What’s Robert Mitchum’s Best Pre-1964 Film Role?

Debuting as a B-Western heavy in the early ’40s, Robert Mitchum would go on to become one of Hollywood’s top tough guys. This week’s poll asks for your pick for your favorite pre-1964 Mitchum performance.

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  • OZ ROB

    It is just too hard too single out any one favorite with Robert Mitchum, he played all his characters with a unique style, another contender could be . Jim Garry in Blood On The Moon.

  • Gayle Feyrer

    Night of the Hunter is incredible!

  • ganderson

    I have to confess that I was never a follower of Mitchum’s work and so I’m not very familiar with many of the motion pictures listed. I did, however, very much enjoy ‘Heaven Knows, Mr
    Allison’ and liked his performance in that film,

  • FalmouthBill

    In my estimation Robert Mitchum is one of the finest, and probably the most versatile actor, I have ever seen. If Mitchum’s in it I know it’s going to a fine movie, consistently ! He is so believable in any of his roles, as a good guy, bad guy, evil guy, or a human guy, I have a good sized film library, and I’m sure I have more Mitchum movies than anyone else. Whether he’s the star, or a co-star he always gave 100%. I chose “Allison” over “Hunter” because he was visible so much more, than with the ensemble cast, moreitchum for your money. I thought he was great in The Enemy Below, Holiday Affair, River of No Return, and even as the ditzy guy in Scrooged, I am definitely a Mitchum fan !

  • John Greanias

    Robert Mitchum was an inspired casting choice by Director John Huston for “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.” Deborah Kerr received an Oscar nomination for her performance. Mitchum should have also been nominated. The film is an interesting study for its artful weaving of the issues of religion, morality and sexual tension within the boundaries of the Production Code Administration in 1957. A beautiful nun and a Marine are stranded together on an island during wartime, and they may not have long to live. What can possibly Happen? The story of what happened received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay!

  • brian

    How about Blood On The Moon(1948)

  • Bryan Ruffin

    I enjoyed his role on The Longest Day, mostly because I loved the movie. Robert Mitchum was such a talented actor! This list is proof of what I mean: It has such a vast array of roles! He could play cold and ruthless (Max Cady) , he could play kind and caring (Cpl Allison), and pretty much anything in between.

    • Charles H

      The Longest Day: Great movie. One of my favorites. His portrayal as Max Cady still creeps me out, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

      • Bryan Ruffin

        I know what mean! I have seen the movie several times, and each time I do, I get a new definition of evil! The man was good!!

  • Mike in Oz (down under)

    I voted for ‘Other’ as I was really voting for’ Wade Hunnicut’ in HOME FROM THE HILL, for which he won the National Board of Review award for Best Actor of 1960 (shared with his performance in THE SUNDOWNERS). Mitchum is great in all of the above roles, but to leave out HOME FROM THE HILL seems like quite an oversight to me.

  • BernardS

    There was still another fine Robert Mitchum performance after 1964—-David Lean’s
    “Ryan’s Daughter”. Who could forget that once tough villain had become a timid small town
    school teacher ? Mitchum is one hell of an actor !!!

    • Bruce Reber

      “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” (1973), about an aging ex-mobster forced to turn snitch for the Feds was also one of his best post ’64 movies.

  • Brian

    Dont Forget,Lucus Marsh in Not As A Stranger.(1955)

  • mike

    I had to go with Lucas Doolan in Thunder Road but it really was a toss up as one of my favorite war movies is “The Story of GI Joe.” One of my uncles met Ernie Pyle in North Africa while another knew him on Okinawa and Ie Shima where he was killed. You also seem to have forgotten “One Minute to Zero” in your listing. Mitchum was a superb actor.

  • OZ ROB

    In this period to 1964 Robert Mitchum worked with over 25 different lovely leading ladies!. He has said of Deborah Kerr, ” the best my favorite.. Life would be kind if i could live it with Deborah around ”
    As Russ Lambert with lovely Linda Darnell in Second Chance, 1953 is another favorite

  • Cara

    Nobody, I mean, nobody could play a scarier villain than Robert Mitchum. When they remade Cape Fear, I didn’t even bother to watch it because I know no actor could communicate menace better than Mitchum. I can’t say Night of the Hunter is my favorite Mitchum film, but it is more frightening than most horror movies. Interesting, Charles Laughton only directed one film–Night of the Hunter.

  • Tommy Bokori

    It’s a tie folks…..take your pick-1)Night of the Hunter 2)Thunder Road or 3)Cape Fear

  • Bruce Reber

    I really like his scare-the-s__t-out-of-you turns as Harry Powell in “Night Of The Hunter” and Max Cady in “Cape Fear”, but I voted for Lucas Doolin in “Thunder Road” as my favorite pre-’64 Mitchum performance. His recording of “The Ballad Of Thunder Road” was a huge hit in ’58.

  • Bruce Reber

    His peformance as Frank Jessup in director Otto Preminger’s “Angel Face” (1953) should have made the poll list. He co-stars with Jean Simmons in a taut film noir that parallels “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity” in many ways.