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I wish they could dig up the other Cavett interview with Mitchum. This was done in Spring of 1972 when Mitch was promoting "The Wrath of God." I recall him getting a big laugh from the audience when he says that his arrest was on charges of "conspiracy to possess" and not even for possession.

So, they needed 5 people to decide that Mitchum was going to score some weed?

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  • 5 years later...

Maam, you seem like a nice person and I don't claim to suggest that you were I'll informed, but you have been. I'm just about 65 years of age,  when I was a youth, Robert Mitchum was one of my favorite actors, I even use to try and imitate his personality, but when I heard from Media sources that he was a racist, I had to find out if this was true. Like you, I had a hard time believing this, until I watched a video that did speaking about fast running black track and field runners in whom he said out of his mouth, "those **** are fast and sure can run. At the time he made that statement, it was in the 1980's I believe. Now I'm not presenting myself with a stand of racial bias, because I am an African American and a former pro athlete, but a well known celebrity and actor making that kind of statement while he is well into his 60's, concerns me and I cannot, based on his words deny his position of bigotry. You make your own decision, but how would you feel if Denzel Washington was one of your favorite actors and did a video saying, those honkies sure are slow and can't dance. Think about it.

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On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2010 at 2:53 AM, ValentineXavier said:

> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> Much to my chagrin, Katharine Hepburn is #1 in the AFI's list of female screen legends. Ava Gardner is #25.

 

Ouch! I don't get that one either. But, as I have said before, Kate's charms are lost on me. Mostly, I find her annoying. Not sure who I would put at #1, but I would put Ava over Kate, any day. Come to think of it, I'd probably go with Liz as #1, maybe Sophia as #2, Marylin #3... Hey, this is fun, rating "screen legend" women!

 

I like Bogart a lot, but prefer Mitchum. Still, as a "screen legend," which is basically 'public opinion,' I'd have to put Bogie over Bob.

Have to disagree with you and misswonderly…..I think Kate more than deserves the number one spot on AFI's Female screen legends. Frankly I don't think Ava really belonged on the list at all.  Not saying she was a terrible actress, but hardly in the same league with Kate or Bette Davis (the only woman that I consider would rival Kate for the top spot).

Back to the topic at hand, I heard that the reason that Mitchum turned down THE DEFIANT ONES, as others have already stated, was because he did not find the story believable with a white convict and a black convict being chained together.  Never heard anything else that would indicate  Mitchum was a racist.

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1 hour ago, Michael Simmons said:

Maam, you seem like a nice person and I don't claim to suggest that you were I'll informed, but you have been. I'm just about 65 years of age,  when I was a youth, Robert Mitchum was one of my favorite actors, I even use to try and imitate his personality, but when I heard from Media sources that he was a racist, I had to find out if this was true. Like you, I had a hard time believing this, until I watched a video that did speaking about fast running black track and field runners in whom he said out of his mouth, "those **** are fast and sure can run. At the time he made that statement, it was in the 1980's I believe. Now I'm not presenting myself with a stand of racial bias, because I am an African American and a former pro athlete, but a well known celebrity and actor making that kind of statement while he is well into his 60's, concerns me and I cannot, based on his words deny his position of bigotry. You make your own decision, but how would you feel if Denzel Washington was one of your favorite actors and did a video saying, those honkies sure are slow and can't dance. Think about it.

It would really depend on the tone that Mitchum had said it. He could have said it with great admiration without it being racist. I have heard folks say so and so is an awesome (insert whatever swear word you wish) with the upmost respect toward them and their field. So I think it's unfair to label him a bigot without really knowing one way or another in what manner  he intended with that remark.

I don't think the Denzel Washington comparison is fair, because frankly, I think he could and would walk away from it unscathed (though I love Denzel and I doubt very much he would say the things you put in your example. He has never struck me as a racist, just as I never got that impression from Robert Mitchum either).

