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The Locket

Year: 1946
Studio: RKO
Director: John Brahm
Cast:
Laraine Day ... Nancy Monks
Brian Aherne ... Dr. Blair
Robert Mitchum ... Norman Clyde
Gene Raymond ... John Willis

Plot Synopsis: On the day of his wedding to Nancy, John is visited by a man who claims to be her ex-husband, and who tells him of her penchant for thieving and lying, and how he himself was warned by her ex-beau, Norman.

Verdict: This tale of a woman who ruins several men's lives is famous for its flashback-within-a-flashback-within-a-flashback. Perky Laraine Day is far from the usual femme fatale, but to each man in the film, she's his dream girl. Mitchum is in his prime as painter Norman Clyde, who falls into Nancy's snare.

Behind the Scenes: When he was still a contract player, Mitchum felt he had been snubbed by Laraine Day at Schwab's Drugstore, whom he knew earlier from the Players Guild in Long Beach, and was cool to her ever after.


The Big Steal

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DVD
Year: 1949
Studio: RKO
Director: Don Siegel
Cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Duke Halliday
Jane Greer ... Joan Graham
William Bendix ... Captain Vincent Blake
Patric Knowles ... Jim Fiske

Plot Synopsis: Duke Halliday, Captain Blake, and Jim Fiske chase each other all over Mexico for a military payment, while Jim's fiance, Joan, goes looking for him.

Verdict: A happy reteaming of Out of the Past costars Mitchum and Greer, although in a lighter, more comical film.

Behind the Scenes: After Mitchum's bust for marijuana possession, Greer was the only woman in Hollywood who would act opposite him, although she was a few months pregnant. The film was shot in location in Mexico and Greer downed her morning-sickness pills, claiming they were to prevent 'Montezuma's Revenge.' Since she hadn't told anyone she was pregnant, she couldn't refuse Bendix when he asked for some of her pills, and simply had to ring up her doctor and ask for more.


Where Danger Lives

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DVD
Year: 1950
Studio: RKO
Director: John Farrow
Cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Jeff Cameron
Faith Domergue ... Margo Lannington
Claude Rains ... Mr. Lannington
Maureen O'Sullian ... Julie

Plot Synopsis: Medical intern Jeff treats and falls for suicidal Margo, who neglects to tell him she is married. After a run-in with her husband, Jeff, who suffers a blow to the head, is convinced he's committed murder. The couple flees to Mexico, with Jeff growing steadily weaker from his concussion and Margo growing steadily crazier.

Verdict: Mitchum is good as always, even though the story is melodramatic and even downright silly: As they flee, they come across a town where Mitchum is forced to wear a beard as part of a local celebration, hence aiding their flight from justice.

Behind the Scenes: Like Jane Russell before her, Faith Domergue was groomed by Howard Hughes for stardom, but she failed to catch on (perhaps something to do with her lack of talent), and was soon reduced to sci-fi fare like This Island Earth.


The Racket

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DVD
Year: 1951
Studio: RKO
Director: John Cromwell (Nicholas Ray, uncredited)
Cast (in credits order):
Robert Mitchum ... Captain Thomas McQuigg
Lizabeth Scott ... Irene Hayes
Robert Ryan ... Nick Scanlon
Ray Collins ... Welch

Plot synopsis: Police Captain Thomas McQuigg turns to nightclub singer Irene Hayes to get the goods on racketeer Nick Scanlon.

Verdict: Despite this rare teaming of film noir regulars, the story is a lackluster one. Other than his cameo in the remake of Cape Fear, this is Mitchum's only role as a policeman.

Behind the Scenes: The original script was penned by maverick filmmaker Sam Fuller, but that script was tossed out and Howard Hughes turned to genre specialists William Wister Haines and W.R. Burnett instead.