How much did you know?
We suspect you knew all about Robert Mitchum’s arrest for marijuana possession in September 1948, and his subsequent stint in the L.A. County jail. Here he is (above) sweeping up.
Mitchum feared that his career and marriage were severely jeopardized by the arrest. They weren’t, thanks heavens. Those were the days, though. One wonders how amused the actor would be today to see how much all things marijuana-related have changed.
Above is Mitchum surveying one of his favorite costars. Yes, they are terrific together on screen, were just friends off.
Below is a closeup of the senior Mitchum. Still looking good.
Ok, let’s get to the answers to our really, really difficult Robert Mitchum Quiz. Here we go:
- Question: Which one of the following actresses told Mitchum to his face that he couldn’t act, and that if he “hadn’t been good looking you would have never gotten a picture”? a) Deborah Kerr; b) Katharine Hepburn; c) Jane Greer; or d) Shelley winters.
Answer: b) Katharine Hepburn. Her remark didn’t faze Mitchum. He merely shrugged his shoulders and soldiered on. Hepburn was wrong. Mitchum worked hard at his profession. It’s just that he made it look easy. Director Howard Hawks told him, you pretend not to care , but you really work very hard. The actor’s response: Don’t tell anybody.
2. Question: Mitchum was infamous for slapping the director of one of his best movies just to see if his technique looked realistic. Who was this unfortunate director? a) Jacques Tourneur; b) Charles Laughton; c) Otto Preminger; or d) Elia Kazan.
Answer: c) Otto Preminger. In one scene in 1953’s Angel Face, Mitchum was called upon to slap costar Jean Simmons (above). The actor pulled his slap, which didn’t satisfy Preminger who demanded more “realistic” oomph. The actor then turned to the director and deliver a forceful slap — right on Preminger’s kisser — and inquired if it was hard enough.
3. Question: Mitchum surprisingly held strongly negative views of which of the following action stars? a) Steve McQueen; b) Charles Bronson; c) Steven Seagal; or d) None of the above.
Answer: a) Steve Mcqueen and b) Charles Bronson. Mitchum just didn’t care for the work of either.
4) Question: Mitchum was big pals with an assortment of lesser known actors particularly including this relatively straitlaced star. Who was he? a) William Boyd; b) Oliver Reed; c) George C. Scott; or d) Richard Egan.
Answer: d) Richard Egan (above left), a handsome actor who died of prostate cancer in 1987. Mitchum was a pallbearer at his close friend’s funeral.
5) Question: Did you know that Mitchum and Orson Welles collaborated on a special project in the 1940’s. What was it?
Answer: It may come as something of a surprise to learn that Mitchum was a pretty good singer and composer. He once wrote an oratorio — a largescale musical work for orchestra, chorus and soloists — which was produced and staged by Wells at the Hollywood Bowl in the 1940’s.