only four. My gut reaction was a night of Doris Day. Then I thought about Cagney. Then Marilyn Monroe. It’s impossible! Gene Kelly. Ginger Rogers. Clark Gable (my grandmother’s fave!). Hitchcock. Orson Welles. No. To choose would be impossible. But if I could do programming for a week or month? I might could make some serious decisions.

Posted By Virginia Lee : November 16, 2009 3:18 pm

Yes! Mitchum films! Not only is he swoonworthy, he could do anything. His ability to do comedy is amazing in its subtlety and when he’s scary or tough his brutality is as mesmerizing as it is shocking.

I’d have a terrible time choosing only four. My gut reaction was a night of Doris Day. Then I thought about Cagney. Then Marilyn Monroe. It’s impossible! Gene Kelly. Ginger Rogers. Clark Gable (my grandmother’s fave!). Hitchcock. Orson Welles. No. To choose would be impossible. But if I could do programming for a week or month? I might could make some serious decisions.

Posted By Brian : November 16, 2009 3:21 pm

Another thoughtful, funny post by Suzi Doll. Given that you’ve just combed through the Guest Programmers archive, do you have any ideas for contributors TCM should approach (besides yourself, of course)?

Posted By Brian : November 16, 2009 3:21 pm

Another thoughtful, funny post by Suzi Doll. Given that you’ve just combed through the Guest Programmers archive, do you have any ideas for contributors TCM should approach (besides yourself, of course)?

Posted By Lisa Wright : November 16, 2009 9:57 pm

Has there ever been a Mitchum-fest on TCM? If not, I think you definitely need to be invited to host it! There are plenty of modern-day movie stars who are hot, but few with the complexity and subtlety of Robert Mitchum. And thanks for the shirtless shot and hilarious caption! HOT! Bring on more Mitchum!!

Posted By Lisa Wright : November 16, 2009 9:57 pm

Has there ever been a Mitchum-fest on TCM? If not, I think you definitely need to be invited to host it! There are plenty of modern-day movie stars who are hot, but few with the complexity and subtlety of Robert Mitchum. And thanks for the shirtless shot and hilarious caption! HOT! Bring on more Mitchum!!

Posted By kingrat : November 17, 2009 5:23 pm

Great post–two great posts, actually, with the analysis of past Guest Programmers and your choice of Mitchum films. I’ve seen all but The Locket, which sounds really interesting. Hope you saw The Lusty Men recently on TCM–a fine film, not to mention plenty of material of Droolettes. Lots of shots of Mitchum in tight jeans, not to mention his introduction in the film with the camera peering up at his crotch!

If you still haven’t seen The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, it contains some of the finest use of color in any film, and Green for Danger is a modest but thoroughly satisfying English murder mystery.

Posted By kingrat : November 17, 2009 5:23 pm

Great post–two great posts, actually, with the analysis of past Guest Programmers and your choice of Mitchum films. I’ve seen all but The Locket, which sounds really interesting. Hope you saw The Lusty Men recently on TCM–a fine film, not to mention plenty of material of Droolettes. Lots of shots of Mitchum in tight jeans, not to mention his introduction in the film with the camera peering up at his crotch!

If you still haven’t seen The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, it contains some of the finest use of color in any film, and Green for Danger is a modest but thoroughly satisfying English murder mystery.

Posted By Patricia : November 18, 2009 6:32 am

While it’s not TCM, Suzidoll, you’ve just “guest programmed” an evening for my family. We call the man “Big Bob” around here.

Posted By Patricia : November 18, 2009 6:32 am

While it’s not TCM, Suzidoll, you’ve just “guest programmed” an evening for my family. We call the man “Big Bob” around here.

Posted By morlockjeff : November 18, 2009 10:03 am

The List of Adrian Messenger is a lot of fun even if it is a total gimmick movie. I would add CAPE FEAR to my night of Mitchum favorites because he is so terrifying in that…even scarier to me than his quasi-religious psychopath in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

Posted By morlockjeff : November 18, 2009 10:03 am

The List of Adrian Messenger is a lot of fun even if it is a total gimmick movie. I would add CAPE FEAR to my night of Mitchum favorites because he is so terrifying in that…even scarier to me than his quasi-religious psychopath in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

