Robert Mitchum (1917-1997)
- James Warren, Wanderer of the Wasteland, 1945. RKO’s Zane Grey hero was off in the US Army and 6ft 4in Warren took over the series, freeing Mitchum for better fare after his GI service. Mitchum claimed to be a Black Foot indian - “My father was Indian on both sides.”Lawrence Tierney, Dillinger, 1945. RKO refused an offer from The King Brothers, deeming the gangster role too unsavory- for Mitchum?!
- Lawrence Tierney, Dillinger, 1945. Now RKO refused an offer from The King Brothers, deeming the gangster role too unsavory - for Mitchum?! He saw acting as “getting all painted up and making faces … I was a journeyman actor - never bitten by the star bug.”
- Michael O’Shea, It’s A Pleasure, 1945. Tiring of “supporting horses - or vice-versa” in Western cheapies, Mitchum tested for Sonja Henie’s lover. Too tall!
- Howard DaSilva, They Live By Night, 1948. Keen to work with director Nicholas Ray, Mitchum even dyed his hair black when testing for the Indian bankrobber Chicamaw. Once more the Front Office stepped in - not a big enough role for “our horse-shit salesman.”
- Joel McCrea, Colorado Territory, 1948. For the Western re-make of his 1941 Bogart classic, High Sierra, Raoul Walsh wanted Mitchum and was given McCrea.Not quite the fairest of exchanges. And no room for Pard, the dog.
- Orson Welles, The Third Man, 1948. Producer David O Selznick was a parody of his former Gone With The Wind glory, full of of fatuous notions like Coward as the titular Harry Lime. DOS then switched to Mitchum. Too late! He was he was in jail for marijuana possession (making him a mythic Hollywood hero!). Welles was box-office poison, insisted DOS. Not that Welles was keen, until needing funds to finish - or start - his Othello. (The usual problem with his projects).
- Robert Preston, Tulsa, 1948. Mitchum and Dana Andrews up for the same role, that’s like juggling Franchot Tone or Olivier for Hamlet! However, producer Walter Wanger had to locate someone fitting his pocket.
- Spencer Tracy, Malaya, 1949. Or Operation Malaya when Mitchum was due to be jailbird Carny Carnahan -at RKO opposite Merle Oberon. Clark Gable visited his pal on the set. “This time,” said Tracy, “I get the girl.” Just becauseI’m not in it.” laughed Gable.
- Gary Cooper, Dallas, 1949. A fine old-fashioned Western with a fine old-fashioned star - and Coop seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. Well, he had beaten Mitchum and Errol Flynn to renegade-turned marshal Reb Hollister.
- Victor Mature, The Las Vegas Story, 1950. Laura scenarist Jay Dratler’s original script (not many of them to the pound) went from Burt Lancaster at Warner in 1948 to Mitchum (or Robert Ryan) at RKO in January 1950, before Mature arrived from Fox with his one RKO movie a year deal in November.
- Dewey Martin, The Big Sky, 1951. The Silver Fox, Howard Hawks, paid $30,000for the rights to AB Guthrie Jr’s Western saga - and considered Mitchum (or Charlton Heston) and Marlon Brando for “the love story” of Boone and Jim. Brando was too expensive at $125,00 (exactly the salary ofDouglas a year later) and The Silver Fox slid downwards into Douglas and Dewey Martin.
- Charlton Heston, The Greatest Show on Earth, 1951. Three years before CB De Mille made his old dream of a circus film (and inspired a six-year-old Phoenix kid named Spielberg to make movies), the Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick planned risking $6m on a big top number named after the slogan of the Ringling Bros circus. The DOS line-up would have featured Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones, Louis Jourdan, Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Shirley Temple and Alida Valli. Obviously the DeMille epic had a different script, but it’s safe to surmise that the characters would have been much the same… trapeze stars, lion-tamer, elephant girl, circus boss.
- Robert Newton, Blackbeard, The Pirate, 1951. What a genial jdea - Mitchum as a pirate! Now that would have been worth seeing. That was Plan A: Robert Stevenson helming Mitchum, Victor Mature, Faith Domerge, and Jack Buetel. Plan B became Raoul Walsh in charge (some of the time) of an outlandishly hammy Newton opposite Linda Darnell, William Bendix and Keith Andes. Sixteen years later, Stevenson got a second chance - guiding Peter Ustinov as Blackbeard's Ghost at Disney.
- Burt Lancaster, From Here To Eternity, 1952.
