Robert Mitchum Movies

The American Film Institute ranked Robert Mitchum as the 23rd greatest male actor of all-time.

The American Film Institute ranked Robert Mitchum as the 23rd greatest male actor of all-time.

Want to know the best Robert Mitchum movies?  How about the worst Robert Mitchum movies?  Curious about Robert Mitchum’s box office grosses or which Robert Mitchum movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Robert Mitchum movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

The American Film Institute published their 50 Greatest Screen Legends in 1999. To qualify the performer had to have made their screen debut before 1950. The list presented the Top 25 actors and the Top 25 actresses of all time. One of my goals here on this website is to write a page on the 50 Greatest Screen Legends. With the publication of this page I am now exactly half way to my goal…..as I have done a page on 17 of the Greatest Actors and 8 of the Greatest Actresses. Which gets us to the subject of this page …..coming in at #23 on the Greatest Screen Legend Actors poll is Robert Mitchum.

Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) was an Oscar® nominated actor who appeared in 135 acting roles in movies and television between 1942 and 1997. He first gained fame appearing in the World War II movies, 1944’s Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and 1945’s The Story of G.I. Joe. In the late 1940s, early 1950s he appeared in some of the greatest film noir movies ever produced….1947’s Out of the Past, 1950’s Undercurrent and 1952’s Angel Face. Other high watermarks in his career included…1954’s River of No Return(Marilyn Monroe), 1955’s The Night of the Hunter, 1962’s Cape Fear, 1967’s El Dorado and 1973’s The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

His IMDb page shows 135 acting credits from 1942-1997. This page will rank 82 Robert Mitchum movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.

Robert Mitchum in 1955's The Night of the Hunter

Robert Mitchum in 1955’s The Night of the Hunter

Robert Mitchum Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Robert Mitchum movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Robert Mitchum movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Robert Mitchum movies by yearly box office rank or trivia
  • Sort Robert Mitchum movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Robert Mitchum movie received.
  • Sort Robert Mitchum movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort buttons to make this a very interactive page.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Robert Mitchum Table

  1. Twenty-five Robert Mitchum movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 30.49% of his movies listed. The Longest Day (1962) is his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Robert Mitchum movie grosses $83.90 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  43 of Robert Mitchum’s movies are rated as good movies…or 52.43% of his movies. The Night of the Hunter (1955) is his highest rated movie while Fire Down Below (1957) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Fourteen Robert Mitchum movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 17.07% of his movies.
  5. Four Robert Mitchum movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 4.87% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 39.86.  38 Robert Mitchum movies scored higher than that average….or 46.34% of his movies.  The Longest Day (1962) got the the highest UMR Score while Matilda (1978) got the lowest UMR Score.
Robert Mitchum appeared in 135 acting roles....he received only one acting nomination in his ENTIRE career....a Best Supporting Actor Oscar® nomination for The Story of G.I. Joe.

Robert Mitchum appeared in 135 acting roles….he received only one acting nomination in his ENTIRE career….a Best Supporting Actor Oscar® nomination for The Story of G.I. Joe.

Possibly Interesting Facts About Robert Mitchum

 

1. How he got to Hollywood. Robert Mitchum was born in Connecticut in 1917, moved to California in 1936, got a job working as a machine operator and was pushed by his sister to join the local theater guild.

2. As a machine operator he suffered a nervous breakdown that resulted in temporary blindness. To avoid stress he decided to try and become an extra in the movies. It was a decision that worked out very well indeed.

3. One producer did numerous screen tests on Robert Mitchum….and even after numerous tests the producer could not decide if Mitchum was the worst actor ever or one of the most natural actors ever. The screen tests and the extra work eventually led him to the low budget Hopalong Cassidy movie serials.

4. His first real break was getting a supporting part in a big budget high profile movie….. 1944’s Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. The next year he got an Oscar® nomination for The Story Of G.I. Joe as Best Supporting Actor. This would turn out to be his only role that got him a nomination for acting (that includes Emmy®, Tony® and Golden Globes®)….135 roles and 1 nomination.