Posted By Sam : November 18, 2009 1:41 pm

Great blog, Suzi,I just finished watching a Mitchum film I’ve had for years “THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE”, to me, this was not a Mitchum type movie, but it showed me what a versatile actor he was, my favorite Mitchum movies are “RIVER ON NO RETURN” “HOME FROM THE HILL” “THE HUNTERS’ “RACHEL AND THE STRANGER” and “THUNDER ROAD’, plus his Westerns, odd, but they are all non film-noir and where would all these stars be, without the character actors, who really make a movie great. Just my own humble opinion, and to those who criticize, as my dad once said, to me, could you do it?? Sam

Posted By Sam : November 18, 2009 1:41 pm

Great blog, Suzi,I just finished watching a Mitchum film I’ve had for years “THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE”, to me, this was not a Mitchum type movie, but it showed me what a versatile actor he was, my favorite Mitchum movies are “RIVER ON NO RETURN” “HOME FROM THE HILL” “THE HUNTERS’ “RACHEL AND THE STRANGER” and “THUNDER ROAD’, plus his Westerns, odd, but they are all non film-noir and where would all these stars be, without the character actors, who really make a movie great. Just my own humble opinion, and to those who criticize, as my dad once said, to me, could you do it?? Sam

Posted By Cool Bev : November 18, 2009 2:37 pm

How about Mitchum vs. Cary Grant in “The Grass is Greener”?

Posted By Cool Bev : November 18, 2009 2:37 pm

How about Mitchum vs. Cary Grant in “The Grass is Greener”?

Posted By Al Lowe : November 18, 2009 2:40 pm

My four favorites? It is tough but I can pick them. Or most of them.

Lets start with TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. It is Howard Hawks and it is wonderful! Most of what he does is wonderful! Cary Grant, Bogart, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe. Doesn’t matter. Almost any Hawks film is wonderful!
So I pick that as my first choice. Sometimes, I am cornered by people who demand to know what my favorite movie is. And that is the one I name. Why?
Well, the first obvious reason is Howard Hawks. Other reasons?
I really enjoy the relationships that the characters have. Bogie’s and Bacall’s witty sparring. His strong loyalty to Walter Brennan, no matter what he says or does. Bacall’s affection for Hoagy Carmicheal.
Wit is important to me. A movie without a sense of humor is like a person without a sense of humor, something to be avoided.
Next choice?
ANATOMY OF A MURDER. Otto Preminger made a lot of awful, unwatchable movies but when he was good, like he was in this film and ANGEL FACE, he was really good. George C. Scott does some of his best work and Lee Remick and Eve Arden are memorable. But the best performance comes from the star, Jimmy Stewart. He plays a sharp, sophisticated attorney who pretends to be a hick (the standard Stewart performance) when he practices law or deals with the town’s people.
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER. This is a movie that will convert someone who doesn’t like old black and white films to a lover of old classics. Someone who tries this marvelous comedy for the first time is in for the time of their life. Davis, Woolley, Durante, are all great.
I haven’t picked a fourth movie yet. There are too many options available. Do I pick Hitchcock with REAR WINDOW or SHADOW OF A DOUBT? Do I choose Welles with CITIZEN KANE or MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS? Or do I go for noir – NIGHTMARE ALLEY or OUT OF THE PAST? And how do I leave out the Marx Brothers or W.C. Fields?

But TCM hasn’t called yet. I kind of doubt that they will. So I have plenty of time to ponder what my fourth choice would be.
By the way, Suzie, I like LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER too.
I hope that I am not upsetting you but the gimmick in the movie didn’t really happen.
Oh, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra take off their makeup during the film’s finale. But their scenes in the picture were not filmed by them. Their doubles did them instead.
Now that we have the wonders of VHS and DVD it is easy to tell that it is not them. However, there were a couple of actors who went along with the gimmick. Kirk Douglas, who produced the film, and – of course, Robert Mitchum.
He was a good man and I can’t figure out why he didn’t get the recognition that he deserved during his lifetime.

Posted By Al Lowe : November 18, 2009 2:40 pm

My four favorites? It is tough but I can pick them. Or most of them.