- Rory Calhoun, Way Of A Gaucho, 1952. Everyone knew the role was almost hand-made for Mitchum, but for unexplained reasons, Hollywood’sresident realisateur Jacques Tourneur dropped the star of his Out Of The Past, 1947, in favour of the flyweight Calhoun.
- Trevor Howard, Outcast of the Islands, 1953. Very high on the British offer as Joseph Conrad ranked among his favourite writers. Mitchum got higher the same night - August 31 1948. Said the drugs-bust cops: “Occupation?” Said Bob: “Former actor.” Mitchum and Howard later co-starred – beautifully - for David Lean in Ryan’s Daughter, 1969
- Victor Mature, The Robe, 1953. Director Mervyn Le Roy suggested Mitchum for the second lead in 1944. And he tested as Demetrius - in Roman costumes. That must have been quite a sight... Once the epic began nine years later, Bob was tied up in... Girl Rush with Carney & Brown, RKO’s wannabe Abbott& Costello.
- Gilbert Roland, The French Line, 1953. The top male star ofRKO’stycoon Howard Hughes balked at a third teaming with histop female, Jane Russell. Louella Parsons called them “the hottest combination that ever hit the screen.” But Mitchum knew how theHugheshype would flow.Not Bob’sway. And it didn’t:“Jane Russell in3-D! It’ll knock both your eyes out!” It ?
- Dick Powell, Susan Slept Here, 1953. Mitchum, Dan Dailey, Cary Grant, were in the frame until Hollywood scripter Mark Christopher became Powell’s 58th and final movie role before TV producing and film directing. Mitchum preferred suspension to this song ’n’ dance froth. Within the next five years, Powell directed him twice: The Enemy Below, The Hunters, 1957-1958. Both men also played Philip Marlowe. Debbie Reynolds was Susan and the US Catholic Legion of Decency (!) was aghast at the title… but not by George Washington Slept Here in 1942.
- Ronald Reagan, Cattle Queen of Montana, 1954. Still feuding with Howard Hughes, Bob went on suspension rather than be second banana to Barbara Stanwyck - back to being a poet and saxophonist (famous, in his family for his jazz version of Silent Night at every family Xmas).
- Sterling Hayden, Johnny Guitar, 1954. Despite the kudos of the first Mitchum-Nick Ray endeavour, TheLusty Men, 1952, RKO refused to loan Bob to Ray - at Republic.
- .Alan Ladd, Saskatchewan, 1954. Mitchum had two offerss with Alberta locations. He took the A script, River Of No Return,opposite “the dumbest girl in the world,” ex-wife of a co-worker when Bob toiled at the Lockheed Aircraft factory in Burbank.Marilyn Monroe.
- Tyrone Power, Untamed, 1955. Free at last, free at last!...! Back on the RKO payroll, for a mere $5,000 a week, Bob was finally loaned out. His leading lady was delayed - no way he could complete shooting before the end of his RKO contract. He quit. And the second unit body-double never matched Power. Mitchum was finally free to choose: Night of the Hunter, Heaven Knows Mr Allison. Yes, but also Bandido, Matilda and... as God in Les Sept peches capitaux/The Seven Deadly Sins, 1992! Power, too, was free - playing Boer leader Paul Von Riebeck in this African adventure was the final gig of his 18-year Fox contract.
- Rock Hudson, Giant, 1955.
- James Dean, Giant, 1955.
- John Wayne, Blood Alley, 1955.
Mitchum was fired by William Wellman, director of his first big hit, The Story of GI Joe, 1945. “He’s my favourite actor,” said Wild Bill. “He was on dope, always walking about six inches off the ground. He punched one of the drivers, knocked him into the bay, goddam nearly killed him. So I fired him…!” Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and Gregory Peck were unavailable, Kirk Douglas was working. Burt Lancaster was “no dice” and Fred MacMurray “not big enough.” And so producer John Wayne sang the old song. “Aw, shucks, suppose I’ll have to do it, although I don’t don’t feel up to it.” Mitchum said only Louella Parsons told the true story. “And they killed her column. The transportation boss weighed 300 lbs. I was supposed to have picked him up and thrown him in the bay. No way.” The truth? “I think Duke Wayne was renegotiating his Warners contract... They agreed, provided he did one more film on his old contract. ‘Wal, we got that picture up at San Raphael.’ Duke [on his honeymoon] said: ‘No, Mitchum’s doing that.’ ‘Was!’ That was the end of that.” Exit Mitchum from Wayne’s Batjac production. He was soon in another (better) movie, Man With The Gun, and within three months, had formed his own DRM company. No one was going to fire him again - in fact Mitchum fired Audie Murphy and replaced him in Thunder Road, 1958.
