Rupert Pupkin Speaks: My Top 5 Underrated Mitchum Films ""

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Top 5 Underrated Mitchum Films

Robert Mitchum is possibly my favorite actor of all time. Steve McQueen has his legacy of "cool", but he can't hold a candle to Mitchum in my opinion. Not in terms of coolness or acting ability. Don't get me wrong. McQueen is very good and had some great performances in some great films, but Mitchum's legacy dwarf's him. Mitchum made so many films and so many good ones and was just super-cool beyond compare. If you aren't familiar with his filmography then get off your butt and get familiar with it! I like to savor it myself. I seek out several new Mitchum films each year and I've still not seen all of them. He's got classics like NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, OUT OF THE PAST, THE SUNDOWNERS, ANGEL FACE and HIS KIND OF WOMAN. Car movies like THUNDER ROAD. 70s crime films like THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. Christmas movies like HOLIDAY AFFAIR. So much good stuff. And on this, the day of his birth, I offer you a meager list of favorites from his canon that don't get the attention they deserve. They are as follows:

THE ENEMY BELOW(1957; Dick Powell)
Dick Powell directed this! Anyway, one of my favorite naval warfare/sub movies ever along with RUN SILENT RUN DEEP, CRIMSON TIDE and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. I first heard it mentioned in CRIMSON TIDE in a bit of dialogue delivered by the late James Gandolfini. He asked one of the other sailors who played the German sub commander in THE ENEMY BELOW - Curt Jurgens and Hardy Krueger and the kid fails the quiz. That is a Tarantino dialogue addition without any doubt and I've always loved it. Saw the movie and loved it too. Great stuff. Here's Dick Powell introducing the film in the trailer:

BLOOD ON THE MOON(1948; Robert Wise)
This one sadly has no dvd as of yet in the States(though there is a region 2 disc). Martin Scorsese has professed his affection for it(as well as another underrated Mitchum western - PURSUED) over the years and it deserves a decent release. Here's hoping it gets one. Also stars Robert Preston, Barbara Bel Geddes, Walter Brennan and Charles McGraw. Enjoy this trailer for the film:

GOING HOME(1972; Herbert B. Leonard)
This particular film was very difficult to see until just a few years ago when it aired on TCM and soon after, hit dvd via our friends over at Warner Archive. It's not the easiest watch as it deals with an estranged son(Jan-Michael Vincent) reuniting with his father(Mitchum) after he's spent 15 years in jail (he killed the boy's mother when he was very young). Tough stuff, but compelling. This one stuck with me for days after. 
(You can buy it at Warner Archive - Here)

THE WRATH OF GOD(1972; Ralph Nelson)
Mitchum as "Father Horne" a literal machine gun preacher. Nuff said.

THE YAKUZA(1974; Sydney Pollack)
Mitchum is in Japan and on the wrong side of the Yakuza! Paul Schrader and Robert Towne wrote the script for this movie so that alone should be enough to sell you. That and Sydney Pollack directing. If it's not, the cast includes Brian Keith and the great Richard Jordan.
This one can be viewed via Warner Archive's Instant service right now(in 1080p)!


Robert M. Lindsey said...

The Yakuza, Friends of Eddie Coyle, and Angel Face would make my list.

gogilesgo said...

OK, Blood on the Moon has just gone on my rental list on the basis of this list. I don't think i'd heard of it before though with that cast how on earth could i have missed it?

I have a real soft spot for The Lusty Men (terrible title/great picture), since we are on the subject of underrated Mitchum pictures.

dfordoom said...

I've seen The Enemy Below and Blood on the Moon and they're both great movies.

Anonymous said...

Watched The Enemy Below a few years back, excellent movie. If your into submarine movies at all then take a look at Das Boot (1981), it's one of my all time favourites.