5. Robert Mitchum was married one time in his life and that was to Dorothy Mitchum for 57 years. They had two sons….Christopher and James and one daughter Petrina.

6. In 1948 Robert Mitchum was arrested, convicted and served jail time on charges for possession of marijuana. At the time of his arrest it was assumed this would destroy his promising career…instead it seemed to back up his tough guy anti-hero persona…. his career only lasted another 49 years.

7. Roles Robert Mitchum turned down over his career…..George C. Scott’s role in Patton, Gene Hackman’s role in The French Connection, a role in The Wild Bunch, and the Tony Curtis part in The Defiant Ones.

8. Later in his career, he became the King of the mini-series as he starred in not one not two but three of the most popular mini-series ever….1983’s The Winds of War, 1985’s North and South and 1988’s War and Remembrance.

9. Robert Mitchum’s voice is considered to one of the most distinctive voices to ever be heard on movie screens. This very deep singing voice was recorded on numerous records over the years and has been heard in many of his movies.

10. Probably the best Robert Mitchum tribute site is The Ultimate Robert Mitchum Headquarters.  Every Mitchum fan should be checking out this website….as it is filled with many many awesome Mitchum links.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.

Check out Robert Mitchum’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

afi top 25 actorsAFI’s Top 25 Screen Legend Actors….with links to our movie pages on the Screen Legend

1.   Humphrey Bogart  58 Movies Ranked….from Casablanca (1942) to Swing Your Lady (1938)
2.   Cary Grant 58 Movies Ranked… from North by Northwest (1959) to Born To Be Bad (1934)
3.   James Stewart 73 Movies Ranked Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(1939) to Big Sleep(1978)
4.   Marlon Brando 37 Movies Ranked….from The Godfather (1972) to Christopher Columbus (1992)
5.   Fred Astaire 39 Movies Ranked The Towering Inferno (1974) to The Amazing Dobermans (1976)
6.   Henry Fonda 81 Movies Ranked… On Golden Pond (1981) to City on Fire (1979)
7.   Clark Gable 63 Movies Ranked….from Gone With The Wind (1939) to Parnell (1937)
8.   James Cagney 61 Movies Ranked….from Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) to Boy Meets Girl (1938)
9.   Spencer Tracy 53 Movies Ranked….from Boy’s Town (1938) to Up the River (1930)
10. Charles Chaplin 12 Movies Ranked….from The Kid (1921) to A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
11. Gary Cooper 67 Movies Ranked….from Sergeant York (1941) to Fighting Caravans (1931)
12. Gregory Peck 53 Movies Ranked To Kill a Mockingbird(1962) to Amazing Grace & Chuck(1987)
13. John Wayne 83 Movies Ranked….from True Grit (1969) to Brannigan (1975)
14. Laurence Olivier 48 Movies Ranked….from Rebecca (1940) to Inchon (1982)
15. Gene Kelly 40 Movies Ranked….from Anchors Aweigh (1945) to Viva Knievel! (1977)
16. Orson Welles 75 Movies Ranked….from Citizen Kane (1941) to Treasure Island (1972)
17. Kirk Douglas 71 Movies Ranked….from Spartacus (1960) to Diamonds (1999)
18. James Dean 3 Movies Ranked….from East of Eden (1955) to Giant (1956)
19. Burt Lancaster 67 Movies Ranked From Here to Eternity (1953) to Executive Action (1973)
20. Marx Brothers 18 Movies Ranked….from Horse Feathers (1932) to The Story of Mankind (1957)
21. Buster Keaton 28 Movies Ranked….from The Cameraman (1928) to The Intruder (1936)
22. Sidney Poitier 46 Movies Ranked….from In the Heat of the Night (1967) to Fast Forward (1985)
23. Robert Mitchum 83 Movies Ranked….from The Longest Day (1962) to Matilda (1978)
24. Edward G. Robinson 67 Movies Ranked 10 Commandments(1956) to BiggestBundleofAll(1968)
25. William Holden 66 Movies Ranked….from The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) to Ashanti (1979)

 

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92 thoughts on “Robert Mitchum Movies

  1. That AFI list is preposterous. What mean Henry Fonda and the Mark Bros and James Dean in the movies?. And they appeared before John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum !!
    Let’s be serious.