Randolph Scott, Seven Men From Now, 1955. Actor Paul Fix brought Burt Kennedy’s script to Batjac, better than anything Wayne had read since The Searchers - which he’d just finished, so too early for another vengeful Western. When Gary Cooper, Joel McCrea and Robert Preston passed, Mitchum tried to buy the project.. Finally, as producer, Duke rescued Scott’s fading career with this first of five Westerns (programmers, really) with director Budd Boetticher - all written by Kennedy for Wayne… who eventually let Kennedy direct him in The War Wagon, 1966, and The Train Robbers, 1972.
Marlon Brando, Guys and Dolls, 1955. Producer Sam Goldwyn lost Gene Kelly and ran through every available top actor for Sky Masterson. Brando was worried about singing and being overshadowed by the Nathan Detroit role.“Fear him not, Antony,” cabled director Joseph Mankiewicz, “Let thy name be pricked with mine and let us kill the people. Love, Joe.”
- Jack Lemmon, You Can’t Run Away From It, 1955. For his third gig as director, ex-song-and-dance man Dick Powell chose a musical version of It Happened One Night. Couples suggested for the 1945 Clark Gable-Claudette Colbert roles, were Van Johnson-June Allyson (Mrs Powell), Mitchum-Constance Towers and, ultimately, Jack Lemmon-Allyson (still sleeping with the director!). (Mitchum and Lemmon co-starred in Fire Down Below the following year). This was a prophetic title as Powell’s previous assignment, The Conqueror, 1955, led to terminal cancer for 90 of the 220 cast and crew (including John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Powell, himself) - after shooting at an obviously still radiaoctive 1953 atomic bomb test site in Yucca Flat, Nevada.
- Humphey Bogart, The Harder They Fall, 1955. Before director Mark Robson got his hands on Budd Schulberg’s novel, RKO chief Dore Schary had the rights and aimed the boxing expose at Joseph Cotten - and Robert Mitchum in what sadly became Bogie’s 85th and final role.
- Robert Stack, Great Day in the Morning, 1955. After Richard Burton passed on his first (and only) Western offer, producer Edmund Grainger, aimed for Mitchum or (the 25-years older!) William Powell. Stack was two years younger than Mitchum.
- Victor Mature, The Long Haul, 1956. Mitchum and Marlon Brando passed, so this became the fourth of six films Mature made for Warwick, co-run in London by a certain Cubby Broccoli. He’d made a habit of wooing Hollywood talent to prop up his exotic adventures and thrillers: Anita Ekberg, Rhonda Fleming (no kin to Ian), Rita Hayworth, Alan Ladd, Jack Lemmon, Ray Milland, Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark. Cubby got Mitchum later that year for Fire Down Below.
- Alan Ladd, Boy On A Dolphin, 1957. Cary Grant quit when his wife, Betsy Drake, was among the survivors of the SS Andrea Doria sinking, off Nantucket on July 25, 1956. Brando, Gable refused to party. Bob held out for John Huston’s far better Heaven Knows Mr Allison.Two years later, he substituted Ladd in The Angry Hills.
- Kirk Douglas, Gunfight at the OK Corral, 1957. Refusing Doc Holliday was one of his few (admitted) regrets. John Sturges always saw Humphrey Bogartas Doc - both legends were dying. Sturges then moved on to Mitchum or Widmark. Bob could have beaten them all. On his own. Between drinks.
- Aldo Ray, The Naked and the Dead, 1957. In 1949, Burt Lancaster’s Norma Productions bought the 1948 book by WWII vet Norman Mailer (aged 25). Then, feeling an anti-war film wouldn’t work in 1950, Lancaster let it go. By 1954, producer Paul Gregory planned a $3m version with Charles Laughton directing Mitchum as hard-assed Sergeant Croft - a great idea ruined by the financial flop of their now classic Night of the Hunter. Director Raoul Walsh botched up the pasteurised ’75 version while Laughton, alas, never helmed a second film. He had been chasing Mitchum at the same time as George Stevens for Bick or Jett in Giant, 1955. Aldo was another potential Jet Rink.
- Rock Hudson, Battle Hymn, 1957. “I cannot possibly allow a man who has been jailed for taking drugs to play me,” fumed the film’s subject, ColonelDean E Hess, a cleric who killed many Koreans in that war as a fighter pilot. Apparently, no one let on that Hudson was gay.
