Shame on us! We had thought we had by now pretty much exhausted classic Hollywood’s roster of major stars as fodder for our Monday Quizzes.
But, no. A review of our more than 1,335 blogs published over the last five years shows we have yet to cover in Quiz form a bona fide Hollywood titan — Robert Mitchum. (We have discussed the actor in dozens of other non-Quiz formats.) With apologies to his memory (he died in 1997 at age 79), we intend to make amends today.
It’s hard to fully appreciate Mitchum’s enduring appeal to classic and contemporary film fans alike. Despite the length (more than a half century) covering well more than 125 film and tv credits — including more than a handful of genuine big screen classics — he is renowned for his many quips minimizing movie actors, especially himself.
He had an abiding distaste of method acting with its motivation or concepts and all that junk. The Rin Tin Tin method is good enough for me. (Interestingly, his last movie was a biopic of James Dean.) Despite his protestations, Mitchum was a superb actor, a master of dialects, wry observations. He played the saxophone and wrote poetry.
Ok, just how much do you know about this classic movie icon (a word we use carefully here). Try our Monday Quiz and find out. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Although Mitchum is publicly perceived as a quintessentially American screen personality, he actually was born in Australia. a) True; or b) False?
2) Question: It’s no secret that Mitchum’s early years were troubled. Which one of the following did NOT get him into trouble with the law? a) His vagrancy; b) His lack of discipline at home; c) His constant job hopping; or d) All of the above.
3) Question: In which movie genre did Mitchum first make his mark as an actor? a) War movies; b) westerns; c) film noir thrillers or d) romantic comedies.
4) Question: Although famously self-deprecating about his acting skills, Mitchum actually was nominated for an Oscar. For which picture? a) Out of the Past; b) Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison; c) The Enemy Below; or d) The Story of G.I. Joe.
5) Question: Mitchum could play the nastiest of villains with great authority. Which of the following provided him with his scariest role? a) The Friends of Eddie Coyle; b) The Yakuza; c) Angel Face; or d) Night of the Hunter.
6) Question: Mitchum was notoriously arrested on the night of Aug. 31, 1948, for possession of marijuana for which he served a two month jail sentence. The police raid took place at the Hollywood cottage of which one of the following actresses? a) Jane Russell; b) Carole Landis; c) Hedy Lamarr or d) Lila Leeds.
7) Question: Which one of the following studio moguls was most responsible for repairing Mitchum’s career and public image after he served jail time? a) Harry Cohn; b) Louis B. Mayer; c) Howard Hughes; or d) Darryl Zanuck.
8) Question: Despite his reputation as a womanizer, Mitchum remained married to the same woman for more than a half century. a) True; or b) False?
9) Question: Mitchum’s appearances in some of the best film noirs ever made did NOT pair him with which one of the following: a) Jean Simmons; b) Jane Greer; c) Faith Domergue; or d) Deborah Kerr.
10) Question: Late in his career, in the 1980’s, Mitchum starred in a pair of lavishly funded tv series based on the work of novelist Herman Wouk. Can you name the title of these heavy-duty shows?