Lets start with TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. It is Howard Hawks and it is wonderful! Most of what he does is wonderful! Cary Grant, Bogart, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe. Doesn’t matter. Almost any Hawks film is wonderful!
So I pick that as my first choice. Sometimes, I am cornered by people who demand to know what my favorite movie is. And that is the one I name. Why?
Well, the first obvious reason is Howard Hawks. Other reasons?
I really enjoy the relationships that the characters have. Bogie’s and Bacall’s witty sparring. His strong loyalty to Walter Brennan, no matter what he says or does. Bacall’s affection for Hoagy Carmicheal.
Wit is important to me. A movie without a sense of humor is like a person without a sense of humor, something to be avoided.
Next choice?
ANATOMY OF A MURDER. Otto Preminger made a lot of awful, unwatchable movies but when he was good, like he was in this film and ANGEL FACE, he was really good. George C. Scott does some of his best work and Lee Remick and Eve Arden are memorable. But the best performance comes from the star, Jimmy Stewart. He plays a sharp, sophisticated attorney who pretends to be a hick (the standard Stewart performance) when he practices law or deals with the town’s people.
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER. This is a movie that will convert someone who doesn’t like old black and white films to a lover of old classics. Someone who tries this marvelous comedy for the first time is in for the time of their life. Davis, Woolley, Durante, are all great.
I haven’t picked a fourth movie yet. There are too many options available. Do I pick Hitchcock with REAR WINDOW or SHADOW OF A DOUBT? Do I choose Welles with CITIZEN KANE or MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS? Or do I go for noir – NIGHTMARE ALLEY or OUT OF THE PAST? And how do I leave out the Marx Brothers or W.C. Fields?

But TCM hasn’t called yet. I kind of doubt that they will. So I have plenty of time to ponder what my fourth choice would be.
By the way, Suzie, I like LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER too.
I hope that I am not upsetting you but the gimmick in the movie didn’t really happen.
Oh, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra take off their makeup during the film’s finale. But their scenes in the picture were not filmed by them. Their doubles did them instead.
Now that we have the wonders of VHS and DVD it is easy to tell that it is not them. However, there were a couple of actors who went along with the gimmick. Kirk Douglas, who produced the film, and – of course, Robert Mitchum.
He was a good man and I can’t figure out why he didn’t get the recognition that he deserved during his lifetime.

Posted By Jenni : November 19, 2009 10:10 pm

Love Robert Mitchum and his films! I have not seen The Locket and hope TCM shows it in it’s programming future. I would have to add Heaven only Knows, Mr. Allison, as it is my favorite Mitchum movie.
Very poignant, and I kept on rooting for Deborah Kerr to give up her vows and go off into the sunset with Mitchum when I first saw it a couple of years ago. Great article on RM, thanks for writing it. :)

Posted By Jenni : November 19, 2009 10:10 pm

Love Robert Mitchum and his films! I have not seen The Locket and hope TCM shows it in it’s programming future. I would have to add Heaven only Knows, Mr. Allison, as it is my favorite Mitchum movie.
Very poignant, and I kept on rooting for Deborah Kerr to give up her vows and go off into the sunset with Mitchum when I first saw it a couple of years ago. Great article on RM, thanks for writing it. :)

Posted By Jenni : November 19, 2009 10:11 pm

I have to add, that my husband’s paternal grandmother also loved Robert Mitchum, until he had that run-in with the police about marijuana.

Posted By Jenni : November 19, 2009 10:11 pm

I have to add, that my husband’s paternal grandmother also loved Robert Mitchum, until he had that run-in with the police about marijuana.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:12 am

(*-Indicates OSCAR) GREAT GUNS SUZIE! A topic I’ve long been fascinated with and your marvelous stuff on; Robert Mitchum only adds to it all.
(NOTE: You must get the TCM Book or Books: “The Top 50 Leading Men of the Golden Age/Studio-System” (Molly Haskell and a forward by R. 0sborne) & it’s companion pc “Leading Actresses” (same author)
They have a great section on Mitchum in there as well.

Think you know he-(& *Rod Steiger) turned down *”Patton”

I’ve yet to see “Adrian Messenger” though & terrific in citing past “GP’s”
I have everything movie related on file & if you want, I have just about every “Guest Programmer” Hugh Hefner, Buck Henry, Liz Smith & many others
on file. & can let you know a lot of ‘em?

As for *Sir Anthony Hopkins I personally rank him the finest living actor & his fav. performer/star is: *Bogie.

(4 STARS TO TCM FOR GETTING HIM!!!)