- Paul Newman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1957. Mitchum passed Brick to Newman after some ridiculous MGM thoughts about poor Montgomery Clift for the ex-football player husband of a sexually frustrated Elizbaeth Taylor.
- Tony Curtis, The Defiant Ones, 1958. “Just isn’t true. I was on a chain gang in Georgia. I know what it's like - black and white are never chained together.” Hollywood insiders said Kirk Douglas wanted to drop the black guy, Mitchum wanted two whites and Marlon Brando wanted to play the black.
- Dean Martin, Rio Bravo, 1958.
- Ricky Nelson, Rio Bravo, 1958.
- Stewart Granger, North To Alaska, 1960. Big John Wayne sent it to Mitchum in 1959 asThe Alaskans.
- Kirk Douglas, Town Without Pity, 1960. Another star running his own company changed his mind at the last minute.
- Clark Gable, The Misfits, 1960.
Bob’s favourite director John Huston only ever wanted Mitchum to portray Arthur Miller’s burnt-out cowboy Gay Langland opposite the lady the script was all about - Marilyn Monroe. “Tell him I died” said Mitchum, insisting Huston had almost killed him on Heaven Knows Mr Allison, 1957. “His air of casualness, or rather his lack of pomposity is put down as a lack of seriousness,” said Huston. “When I say he’s a very fine actor, I mean of the calibre of Olivier, Burton and Brando - the very best in the field. He’s capable of playing King Lear.” As mentioned earlier, Marilyn was the ex-wife of a co-worker of Mitchum when he worked at the Lockheed Aircraft factory in Burbank.
- Frank Sinatra, 4 For Texas, 1963. Talked of (so was Jimmy Stewart)as Dean Martin’s partnerbefore Sinatra strolled in and took itall over.
- Lee Marvin, Cat Ballou, 1965. If Marvin won an Oscar for the dual role of the town drunk and the gunfighter with a tin nose, surely Mitchum would have finally won,as well.
- Marlon Brando, Reflections In A Golden Eye, 1967. Despite their mutual admiration society, Mitchum was not free to take up Huston’s latest offer... while discussions with Brando were still going on about being the Army officer fighting his gay tendencies.
- Rod Steiger, In The Heat of the Night, 1967. Another miffed Oscar chance. “Just isn't true. First shot is of a saloon in Mississippi.Don't have saloons in Mississippi.”
- Richard Widmark, The Way West, 1967. “They were right to swap roles,” thought director Andrew V McLaglen.
- William Holden, The Wild Bunch, 1968.
- John Wayne, True Grit, 1968. Determined to restore his fame after the Green Berets debacle, John Wayne loved old Rooster Cogburn - if not his eye-patch. Producer Hal Wallis said he’d make the film with or without him. And talked to Mitchum and Walter Matthau. Excellent choices. But on On April 7, 1970, Duke won his one and only Oscar. Until reading the script, Mitchum was also up for the terrible 1974 sequel, Rooster Cogburn. (More like The African Queen on terra firma).
- George C Scott, Patton, 1968.
- Jack Elam, Rio Lobo, 1969. “Why bother?” John Wayne told Howard Hawks. “I’ve already made the movie twice.” Mitchum probably added: “And I already was The Drunk last time.” Now he was offered The Old Galoot - a smidgen early at 52. Then Wayne asked Hawks: “Wal, am I The Drunk, this time?” Of course not! Elam stole the show (which included Chris Mitchum). Although Roger Ebert was most kind - “Wayne movies are rituals, and so it is fitting that they resemble each other” - the second Rio Bravo re-hash was all shagged out. Hawks blamed Duke for being too old at 63. Hrmph! Hawks was 73. He never made another movie. Wayne managed eight more.
- Bill Williams, Rio Lobo, 1970. Having been stuck on Ryan’s Daughter for ten months (four months longer than his USArmy service), Bob was retiring - unless he got $1m.. “Hell,” said Wayne, recycling Rio Bravo a third time, “he’s been retiring since the first day I met him.”
- Clint Eastwood, Two Mules For Sister Sara, 1970. Director Budd Boetticher wrote it- for Mitchum and Luis Buñuel’s Mexican find, Silvia Pinal. Or, Deborah Kerr... in memory of their finest hour: Heaven Knows, Mr Allison, 1956. The script got sold to producer Martin Rackin (who had the effrontery to re-make Stagecoach in 1966) and, said Boetticher, “they messed it up.”