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Excellent topic & I could go on a lot about him here, but have in the past  MR. RKO

 

as nasty as he was as Max Cady, check out online a 1983 tv movie called A KILLER IN THE FAMILY a true story

& MTCHUM had a nickname for his boss at RKO THE PHANTOM, because he rarely saw the man

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21 hours ago, Michael Simmons said:

Maam, you seem like a nice person and I don't claim to suggest that you were I'll informed, but you have been. I'm just about 65 years of age,  when I was a youth, Robert Mitchum was one of my favorite actors, I even use to try and imitate his personality, but when I heard from Media sources that he was a racist, I had to find out if this was true. Like you, I had a hard time believing this, until I watched a video that did speaking about fast running black track and field runners in whom he said out of his mouth, "those **** are fast and sure can run. At the time he made that statement, it was in the 1980's I believe. Now I'm not presenting myself with a stand of racial bias, because I am an African American and a former pro athlete, but a well known celebrity and actor making that kind of statement while he is well into his 60's, concerns me and I cannot, based on his words deny his position of bigotry. You make your own decision, but how would you feel if Denzel Washington was one of your favorite actors and did a video saying, those honkies sure are slow and can't dance. Think about it.

Wow, this thread is 10 years old and now suddenly has become active again.  I guess, Michael Simmons, as a newbie poster, you're scrolling through all the existing threads here on these boards, many of them ancient but still extant, that catch your interest. I'm impressed that you're being so thorough !

I don't want to argue with you, on the contrary, I'd like for you, as a newbie poster, to feel welcome here. Also, since I am not a person of colour, I am careful / sensitive/ wary/ of expressing an opinion about something --ie, an actor's comments about another race -- that would not affect me.

However, I do believe that even as recently as the '80s, people still used the "n" word. Not that it was ever ok to do so, but there was less awareness of how profoundly offensive that word is back then than there is today.  Also, Mitchum as a teen spent some time in Georgia, where I'm guessing he heard that word a lot. And possibly got used to hearing it - and yes, probably using it. This doesn't make it ok, but I think back in , say, 1931,  Robert Mitchum would have been exposed to that kind of language a lot, and probably it was "normalized" for him.  (And no, I'm not saying it's "normal" or ok  to use that word.)

I also think that Mitch meant what he said in an admiring way. Your comparison of what if a black star today said "honkies are terrible dancers" is not an apt one, because that's a negative stereotype to make, whereas what Mitchum said about African Americans was said admiringly. I mean, it's a good thing to be able to run fast, but it's not really a good thing to be a poor dancer. 

Anyway, I still respect what you're saying. The very fact that this thread I started is 10 years old and I'm still bothering to respond to you I hope is evidence of my respect.

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5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Wow, this thread is 10 years old and now suddenly has become active again.  I guess, Michael Simmons, as a newbie poster, you're scrolling through all the existing threads here on these boards, many of them ancient but still extant, that catch your interest. I'm impressed that you're being so thorough !

I don't want to argue with you, on the contrary, I'd like for you, as a newbie poster, to feel welcome here. Also, since I am not a person of colour, I am careful / sensitive/ wary/ of expressing an opinion about something --ie, an actor's comments about another race -- that would not affect me.

However, I do believe that even as recently as the '80s, people still used the "n" word. Not that it was ever ok to do so, but there was less awareness of how profoundly offensive that word is back then than there is today.  Also, Mitchum as a teen spent some time in Georgia, where I'm guessing he heard that word a lot. And possibly got used to hearing it - and yes, probably using it. This doesn't make it ok, but I think back in , say, 1931 Robert Mitchum would have been exposed to that kind of language a lot, and probably it was "normalized" for him.  (And no, I'm not saying it's "normal" or ok  to use that word.)

I also think that Mitch meant what he said in an admiring way. Your comparison of what if a black star today said "honkies are terrible dancers" is not an apt one, because that's a negative stereotype to make, whereas what Mitchum said about African Americans was said admiringly. I mean, it's a good thing to be able to run fast, but it's not really a good thing to be a poor dancer. 

Anyway, I still respect what you're saying. The very fact that this thread I started is 10 years old and I'm still bothering to respond to you I hope is evidence of my respect.

Tony Curtis blurted this out to Robert 0sborne on a Pvt. Screenings once & why Mitchum turned down The Defiant 0nes-(yet another role Sinatra wanted)

 

^& though the casting seems bizarre, he also turned down Nolte's role in 48hrs

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I'm not surprised that a guy like Mitchum, born in 1917, might be somewhat racist. Most people were back

in that day. And it's hard to argue that using the n word, even in a "complimentary" way, is the sign of

a non-racist. I still wouldn't mind having a couple of blasts at the bowling alley with Bob....as long as

he's paying.

