News | Films | Life | Legacy | Photos | Store | Links | FAQs

Robert Mitchum: Film Lines

No one had a way with a line like Mitchum. Even when the dialogue was mediocre, Mitchum delivered the goods. Below, a sampling of choice lines from these films: Out of the Past, His Kind of Woman, Macao, Two for the Seesaw, as well as recurring themes throughout various films.

Out of the Past
(It's tempting to reproduce the whole screenplay here, it's that good. Warning: Some plot points revealed below.)

Jeff (Mitchum), on first seeing Kathie (Jane Greer): "Then I saw her, coming in from the sun, and I knew why Whit didn't care about that 40 grand."

Jeff to Kathie after she's lost at roulette: "That's no way to win."
Kathie: "Is there a way to win?
Jeff:"There's a way to lose more slowly."

Kathie: "You are taking me back.
Jeff: "There's no hurry."
Kathie: "I could have run away last night."
Jeff: "I'd find you."
Kathie: "Yes, I believe you would...I didn't take anything of his. Don't you believe me?"
Jeff, as he grabs Kathie for a sizzling kiss: "Baby, I don't care."

Jeff, in voiceover, about Kathie: I never saw her in the daytime. We seemed to live by night. What was left of the day went away like a pack of cigarettes you smoked. I don't know what we were waiting for. Maybe we thought the world would end. Maybe we thought it was a dream and we'd walk up with a hangover in Niagara Falls. How big a chump can you get to be? I was finding out."
Jeff to Whit, when he surprises him in Mexico: "No, I love surprises. When we were kids we were so busted, if we got anything at all for Christmas, it was a big surprise."

Jeff meeting Kathie at their cabin: "You're a cute package to be walking out alone at night."

Jeff to Kathie: "You can't help anything you do, can you Kathie? You're like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another."
Kathie, pleading: "I was tired of running, scared of him, scared of what I'd done. Can you understand? I prayed you understand."
Jeff raises his eyebrow and looks askance at her: "You prayed Kathie?"
Kathie: "Can't you even feel sorry for me?"
Jeff: "I'm not going to try. Look, just get out of here. I have to sleep in this room."

Meta Carson (Rhonda Fleming) to Jeff, who's got a firm grip on her shoulder: "Do you always go around leaving your prints on a girl's shoulder? Not that I mind..."
Jeff's wordless reaction: He lets go of her shoulder, smiles contemptuously and leaves.

Jeff to taxi driver friend, about Meta Carson: "Awfully cold around the heart."

Kathie to Jeff: "I don't want to die."
Jeff: "Neither do I, but if I do, it's going to be last."

Jeff to one of Whit's thugs: "Fold your hands or I'll fold them for you."

Jeff to Kathie: "Tell me he beat it out of you. Feed my ego. Tell me he beat every word out of you."
Whit (Kirk Douglas) to Kathie: "I ought to smash your teeth in. I took you in when you came crawling back because I felt sorry for you. You're going to make every move exactly how I tell you. If you make one wrong move, I'll kill you. And I promise you one thing, it won't be quick, and it won't be pretty. You won't be able to open a door or answer a phone without thinking, 'This is it.' And when it comes, it still won't be quick, and it still won't be pretty."
Ann (Virgnia Huston) to Jeff, about Kathie: "She's not all bad. No one is."
Jeff: "She comes the closest."

His Kind of Woman
Mitchum to Jane Russell, in the closing line of the film: "You could be a handy thing to have around the house."

Mitchum to Jane Russell, closing line of the film: "You're going to have to get used to me dripping wet from the shower."

Two for the Seesaw
Shirley MacLaine to Mitchum, as he attempts to pick her up over the phone: "You sound complicated."

Recurring Themes

Mitchum is...

Not as a Stranger
Olivia de Havilland to Mitchum: "You should eat. You got a lot to feed there."
Frank Sinatra to Mitchum, about de Havilland. "She looked at you like you were a smorgasbord."
The Big Steal
Jane Greer and Mitchum are in Mexico, fleeing William Bendix. To pass a roadblock, she tells the construction foreman, in Spanish, that she's fleeing a big, ugly man that her father is forcing her to marry. She then translates for Mitchum's benefit: "I said I preferred the big, pretty man."
Out of the Past
Kathie to Jeff: "You're no good, and neither am I. If you're thinking of anyone else, don't. It wouldn't work."
Jeff to Kathie: "Well, one thing's sure. We deserve each other."
Blood on the Moon
Mitchum to Barbara Bel Geddes: "I'm no good."
Cape Fear
Woman to Max Cady (Mitchum), who has just picked her up: "It's a great comfort to a girl to know she can't possibly sink any lower."
Later, Mitchum savagely beats her.
Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), about Cady: "It makes me sick to even breathe the same air."
Blood on the Moon
"Well, I'll drift."
The Big Sleep
Philip Marlowe (Mitchum): "I think I'll drift."
The Big Sleep
Sarah Miles to Marlowe: "They're all soft compared to you."
The Yakuza
Said about Harry Kilmer (Mitchum): "Harry and your father were the tough guys."
Two for the Seesaw
"I don't have time to sleep."
The Big Sleep
"I'm too tired to"
The Yakuza
To long-lost love: "I'm getting too old for this."
Cape Fear
To Sam Bowden, who's about to send him back to jail: "Go ahead man, I just don't care anymore."

Back to Mitchum home