My own pix if ever a “GP”
(limited to time of course):
*”The Godfather” (l972)-(3hrs)
“Captains Courageous” (l937)-(2hrs)-(my A #1 of my A #1 Idol *”The Great; Spencer Tracy”)
“Splendor in the Grass” (l96l)-(2hrs)-(obviously a personal choice)
(Runner-Up):
“Some Came Running” (l958)

As most likely know reading this it was last March when TCM had 15 “Fan Programmers”-(many from the forums Mongo, Lynn,etc) on the air to select their own favs. as pt of it’s #15th Anniversary

& this is 1 that can literally keep rolling

THANX

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:12 am

(*-Indicates OSCAR) GREAT GUNS SUZIE! A topic I’ve long been fascinated with and your marvelous stuff on; Robert Mitchum only adds to it all.
(NOTE: You must get the TCM Book or Books: “The Top 50 Leading Men of the Golden Age/Studio-System” (Molly Haskell and a forward by R. 0sborne) & it’s companion pc “Leading Actresses” (same author)
They have a great section on Mitchum in there as well.

Think you know he-(& *Rod Steiger) turned down *”Patton”

I’ve yet to see “Adrian Messenger” though & terrific in citing past “GP’s”
I have everything movie related on file & if you want, I have just about every “Guest Programmer” Hugh Hefner, Buck Henry, Liz Smith & many others
on file. & can let you know a lot of ‘em?

As for *Sir Anthony Hopkins I personally rank him the finest living actor & his fav. performer/star is: *Bogie.

(4 STARS TO TCM FOR GETTING HIM!!!)

My own pix if ever a “GP”
(limited to time of course):
*”The Godfather” (l972)-(3hrs)
“Captains Courageous” (l937)-(2hrs)-(my A #1 of my A #1 Idol *”The Great; Spencer Tracy”)
“Splendor in the Grass” (l96l)-(2hrs)-(obviously a personal choice)
(Runner-Up):
“Some Came Running” (l958)

As most likely know reading this it was last March when TCM had 15 “Fan Programmers”-(many from the forums Mongo, Lynn,etc) on the air to select their own favs. as pt of it’s #15th Anniversary

& this is 1 that can literally keep rolling

THANX

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:21 am

A few critics/filmmakers top picks>

*Martin Scorsese
“The Searchers” “Duel in the Sun” “The Heiress” & “The Red Shoes”

Roger Ebert’s
“Kane” “The Third Man” “Notorious” “Taxi Driver”-(P.S. You’ll like this one, his Idol is MITCHUM!)

The late: Gene Siskel-(l946-l999) when prssed would generally pick: “Dr. Strangelove”

Leonard Maltin’s
*”Casablanca” “The Maltese Falcon”-(not the Ricardo Cortez version) “Kane” “Singin’ In the Rain”

*Clint Eastwood
*”How Green Was My Valley”-(voted for it in “AFI’s 100yrs…100 Movies” 2007 poll)

& a few yrs ago our own Mt. 0sborne even posted his wothin the forums-(under an alias)
“A Place in the Sun” “Singin’ in the Rain” “Gunga Din” “Red River”-(though as he told Stanley Donen 1/2 of his top 10 were his flix)

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:21 am

A few critics/filmmakers top picks>

*Martin Scorsese
“The Searchers” “Duel in the Sun” “The Heiress” & “The Red Shoes”

Roger Ebert’s
“Kane” “The Third Man” “Notorious” “Taxi Driver”-(P.S. You’ll like this one, his Idol is MITCHUM!)

The late: Gene Siskel-(l946-l999) when prssed would generally pick: “Dr. Strangelove”

Leonard Maltin’s
*”Casablanca” “The Maltese Falcon”-(not the Ricardo Cortez version) “Kane” “Singin’ In the Rain”

*Clint Eastwood
*”How Green Was My Valley”-(voted for it in “AFI’s 100yrs…100 Movies” 2007 poll)

& a few yrs ago our own Mt. 0sborne even posted his wothin the forums-(under an alias)
“A Place in the Sun” “Singin’ in the Rain” “Gunga Din” “Red River”-(though as he told Stanley Donen 1/2 of his top 10 were his flix)

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:22 am

PLEASE EXCUSE SLOPPINESS ON ABOVE ITEM-(need an edit button here folks)

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:22 am

PLEASE EXCUSE SLOPPINESS ON ABOVE ITEM-(need an edit button here folks)