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/2/2010 at 10:04 PM, JefCostello said:

I've always been able to divorce my favorite stars from their political/personal views. That's why I continue to like people like Bardot, John Wayne, Walter Brennan and Robert Taylor. They were all racists, however, as film characters, that doesn't affect the movies for me.

 

In the words of Robert Mitchum from my favorite film of his, "Baby I Don't Care"

I disagree. Richard Widmark  made a film with Sidney Poitier in which Widmark played a racist. It bothered him so badly  that he literally apologized to Poitier and they became best friends  in real life. You can try  and separate  art, but you can't  separate who you are.

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2 hours ago, Moorman said:

I disagree. Richard Widmark  made a film with Sidney Poitier in which Widmark played a racist. It bothered him so badly  that he literally apologized to Poitier and they became best friends  in real life. You can try  and separate  art, but you can't  separate who you are.

NO WAY OUT (l950) (***-out of 4) Not to be confused of course with the well-made (***) ($35m.) KEVIN COSTNER, GENE HACKMAN version  of course

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12 hours ago, Moorman said:

I disagree. Richard Widmark  made a film with Sidney Poitier in which Widmark played a racist. It bothered him so badly  that he literally apologized to Poitier and they became best friends  in real life. You can try  and separate  art, but you can't  separate who you are.

I really don't know what you disagree with.       I also try-my-best to be able to NOT let an artist's (actor, director, musician, painter,  athlete ,, )  political or social views impact how I view them as an artist.

Note I say try-my-best:  I don't always succeed,  but then that is on me and my biases not the artist.      I don't see how Widmark has anything to do with the above POV.   (and yea, I know all about the making of No Way Out and that Widmark only played-a-racist).

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4 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I really don't know what you disagree with.       I also try-my-best to be able to NOT let an artist's (actor, director, musician, painter,  athlete ,, )  political or social views impact how I view them as an artist.

Note I say try-my-best:  I don't always succeed,  but then that is on me and my biases not the artist.      I don't see how Widmark has anything to do with the above POV.   (and yea, I know all about the making of No Way Out and that Widmark only played-a-racist).

I remember that story about them & NO WAY OUT   Recall the underrated BEDFORD INCIDENT?

excuse me but what is POV?

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22 minutes ago, spence said:

I remember that story about them & NO WAY OUT   Recall the underrated BEDFORD INCIDENT?

excuse me but what is POV?

POV is point-of-view.      I really didn't understand what that other poster was disagreeing with.     Now I assume it might be that they felt Widmark was being lumped in with known racist like Wayne,  Bardot and Brennan,  when there is no historical record of Widmark being a racist,  but instead the opposite.

But to me that wasn't what the post was about but instead if one is able to enjoy the work of an artist regardless of the values and behaviors of that artist 'off screen'.  

I do wish that when this topic is brought up that artist from all political POVs are mentioned;  E.g.    Fonda,   Baldwin,  Woody Allen, etc...    

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On 2/8/2020 at 1:43 PM, misswonderly3 said:

Wow, this thread is 10 years old and now suddenly has become active again.  I guess, Michael Simmons, as a newbie poster, you're scrolling through all the existing threads here on these boards, many of them ancient but still extant, that catch your interest. I'm impressed that you're being so thorough !

I don't want to argue with you, on the contrary, I'd like for you, as a newbie poster, to feel welcome here. Also, since I am not a person of colour, I am careful / sensitive/ wary/ of expressing an opinion about something --ie, an actor's comments about another race -- that would not affect me.

However, I do believe that even as recently as the '80s, people still used the "n" word. Not that it was ever ok to do so, but there was less awareness of how profoundly offensive that word is back then than there is today.  Also, Mitchum as a teen spent some time in Georgia, where I'm guessing he heard that word a lot. And possibly got used to hearing it - and yes, probably using it. This doesn't make it ok, but I think back in , say, 1931,  Robert Mitchum would have been exposed to that kind of language a lot, and probably it was "normalized" for him.  (And no, I'm not saying it's "normal" or ok  to use that word.)