- Jack Palance, Monte Walsh, 1970. Howard Hawks was asked to film the Jack Schaeferend-of-the-Wild-West-era novelin 1969. Sure,if John Waynewould be the old cowpoke - and if they could secure a good partner for him, something they’d failed at for Hatari! Someone like Mitchum or William Holden. They could not.
- Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry, 1971.
- Gene Hackman, The French Connection, 1971. “Me, a drug-busting cop!!!” Other suggestions for the NYPD cop ‘Popeye’ Doyle were: writer Jimmy Breslin, Charles Bronson, Jackie Geason, Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, Paul Newman, Rod Taylor… and, cheapest of all, the Fox Batman, Adam West, Holy moley!!!!
- James Coburn, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, 1972.
- Elliott Gould,The Long Goodbye, 1973. Iconic director Howard Hawks quit the updating of Philip Marlowe. Peter Bogdanovich preferred Lee Marvin. Failing to entice Steve McQueen, director Robert Altman made it with Gould - agreeing with the choice of the third helmer Brian Hutton. For the same producers, Mitchum Marlowed in the excellent Farewell, My Lovely, 1975, and a poor, London-set Big Sleep, 1978.
- Peter Boyle, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, 1973. First chosen as the hit-man “which,” admitted producer Paul Monash, “shows you what foresight and cunning we had.” (Not really, Bob was interested only in a role to occupy three weeks). “He doesn't play Eddie, a small-time loser at the end of his rope, as a groveling,uncourageous man. He imparts a quiet dignity... a genuine presence.”And he enjoyed it, telling the UK director Peter Yates: “Hot damn, dad, it's great to get up during' the day .I get to see some ladies with clothes on for a change.”
- Robert Shaw, Jaws, 1974.
- Peter O'Toole, Rosebud, 1975.
Fired - again! - after three weeks' production. “That incident was all very sad,” agreed Bob. “I regretted it later, as I'm sure Otto [Preminger] did.I only agreed to do the picture because of him.I was one of the few who understood him. One day, the script had me looking beat-up and disheveled, so I arrived on the set unshaven.‘You are drunk,’roared Otto. How could I possibly be drunk at 5.30am? Ipointed to the instructionson the script, but he wouldn'tlisten.‘You are drunk and youare through!’ he shouted. So I turned and yelled: ‘Taxi!’ And that was that. Jumped in my car and fled. Preminger yelled after me: ‘I didn't fire you - you quit’.” As for his replacement - “that’s like replacing Ray Charles with Helen Keller.”
John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn, 1974. The idea was fair - a sequel to True Grit. But if Wayne proved too ill, what would be the point of someone else in his titular Oscar-winning rôle? Marlon Brando topped producer Hal Wallis’ eye-patch list of Charles Bronson, Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, George C Scott and some of Duke’sco-stars: Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn. This was director Stuart Miller’s second feature. The “6ft 6ins somafabitch no-talent, ” as Duke termed him, never made a third.
William Holden, Network, 1976. Faye Dunaway, en route for her Oscar, campaigned for Bob but Sidney Lumet was deaf to her pleas. Rather strangely considering the respect Mitchum had from most other directors.
- Roy Scheider, Sorcerer, 1976. After losing McQueen due to his self-confessed arrogance, director William Friedkin tried Mitchum. He liked the script. But… “Why would I want to go to Ecuador for two or three months to fall out of a truck? I can do that outside my house.” Vintage Mitchum, said Billy, who had no answer.
- Henry Fonda, Midway, 1976.
- Glenn Ford, Midway, 1976.
"The producer called me. Would I play Admiral Nimitz? I said: How long? ‘Ten weeks, five weeks in an aircraft carrier.’ Well, I’d just come back from Vietnam and three days in a carrier on the South China seas - not the most pleasant experience. I told him: I can’t manage that.” He called back: ‘Would you play Admiral Spruance?’ How long? “Five weeks, five days on an aircraft carrier in Pensicola, Florida.’ I thought, supposing by some miracle we had an early summer in California and I’d be stuck in Florida. I told him: I can’t hack that. Couple days later, he asks if I'd play Admiral Halsey. How long? ‘One day - in bed.’ You got it!”
- Richard Harris, The Wild Geese, 1978. When Michael Winner was due to helm producer Euan Lloyd's gaggle of Richard Burton, Richard Widmark and Roger Moore.
