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The 6 Roles That Defined Robert Mitchum's Career

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 08:23 PM

Often described in movie reviews as tough or cool, even bordering on somnolent, Robert Mitchum appeared in dozens of films throughout his lengthy career.

Here are six roles that defined Robert Mitchum's career.

1. Lt. Bill Walker in "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945)

Considered a "breakthrough role" for Mitchum, "The Story of G.I. Joe," earned the actor his first and only Academy Award nomination, according to The New York Times.

Mitchum also finished second-place for Best Actor by the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for this performance.

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"The Story of G.I. Joe" was adaptated of World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle's dispatches from the front lines. For his newspaper columns, Pyle chronicled the real stories of American soldiers fighting in the war's European theater.

2. Rev. Henry Powell, "The Night of the Hunter" (1955)

"The Night of the Hunter" is recognized as one of Mitchum's best roles.

When the film was released, it was considered a flop. Today, "The Night of the Hunter" is considered a classic, according to the Times.

The movie, was preserved by the National Film Registry, as part of the Library of Congress, in 1992.

3. U.S. Marine Cpl. Allison, "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" (1957)

"Heaven Knows Mr. Allison," which depicts two strangers stranded on an island in the South Pacific during World War II, earned Mitchum a nomination for Best Foreign Actor from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Mitchum plays a Marine who is stranded with a Roman Catholic nun, played by Deborah Kerr. In the film, the pair struggle with their passion for each other and their efforts to survive.

4. Paddy Carmody, "The Sundowners" (1960)

Mitchum was recognized by the National Board of Review for his role in 'The Sundowners," earning the Best Actor award.

The movie was based in Australia during the time of the Depression. In the film an Irish sheepherder (Mitchum) and his wife (played by Deborah Kerr) struggle with being nomads and raising a child.

5. Brig. Gen. Norman Cota in "The Longest Day" (1962)

"The Longest Day" portrays the Allied D-Day invasion in France during World War II and was an attempt to show what war is really like on the big screen.

Mitchum starred alongside John Wayne and Harry Fonda in the film as an Allied commander. Turner Classic Movies called Mitchum one the film's stars.

Mitchum was nominated for a Golden Laurel for Top Action Performance.

6. Max Cady in "Cape Fear" (1962)

Acccording to Made Man, Mitchum portrayed a "terrifying rapist" in the movie, going against type of the "tough guy hero."

Gary Susman of Moviefone wrote of Mitchum's Cady: "For some reason, Robert Mitchum's Max Cady ... lands at only No. 28 on the AFI's list of the top 50 on-screen villains of all time. (That's just one notch above Mitchum's Rev. Harry Powell in "Night of the Hunter," a similarly terrifying killer.) Really, Mitchum's Cady ought to be much higher up. After all, there are plenty of stalkers and murderers on the list, but how many also imbue their characters with such a perverse air of sexual menace? Only a handful."

Despite being tasked with playing such a vile monster, Mitchum still maintained his trademark coolness in the role to significant effect.

"To portray the character, Mitchum characteristically underplays the menace — and is all the scarier for it," added Susman.

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Often described in movie reviews as tough or cool, even bordering on somnolent, Robert Mitchum appeared in dozens of films throughout his lengthy career. Here are six roles that defined Robert Mitchum's career.
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2015-23-01
Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 08:23 PM
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