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:28 am

By the way when he was somewhat pressed on his own favourite of his some 97 films, Mitchum tended to say 1957′s “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison”

He was on David Letterman’s show then on NBC around the late 1980′s & not only picked it, but Letterman played a tune from an album he did & asked about an alledged $5,000 barbill that both he & *”The Duke: John Wayne” once ran-up. Bob denied it, but spoke of *Wayne when loaded, and falling over like the a large building!
& he broke many bones when filming 1951′s “His Kind of Woman” until the stuntmen reminded him it was their job.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 20, 2009 2:28 am

By the way when he was somewhat pressed on his own favourite of his some 97 films, Mitchum tended to say 1957′s “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison”

He was on David Letterman’s show then on NBC around the late 1980′s & not only picked it, but Letterman played a tune from an album he did & asked about an alledged $5,000 barbill that both he & *”The Duke: John Wayne” once ran-up. Bob denied it, but spoke of *Wayne when loaded, and falling over like the a large building!
& he broke many bones when filming 1951′s “His Kind of Woman” until the stuntmen reminded him it was their job.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:19 pm

(TRIVIA: For the TCM-ITE that listed: Doris Day-(l924-) she was actually the annual Box-0ffice champ for 1960, ’62, ’63 & 1964

Plus, saw a recent shot of the reclusive star & she’s really gained a lotta’ lbs! Could barely recognize her actually. Plus, the infamous Charles Manson & gang-(in 1969) actually went to Benedict Canyon-(Cielo Drive-(now gone) to kill her son-(a record producer that turned down Manson) & not Sharon Trate,etc!
& even more is the fact that: Steve (“King of Cool”) McQueen-(l930-80) & wife were invited to the address, but got into another nasty fight with her & took off on his bike instead that tragic evening in August! When he read the papers that morning he really freaked & then started collecting guns.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:19 pm

(TRIVIA: For the TCM-ITE that listed: Doris Day-(l924-) she was actually the annual Box-0ffice champ for 1960, ’62, ’63 & 1964

Plus, saw a recent shot of the reclusive star & she’s really gained a lotta’ lbs! Could barely recognize her actually. Plus, the infamous Charles Manson & gang-(in 1969) actually went to Benedict Canyon-(Cielo Drive-(now gone) to kill her son-(a record producer that turned down Manson) & not Sharon Trate,etc!
& even more is the fact that: Steve (“King of Cool”) McQueen-(l930-80) & wife were invited to the address, but got into another nasty fight with her & took off on his bike instead that tragic evening in August! When he read the papers that morning he really freaked & then started collecting guns.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:22 pm

Mitchum only had a couple pot joints in his pocket on that Hollywood evening around 1948. But, he thought his career was over, until RKO Radio had about 7-9 flix of his yet to be released. But, the poor lady-(a B-movie actress) that had this party did suffer from it & her career was OVER!

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:22 pm

Mitchum only had a couple pot joints in his pocket on that Hollywood evening around 1948. But, he thought his career was over, until RKO Radio had about 7-9 flix of his yet to be released. But, the poor lady-(a B-movie actress) that had this party did suffer from it & her career was OVER!

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:25 pm

Almost 4-got. He used to call then boss/mogul: Howard Hughes “The Phantom’ on account of rarely if ever seeing the man?
Hughes by around that time had 1 too-many plane crashes-(the last in ’46 directly into B. Hills!) & eventually sold RK0 to DesiLu-(Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball) in ’55.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:25 pm

Almost 4-got. He used to call then boss/mogul: Howard Hughes “The Phantom’ on account of rarely if ever seeing the man?
Hughes by around that time had 1 too-many plane crashes-(the last in ’46 directly into B. Hills!) & eventually sold RK0 to DesiLu-(Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball) in ’55.

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:40 pm

TO OTHERS, PLEASE ALSO JOIN-IN & PICK YOUR OWN “GP” FAVS!?

Another filmmaker/cinephile,etc Peter Bogdanovich’s top films:
(P.S. He was even an “Essentials’ co-host with; Osborne.
& was lucky enough to know his own Idols> Hawks, *Ford-(see the 1971 docu.), *Welles & Hitchcok!!!

