Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care"
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Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care"

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  28 reviews
One of the movies' greatest actors and most colorful characters, a real-life tough guy with the prison record to prove it, Robert Mitchum was a movie icon for an almost unprecedented half-century, the cool, sleepy-eyed star of such classics as The Night of the Hunter; Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison; Cape Fear; The Longest Day; Farewell, My Lovely; and The Winds of War. Mitchum'...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published March 6th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published March 20th 2001)
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Tosh
Mar 26, 2014 Tosh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are truly hipsters
Cool can be defined in two words: Robert Mitchum. In this world where nothing is consistent, we have one man who was consistent in his ability to convey a sense of "I don't give a fuck" throughout all of his 79 years. Reading Lee Server's biography Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care", one is struck by Mitchum's skill in making things look easy -- when Mitchum actually bothers to use any skill. His acting technique was closer to Zen than method acting: His primary concern was to memorize the shoo...more
Ed
Oct 27, 2013 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Film noir fans
Lee Server has produced what must be the definitive biography of the American actor Robert Mitchum. Server organizes and presents his material well, and there is lots of it there. I like how he includes the quotes and stories from those who knew Mr. Mitchum. I paid particular attention to the sections about his great movies I have enjoyed watching: Angel Face, Cape Fear, Out of the Past (probably my favorite RM film I've watched several times), Rio Lobo, and I know I'm forgetting the others. He...more
GoldGato
He was a poet with an ax. Beneath this deity of indifference beat the heart of a lyricist who used the adventures of his early life to become one of the last Golden Age film stars. Masculine. Tough. Sarcastic. Charismatic. The Bard of BadAss.

Mitchum didn't need to do much. The great film critic, James Agee, once aptly described him as, "Bing Crosby...on barbiturates". The languorous big dude had presence, and that's what makes a movie star. Watching the camera close in on Mitch's simmering profi...more
Andrea
I've thought it was unfortunate timing that Robert Mitchum died a day or two before/after James Stewart. His passing didn't get the attention it deserved. For fans of indelible old films like The Night of the Hunter and the (real) Cape Fear, this is a must read.
Michael Arden
You'd really have to be a big fan of old movies to enjoy this biography of Robert Mitchum, the prototype of the cool, detached antihero on screen. He was a brilliant natural actor who could totally commit to memory entire scripts after one reading. Mitchum was also an extremely intelligent man and voracious reader who always tried to portray himself as not being smart at all, probably to protect himself in a curious way. Likely it had to do with his upbringing in a dirt poor bohemian family of w...more
Warren
This is a curious book. Although filled with interesting (and often hilarious) anecdotes, Server never really gives us much insight into the inner Mitchum. That's not a disgrace -- even Mitchum's closest friends never really seem to have reached the man's core -- but it leaves the book feeling rather incomplete. The pacing is also odd, with Mitchum's last twenty or so years seeming to hurtle past the reader. Again, his golden era of the 40s and 50s provides a nice series of anecdotes, but in the...more
Jim
And frankly, after two hundred pages, neither did I. I was already suspecting this wasn't much more than a hagiography of "and then Mitchum did this, and then he did that", when my dad said he'd read a total stinker of a book about Mitchum, and proceeded to say exactly what I was thinking about this! That applied the reading brakes big time, and I was left thinking why did I spend seven quid on the damn thing, and could I flog it on ebay?
Leslie
I always like Robert Mitchum, but this biography tells the story of a true hero, namely an American who was able to live without fear. His personality is not presented in a fawning way, but rather takes advantage of a subject who was transparent because he was self-aware. By way of contrast, the Dean Martin biography is about a man who didn't care, but who was ultimately shallow and not self-reflective. Great reading!
Troy
Jun 15, 2009 Troy added it
Boozin', babes and brawling. And being the part of some ass-kicking films as well. If there is anything cooler than Mitchum I don't want to know...
Beth/Chuck
Learned alot about Mitchum's life. There was a chapter devoted to my 2 favorite Mitchum movies & learned alot about the films themselves.
Paige
A fantastic biography. All bios should be this great.
Lee Anne
A fine, very comprehensive biography of the coolest, bad-ass-est movie star ever.

James Dean and Marlon Brando and all those other Method rebels had nothing on this guy; he was so relaxed that oftentimes, directors would worry that his performance was terrible, only to look at the dailies and find it was all there on the screen, remarkable and nuanced.