- Burt Lancaster, Atlantic City, 1980. Paris auteur Louis Malle shortlisted Henry Fonda, James Mason, Laurence Olivier but the dreamwas to work with Mitchum, “one of the great American actors.” Perfect! Theymet to discuss the old gangster role and Malle could see Bob had had a face-lift, making himtoo young for the aging numbers runner (“a cellmate of Bugsy Siegel”). Pity! He couldhave finally got hisOscar. But at 63, he told Malle: “I’m only playing 45 now.”
- Richard Harris, Tarzan The Ape Man, 1980. No, when Bo Derek asked himto be her father in the heat of the Seychelles. Yes, when she was Woman of Desire in the heat of South Africa, 1993. “It looked,” scoffed Bob, “like a carpet commercial.”But heneeded the money, trying to make up for some misappropriatedmillions.
- Jack Nicholson, The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1980. A truly perfecto idea... in 1972.
- Kirk Douglas, The Man From Snowy River, 1981. Their rivalry entered a fourth decade as Kirk beat Burt Lancaster to the roles of the twins Harrison and Spur - rich rancher and wizened old miner - in the down-under Western based on an epic poem by Australia’s famous bush balladeer, Banjo Patterson. Mitchum had earlier been considered… as if Aussie actors were incapable.
- Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, 1981.
When he started trying to option Philip K Dick’s book in 1975, the first scenarist Hampton Fancher said he wrote Deckard for Mitchum. Made sense. Despite the age factor. “Mitchum still looked 50. A tough 50. Mitchum could wrestle with the best of them.” By 1979, though, Fancher saw Deckard as less of a hardboiled shamus than Dick’s bland bureaucrat. UK wiz Ridley Scott spent a long time sniffing out the perfect Deckard. From top notchers Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman (keen… but on making it a totally different character, of course), Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino… to such excellent journeymen as William Devane, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, Frederic Forrest, Scott Glenn, Cliff Gorman, Tommy Lee Jones, Raoiul Julia, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken. Then, in sheer desperation, choices lowered to Cliff Gorman, Judd Hirsch. Even the Virginian Morgan Paull stood a chance, having played Deckard in Scott’s tests of potential Rachaels. (He was given Holden for his pains). Plus Arnold Schwarzenegger, not yet seen as Conan, much less Terminator. And for probably the last time in such an illustrious list, the fading star of Burt Reynolds.
- Brian Dennehy, First Blood, (aka Rambo), 1982.
- Elizabeth Taylor, The Ambassador, 1984. Now is that a switch or is that a switch? (At Cannon Films, anything used to be possible!).
- Robert Stack, Falcon Crest, TV, 1987. Producer Aaron Spelling’s dream wish for the Mafia-esquehood, Roland Saunders - for a brief encounter, five episodes, romancing the lead harridan Jane Wyman... while trying to kill Kim Novak as a character with her once Columbia-suggested screen name: Kit Marlowe.
- Don Johnson, The Hot Spot, 1989.
Robert Mitchum was the matrix for drifter Harry Madox - and first choice in 1962. Nearly 30 years later, it was to be Mickey Rourke and Debra Winger. Or Gere, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Dennis Quaid, Tom Selleck, Sam Shepard, Patrick Swayze opposite Anne Archer, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Theresa Russell, Uma Thurman and ultimately, Virginia Madsen. Just ot necessarily for this movie Replacing UK director Mike Figgis, Dennis Hopper totally changed the entire gig! In a 2014 AV Club interview, Johnson explained how three days before shooting began Dennis “called a meeting. ‘OK, we’re not making that script. We’re making this one.’And he passed a script around the table that had been written for Robert Mitchum in the ’60s... based on a book called Hell Hath No Fury… Wow! The Figgis script was really slick and cool, and it was a heist movie. But this was real noir. The guy was an amoral drifter, and it was all about how women were going to take him down… And that was the movie that we ended up making.” Hopper’s Last Tango In Texas was hailed by critic Roger Ebert as “a superior work in an old tradition.” He wuz right!
- Max von Sydow, Until The End of the World, 1991. Heavy were the rumours that he would be William Hurt’s father in the globe-trotting movie.“You’regoing to work with Wim Wenders in Australia,” began one 1989 Deauville festival question. “Am I?” said Mitchum. Wisely, he wasn’t and didn’t.
- Richard Harris, The Field, 1991. Before it landed with Irish fillum-maker Jim Sheridan, Ronan O’Leary tried to set it up by phoning Bob and expressing him a script.“You need someone older,” said Mitchum in a letter that tended to put the director off, just a tad. It began: “Dear Miss O'Leary.”