His favourite picks:
“Red River”(l948)(used in his superb ’71 “Last Picture Show”)
“The Quiet Man” (l952)
“The Magnificent Ambersons” (l942) (RKO)
& “Vertigo”

& the late great maybe finest ever critic & even co-wrote: “A. Queen” & “Night of the Hunter”
James Agee-(l909-l955)
“City Lights” (l93l) (UA-actually filmed at *Chaplin’s own “Dream Factory” near La Brea Tar Pits & still all intact!)
“Treasure of the Sierra Madre”-(Among *Hopkins upcoming pix)
&”The Godfather”
& his Idol: *Charles (Spencer)Chaplin (l889-l977)

Posted By myidolspencer : November 21, 2009 2:40 pm

TO OTHERS, PLEASE ALSO JOIN-IN & PICK YOUR OWN “GP” FAVS!?

Another filmmaker/cinephile,etc Peter Bogdanovich’s top films:
(P.S. He was even an “Essentials’ co-host with; Osborne.
& was lucky enough to know his own Idols> Hawks, *Ford-(see the 1971 docu.), *Welles & Hitchcok!!!

His favourite picks:
“Red River”(l948)(used in his superb ’71 “Last Picture Show”)
“The Quiet Man” (l952)
“The Magnificent Ambersons” (l942) (RKO)
& “Vertigo”

& the late great maybe finest ever critic & even co-wrote: “A. Queen” & “Night of the Hunter”
James Agee-(l909-l955)
“City Lights” (l93l) (UA-actually filmed at *Chaplin’s own “Dream Factory” near La Brea Tar Pits & still all intact!)
“Treasure of the Sierra Madre”-(Among *Hopkins upcoming pix)
&”The Godfather”
& his Idol: *Charles (Spencer)Chaplin (l889-l977)

Posted By s.w.a.c. : November 22, 2009 8:24 pm

If I was going to pick four Mitchums, one of them would have to be a western, probably Pursued, a noir-ish oater directed by Raoul Walsh, very moody with a nuanced Mitchum performance as a Civil War veteran returning home to a heap o’ trouble. The vaguely incestuous plot (he’s got the hots for his stepsister) and James Wong Howe behind the camera are added bonuses.

I’ve got an old VHS of The Locket that someone recorded off cable years ago, I should get around to watching that (it shares a tape with The High Wall, a forgotten Robert Taylor noir that contains one of his better performances), and a DVD of The Story of GI Joe that I haven’t given a spin yet either.

In his early days, Mitchum shot a picture in my hometown titled Corvette K-225, which I was lucky enough to catch on the History Channel (I haven’t come across it since), with Randolph Scott in the lead as the commander of one of the sturdy WWII ships (parts of it were even shot of the campus of my university). I think Mitchum has all of two lines in the picture, but I once met an older gent who worked on that film as one of the local drivers, and got to hang out with Bob and go drinking with him, since he had a fair bit of downtime between scenes. Talk about being jealous…

We almost share a birthday too (he’s Aug. 6, I’m Aug. 7). No wonder he’s my favourite.

Posted By s.w.a.c. : November 22, 2009 8:24 pm

If I was going to pick four Mitchums, one of them would have to be a western, probably Pursued, a noir-ish oater directed by Raoul Walsh, very moody with a nuanced Mitchum performance as a Civil War veteran returning home to a heap o’ trouble. The vaguely incestuous plot (he’s got the hots for his stepsister) and James Wong Howe behind the camera are added bonuses.

I’ve got an old VHS of The Locket that someone recorded off cable years ago, I should get around to watching that (it shares a tape with The High Wall, a forgotten Robert Taylor noir that contains one of his better performances), and a DVD of The Story of GI Joe that I haven’t given a spin yet either.

In his early days, Mitchum shot a picture in my hometown titled Corvette K-225, which I was lucky enough to catch on the History Channel (I haven’t come across it since), with Randolph Scott in the lead as the commander of one of the sturdy WWII ships (parts of it were even shot of the campus of my university). I think Mitchum has all of two lines in the picture, but I once met an older gent who worked on that film as one of the local drivers, and got to hang out with Bob and go drinking with him, since he had a fair bit of downtime between scenes. Talk about being jealous…

We almost share a birthday too (he’s Aug. 6, I’m Aug. 7). No wonder he’s my favourite.