    1. Hey Al….the AFI list is fun but has many many flaws….the worst part is they never really explained their reasoning for the inclusion and exclusion of the stars. Glad our Mitchum page brought you to our website.

  2. HI BRUCE

    1 I think that it just goes to show that the PR boys know their stuff when it comes to giving a movie alternative titles in different countries. GI Joe obviously appeals to Americans like yourself whereas I always preferred War Correspondent.

    2 Indeed War Correspondent seems to me to be more appropriate in a way because although current posters give Mitch top billing he was not the star of the movie way back in 1945 -no arguments please Lupino! – and the lead actor was Burgess Meredith who played Ernie Pyle the war correspondent through whose eyes the story is told.

    3 However you and I will not get into a Lonesome Pine prolonged argument about the matter and the film is credited with making Big Bob a star and is as far as I am aware the only film for which he ever got a [supporting] Oscar nomination, though he did get a BAFTA winner’s award for best foreign actor forHeaven Knows Mr Allison. .

    1. Hey Bob….you are probably right about them knowing their stuff. You are correct…GI Joe is the only movie for which that Bob got an Oscar nomination…heck they did not even give him a Honorary Oscar.

      1. Personally, I have never understood why “The Story Of G.I. Joe” was Robert Mitchum’s only Oscar nomination. There were plenty of movies for he should of been nominated for the award. First of all, Mr. Mitchum should of been nominated for Best Actor in 1947 for his role in “Out Of The Past”. Furthermore, I think he should of been nominated for an Oscar in both 1960 and 1962. In 1960, he gave great performances in such films as “The Sundowners”, “The Grass Is Greener” and the vastly underrated “Home From The Hill” while in 1962 he was downright brilliant in such films as “Two For The Seesaw”, “The Longest Day” and “Cape Fear”. His performances in any one of those six films was worthy of an Oscar nomination in my opinion. In 1957, he certainly deserved to get an Oscar nomination for his performance in “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison”. Hell, in 1955, I think he actually should have WON THE OSCAR for his performance in “Night Of The Hunter”. Yeah, the movie was a total bust at the box office but it’s still a great movie and his performance in it was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. The fact that Robert Mitchum never won an Oscar is one of the true travesties in all of Hollywood’s history. Period. End Of Story.

        1. I certainly agree Robert Mitchum was much underrated by critics and the Academy, though he eventually became regarded as one of the greats, as evidenced for instance by the fact that he made the AFI’s top 25 Hollywood male legends. And as mentioned in my post below, his popularity held out for longer than most of his contemporaries even though he never made the Quigley Poll’s top 10 movie stars.

          I also agree that several of his performances, particularly those in Out of the Past and Night of the Hunter, were worthy of Best Actor nominations, but the Academy tends to focus their nominations on films that were hits at the box office, albeit this is not invariably the case and this seems to be changing in recent years. Also, Mitchum’s style of acting was usually naturalistic and understated, as opposed to the heavily dramatic acting that tends to be recognized by the Academy.

          In any case, I’ve always thought people place way too much importance on Oscar recognition. After all, in addition to missing out on great performances (as per your post on the UMR Best Actresses page), there are many films now considered great which were relatively ignored by the Academy. To name a few: The Big Sleep, The Third Man, Vertigo, Ace in the Hole, Sweet Smell of Success, The Searchers, Touch of Evil, Limelight, Paths of Glory, The Manchurian Candidate, My Darling Clementine, The Great Escape, The Killing, Gilda, The Day the Earth Stood Still. And there are of course many films which were recognized and with hindsight proved to be not quite as great as initially thought. However, this is understandable. Some of the best art is not always evident when you first see it, as its quality falls outside the norms and standards of the day, and it is often with time that it becomes appreciated – the same goes for many movies and acting performances in my view.