I also think that Mitch meant what he said in an admiring way. Your comparison of what if a black star today said "honkies are terrible dancers" is not an apt one, because that's a negative stereotype to make, whereas what Mitchum said about African Americans was said admiringly. I mean, it's a good thing to be able to run fast, but it's not really a good thing to be a poor dancer. 

Anyway, I still respect what you're saying. The very fact that this thread I started is 10 years old and I'm still bothering to respond to you I hope is evidence of my respect.

TO MICHAEL, did you also catch CURTIS on a PVT. SCREENINGS blurting it out?   As I said on my SINATRA lost, one in about 6 movies FS waned to play DEFIANT ONES

On DICK CAVETT repeats online, MITCHUM can obviously see he wasn't crazy about DICK asking about him losing the legendary role of PATTON (l970) & even kinda mentions it to CAVETT, but not nasty  STEIGER was also in great talks for that role   It's hilarious MITCHUM constantly is drinking through a several pt interview with CAVETT there & when his glass kept getting empty you can see some guys hand constantly filling it back up, he didn't get really loaded though   Once on LETTERMAN  DAVID asked him about the semi known rumor of HE DUKE & HIM RUNNING up a $5,000 BAR BILL  & he wet actually blind at inception of WW2 due to loathing the job in a plant so much, obviously not permanently

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7 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

POV is point-of-view.      I really didn't understand what that other poster was disagreeing with.     Now I assume it might be that they felt Widmark was being lumped in with known racist like Wayne,  Bardot and Brennan,  when there is no historical record of Widmark being a racist,  but instead the opposite.

But to me that wasn't what the post was about but instead if one is able to enjoy the work of an artist regardless of the values and behaviors of that artist 'off screen'.  

I do wish that when this topic is brought that artist from all political POVs are mentioned;  E.g.    Fonda,   Baldwin,  Woody Allen, etc...    

thanx

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11 minutes ago, spence said:

On DICK CAVETT repeats online, MITCHUM can obviously see he wasn't crazy about DICK asking about him losing the legendary role of PATTON (l970) & even kinda mentions it to CAVETT, but not nasty  STEIGER was also in great talks for that role   It's hilarious MITCHUM constantly is drinking through a several pt interview with CAVETT there & when his glass kept getting empty you can see some guys hand constantly filling it back up, he didn't get really loaded though   Once on LETTERMAN  DAVID asked him about the semi known rumor of HE DUKE & HIM RUNNING up a $5,000 BAR BILL  & he wet actually blind at inception of WW2 due to loathing the job in a plant so much, obviously not permanently

Each day I try to remember to see who will be on the Dick Cavett show (on Decades TV) and if it is some I'm fond of like Mitchum,  I'll watch it.   I did see a  Mitchum on the show about a month ago.      The show was tapped right after Mitchum had made Ryan's Daughter and that film was a focus of the interview.    I found Mitchum to be funny,  and even 'warm' (well for Mitchum) and he was fairly open with Cavett.      

 

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you know, I liked mitchum a lot but one movie of his I will not watch again is Killer in the Family. I'm sorry but mitchum and his cohort slaughtering a helpless man, woman and child in the back of a car with a shotgun I just will never be able to stomach. I think the filmmakers underestimated the shock value of that scene on viewers....

and I feel the same way about Kirk Douglas in Mousey.

 

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5 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I really don't know what you disagree with.       I also try-my-best to be able to NOT let an artist's (actor, director, musician, painter,  athlete ,, )  political or social views impact how I view them as an artist.

Note I say try-my-best:  I don't always succeed,  but then that is on me and my biases not the artist.      I don't see how Widmark has anything to do with the above POV.   (and yea, I know all about the making of No Way Out and that Widmark only played-a-racist).

John Wayne for instance,  made movies that paralled what his character REALLY is.  Widmark is a example of a man who made a POINT to seperate art from life because he didn't want it misconstrued that the art was who he really is.  John Wayne NEVER did that...

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14 hours ago, spence said:

NO WAY OUT (l950) (***-out of 4) Not to be confused of course with the well-made (***) ($35m.) KEVIN COSTNER, GENE HACKMAN version  of course

Thanks. Thats the movie he made with Poitier.

