What with having watched the Fearless Nadia-starrer Baghdad ka Jaadoo (‘Magic of Baghdad’) the other day, I was in the mood for more swashbuckling ladies. This film, starring Jean Peters as a pirate, seemed—at first glance—to fit the bill. It turned, or so it appeared, well-loved pirate film clichés on their heads: the pirate is a woman, and a heartless one at that, who delights in making innocent people walk the plank. And no, she isn’t a female Robin Hood, actually on the side of justice. She even—in a neat twist of the usual pirate film—captures a handsome man.
I’d been toying with the idea of a `star week’ for a while now, and who better to launch one with than Robert Mitchum? Mitchum was born on August 6th, 1917 (which is why I’m dedicating this week to him on my blog), and is one of my favourite Hollywood stars. Though burdened with—as he himself mentioned—lizard eyes and an anteater nose, not to mention a gut he was perpetually trying to hold in, Mitchum acted in some memorable films: drama, Western, war, comedy, and, most famously, noir.
Over this week, I’ll be reviewing a handful of Mitchum films, showing off some of my favourite Mitchum screen caps (yes, I do find this guy very handsome), and more. You’ll get a glimpse of why I like ‘Old Rumple Eyes’ so much, and I’m hoping some of you out there will be converted!
But, to begin with: Macao. A typical Mitchum noir, somewhat reminiscent of the Bollywood noir one got to see in the late 50’s. Exotic, sinister, not always coherent, but entertaining nevertheless.