          By the way, a few other great Mitchum performances you did not mention: Pursued, The Big Steal, El Dorado and Ryan’s Daughter.

          1. Hey Phil….right there with in regards to El Dorado and Ryan’s Daughter. Ryan’s Daughter is why I want to Ireland. Granted I heard where they filmed that movie is now filled with lots of people now…it looked so awesome with only a few people living there.

            Great thoughts on Mitchum and Greg’s Best Actress comment. A very knowledgeable and entertains comment. I agree with you about how time can change a movie labeled a disappointment and turn it into a classic….most recently Shawshank Redemption would be a great example. Good stuff.

        2. Hey Greg
          1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Robert Mitchum.
          2. I agree it is a shame that he only got one nomination. Especially with so many great performances in his career.
          3. Let’s see what Danny Peary thinks…..he never picked him to win an Alternate Oscar…but felt he should have been nominated for Out of the Past (like you), The Night of the Hunter (like you), The Friends of Eddie Cayley and Farewell My Lovely.
          4. I like him in Night of the Hunter, but the final 30 minutes gets a little too silly for me…especially with the rest of the movie being so dark and so good.
          5. I loved Mitchum in The Sundowners….it along with Out of the Past, Ryan’s Daughter and El Dorado are my favorite Mitchum movies.
          Good feedback,

  3. Good to see all these comments commemorating Robert Mitchum! Interestingly, during his living years, while he was always popular, Mitchum was not quite the box office attraction some of his contemporary legendary actors were, such as Gregory Peck, William Holden, Kirk Douglas or Burt Lancaster. Several of the films he is now most remembered for were either relative flops (Night of the Hunter, Angel Face) or only moderate hits (Out of the Past, Cape Fear). And he often took second billing to stars such as Peck, Holden, Douglas, Dean Martin, and even the 1968 Yul Brynner in Villa Rides. But Mitchum, with his easy-going and understated style, proved to be more durable than most of his contemporaries, finding good starring roles from the late 1940s all the way through to the end of the 1970s, and then finding new popularity in the 1980s with his TV mini-series, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Mitchum did all kinds of films, but I think he is best acknowledged as one of the biggest stars of film noir. So many classics and wonderful performances, it’s hard to say which was the best, but I think my favorite Mitchum performance was in Out of the Past.

    1. Hey Phil….Mitchum’s 100th birthday put him back in the news for sure. I was seeing lots of internet stories on him….which I loved seeing. I agree his box office record is not too impressive. You are right many of his classic great movies were turkeys at the box office. The Night of the Hunter is a great example….it performed so poorly that it ended all ideas Charles Laughton had as a director. Laughton wanted to make more movies….but the poor box office crushed all those thoughts.

      To me….Mitchum was always an above the title star….Cape Fear is not a Gregory Peck movie….it is a Peck/Mitchum movie. The same way with his movies with Wayne Holden, Douglas, and Martin. For years I have stayed away from television movies…so I have never seen his mini-series like he Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Maybe one day I will.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Robert Mitchum.

    1. If he would have followed Kirk Douglas’ example…he would still be around today. Heck Kirk will soon be 101. But I agree he was one of a kind and is missed.

    1. G I Joe was called War Correspondent over here in Norther Ireland and it was the first Mitchum film I ever saw and I was just about 11 years old at the time

      1. Hey Bob….good information on your movie watching youth and the movie title your way…gotta admit….not too impressed with War Correspondent….I think the Story of G.I. Joe is much better.

    2. Hey Zelda…. G.I.Joe almost top our rankings….but 2nd of 82 movies is pretty darn good. It was Mitchum’s only Oscar nomination. I could never figure that out…seems the Oscar people missed that boat.

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