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I noted Dick Cavett's name mentioned above.  Has anyone else seen the goofy interview Cavett did with Eddie Murphy aired in November 1985?  I saw it on YouTube recently.  Out of the blue, Cavett starts talking about Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn then says 'nee-ga' -- that's close to how Cavett pronounces it -- and Eddie was like "What the hell?".  Then Eddie says something funny and Cavett lamely tries to explain what he meant "You know me better than that" he drones after talking about how Lester Maddox walked off his show in '71.  Jeepers. 

The heading on the upload is "Dick Questions Eddie Murphy on the 'N' Word".  Runs 8 minutes 45 seconds for anyone interested.  The full interview is on YouTube as well; think it runs a little over an hour.  

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4 hours ago, Moorman said:

John Wayne for instance,  made movies that paralled what his character REALLY is.  Widmark is a example of a man who made a POINT to seperate art from life because he didn't want it misconstrued that the art was who he really is.  John Wayne NEVER did that...

yeah, but sometimes an actor should keep his fans in mind and give them what they want instead of deferring to personal ego like Widmark did.

Duke gave his fans what they wanted but egocentric Widmark never gave his fans what he had to know they wanted...

a reprise of his indellible character...

"yeah, widmark that squirt only gave um the delooxe short dinner.

I'm with my pal nip on this."

Richard Widmark in "Kiss of Death" 1947 - YouTube

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4 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

you know, I liked mitchum a lot but one movie of his I will not watch again is Killer in the Family. I'm sorry but mitchum and his cohort slaughtering a helpless man, woman and child in the back of a car with a shotgun I just will never be able to stomach. I think the filmmakers underestimated the shock value of that scene on viewers....

and I feel the same way about Kirk Douglas in Mousey.

 

wow, you appear to be the only other one that even saw that tv movie, same yr he did the epic tv mini series the winds of war   see that huge epic as well and it's own sequel from l989, with one of the most beautiful actresses ever JANE SEYMOUR?

 

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4 hours ago, Moorman said:

John Wayne for instance,  made movies that paralled what his character REALLY is.  Widmark is a example of a man who made a POINT to seperate art from life because he didn't want it misconstrued that the art was who he really is.  John Wayne NEVER did that...

Interesting.   I never really thought about this,  but I see your point.     But during WWII Wayne didn't make movies that paralleled what is character REALLY is,  since he made lame excuses to get out of serving but made movies as a war hero!    E.g. When Wayne made They Were Expendable he was talking about others,  and clearly not himself.     (unlike Stewart, Power,   Gable,  etc....). 

 

 

 

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I read a bio of John Wayne and apparently being married with 4 children meant he would've had to enlist as opposed to being drafted.  By the 1960s Wayne had taken on the mantra of being a 'SuperPatriot' -- perhaps feeling latent guilt about not serving during WWII. 

From what I gathered with so many other Hollywood actors being drafted or enlisting that Wayne decided he could better serve the public by making pro-U.S. war movies.  And he sure did that!  I suspect the seeds of this were sown by the failure of THE BIG TRAIL in 1930.  After that he did 9 years of "B"-movie purgatory working away on one low-budget movie after another -- 98% of which were quickie Westerns.  So then Wayne hits it big with STAGECOACH in '39 and continues his rise up the movie star ranks.  By Dec. 7, 1941 he was long married to his first wife, Josephine, and had four children which apparently was enough children so that a 34-year-old Wayne would not have been drafted.  Let's say Wayne had only 1 or 2 children by then -- I think he would've faced the draft. 

Wayne perhaps feared he would tank his career by going off to enlist some 2½ years after climbing up to the "A"-list after nearly 10 years of low-budget/low-pay movie purgatory working all the time to support his growing family.  I got the feeling from the bio Wayne remembered all too well how hard it was to make a decent living in the 1930s scraping by and now that money and prestige were coming his way at last he didn't want to take a chance of throwing it all away and come back from the War to face being a second-banana in Poverty Row productions or go back to "B"-Western movies and other lowly bottom-feeding films.  He'd already made enough of those.

My 2¢ worth.  

 

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