Posted By Al Lowe : December 7, 2009 10:29 am

I was getting tired of the story of Moose Malloy and his beloved Velma.
I had read and reread FAREWELL MY LOVELY when a young man and had seen MURDER MY SWEET on TV about six times.
That may be why I wasn’t too impressed when I saw the movie version in 1975.
Among my huge movie collection was the VHS of the Mitchum film. I had forgotten I owned it. That’s the only time I ever did that!
I watched the movie again last night and discovered that I was wrong. It is a fine film.
Like the original Raymond Chandler source it is excellent in conveying atmosphere. Chandler really knew his California.
The casting and acting are excellent. It was nice to see John Ireland with a good role. And, of course, Mitchum is superb.
Unlike Dashiell Hammett, Chandler was never great on plot. But the movie makes the creaky plot work. It was released after CHINATOWN and both show a corrupt California.
Regarding Hammett, it is worth mentioning that the Maltese Falcon really existed. There really was such a thing. Hammett had discovered this through research. I don’t know if it was still around in Hammett’s day, though.

Posted By Al Lowe : December 7, 2009 10:29 am

I was getting tired of the story of Moose Malloy and his beloved Velma.
I had read and reread FAREWELL MY LOVELY when a young man and had seen MURDER MY SWEET on TV about six times.
That may be why I wasn’t too impressed when I saw the movie version in 1975.
Among my huge movie collection was the VHS of the Mitchum film. I had forgotten I owned it. That’s the only time I ever did that!
I watched the movie again last night and discovered that I was wrong. It is a fine film.
Like the original Raymond Chandler source it is excellent in conveying atmosphere. Chandler really knew his California.
The casting and acting are excellent. It was nice to see John Ireland with a good role. And, of course, Mitchum is superb.
Unlike Dashiell Hammett, Chandler was never great on plot. But the movie makes the creaky plot work. It was released after CHINATOWN and both show a corrupt California.
Regarding Hammett, it is worth mentioning that the Maltese Falcon really existed. There really was such a thing. Hammett had discovered this through research. I don’t know if it was still around in Hammett’s day, though.

Posted By 重庆网站建设 : July 25, 2012 9:57 pm

Excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!|What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & help different customers like its helped me. Good job.

Posted By 重庆网站建设 : July 25, 2012 9:57 pm

Excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!|What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & help different customers like its helped me. Good job.

Posted By Margaret Strother : December 2, 2012 2:55 pm

Thanks for “The Locket” — I’m passionate about noirs, but never saw this one before. What a doozie! Seems like a plot that would be ripe for a remake, without the obligatory crime-doesn’t-pay ending. So glad to have you and your guest programmers on board to bring in fresh viewpoints at TCM!

Posted By Margaret Strother : December 2, 2012 2:55 pm

Thanks for “The Locket” — I’m passionate about noirs, but never saw this one before. What a doozie! Seems like a plot that would be ripe for a remake, without the obligatory crime-doesn’t-pay ending. So glad to have you and your guest programmers on board to bring in fresh viewpoints at TCM!

Posted By Susan Doll : December 2, 2012 3:15 pm

Thank you Margaret for watching the bloggers’ debut on TCM. I appreciate the kind words. All of us were both excited and nervous about appearing.

Posted By Susan Doll : December 2, 2012 3:15 pm

Thank you Margaret for watching the bloggers’ debut on TCM. I appreciate the kind words. All of us were both excited and nervous about appearing.

Posted By Mia M. : December 2, 2012 8:33 pm

Susan,

I taped “The Locket” and look forward to watching it this evening. Having already looked at the introduction between yourself and Robert O, I was thrilled to hear about this blog and wanted to compliment you on bringing an unfamiliar noir to our attention. Actually, I am part of a group of writers who do parodies on the classic movies and we especially enjoy doing noir spoofs. This will give us more material!

By the way, you really looked at ease with Robert. I am sure he has a way of making people comfortable! Thanks again.

Posted By Mia M. : December 2, 2012 8:33 pm

Susan,

I taped “The Locket” and look forward to watching it this evening. Having already looked at the introduction between yourself and Robert O, I was thrilled to hear about this blog and wanted to compliment you on bringing an unfamiliar noir to our attention. Actually, I am part of a group of writers who do parodies on the classic movies and we especially enjoy doing noir spoofs. This will give us more material!

By the way, you really looked at ease with Robert. I am sure he has a way of making people comfortable! Thanks again.

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