Server uses a movie-by-movie approach, so with Mitchum's over 100 films, it's no wonder this book clocks in at over 500 pages. (Missing though, a...more
Andrewh
Full disclosure requires that I state that for me Mitchum is one of all the all-time great Hollywood movie stars and he starred in some of my favourite films (Crossfire, Out of the Past, Angel Face, Night of the Hunter, Friends of Eddie Coyle and Farewell, My Lovely to name a few, out of the 100-odd he made). He also lived a fairly unusual life - left home at 14 to ride freight trains as a hobo, spent time in jail, escaped from a chain gang, became a boxer, served in the Army, and finally wound...more
Alison Potvin
Basically a very dry rundown of the making of all of Mitchum's films, with a few anecdotes of those who worked with him thrown in.

An occasional allusion to his wild side was fun to read about and I kept hoping to read more about his personal life and affairs but halfway through the book I realized it was going to continue to be more of the same, lifeless account of his films.

Mitchum is cast.
Mitchum is described as a prankster, possessor of a photographic memory and masculinely magnetic by bit p...more
Darcie Kileen
Robert Mitchum was a badass. That is my takeaway from this book. Also, I'm glad I haven't seen *every* movie in which he starred (or was featured) because some of them sound like veritable stinkers. If you want details about all of them, read each page. If you want details about his life, you might have to skim a bit.
Matthew
Not so much a pinch of salt, an entire sack of the stuff is required to be taken when reading this book. It's not an autobiography I accept, but the author has clearly been given limited access to even Mitchum's immediate family and as a result the book is entirely anecdotal. It boils down to first he did this, and then he did that, and then he did this for well over 600 pages. In all honestly he probably only made two films of any real merit but neither of these are given any additional coverag...more
Kenneth
This is one of the best biographies I've ever read, due in large part to Mitchum's unique life. He was perhaps a bigger badass offscreen than on- and his incredible hijinks extend well beyond the over-publicized pot bust. That said, turns out he was a big pothead his whole life, yet possessed a remarkable memory that enabled his career as an actor. I think what I loved most was learning about his early life, when he, at a very young age, decided he wanted to be a poet and then embarked upon a li...more
Christine Sinclair
This biography is extremely well-researched and well-written. It's surprising that no one has done a biography of Mitchum before. His life and his career are the stuff that movies are made of. It paints a complete picture of an enigmatic loner who became world-famous. A very good read for a film buff like me.
Elliot Appel
One of the best and most entertaining star biographies.Fully captures the complexities and outrageousness of the man. A biography is only as interesting as it's subject-Mitchum was fascinating. Many of the stories are hilarious. Totally entertaining.
Jenna
I found this book to be an entertaining chronicle of Robert Mitchum's life and career, but the author's prose style was a bit too choppy for my taste and it was sometimes difficult to tell whether he was quoting someone or improvising appropriate dialog.
Rob Dhillon
"There are snakes out tonight. Everybodys got snakes. I got snakes, but they're friends of mine." - my favorite Robert Mitchum line - just can't find the movie it was in. Up late watching TV a night years ago after being on-call.
Liz
Very informative book about Robert Mitchum. I just wish there was more information about his relationship with his kids and his wife. Also, too bad Jane Russell wasn't interviewed for this book (but maybe she declined).
Michael
This is a well-written biography; a page-turner.

Mitchum comes off as a fascinating, self-destructive individual and, frankly, not very likable.

How accurate is this portrait?

One can't be sure.
Cynbad
So bogged down with details! It was like deciphering the biography from Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I mean, Robert Mitchum.
Linda
Seems like Mitchum really "didn't care" about scandalizing anyone and everyone. Hard to put down bio.
Marsha
I'm not sure I learned much of anything from this book - a bit of a "mind wash" really.
I enjoyed it though.
Michael Berish
I love movies as well as books, but I never thought of Mitchum as being that wild.
Elizabeth
so sexy, so cool. a very enjoyable biography of my favorite dreamboat.
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Lee Server specialises in books on popular culture and literary history.

He is the critically acclaimed author of such as 'Danger Is My Business: The Illustrated History of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines' (1993), 'Over My Dead Body: The Sensational Age of the American Paperback' (1995) and the biography 'Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care' (2001).
More about Lee Server...
Ava Gardner Over My Dead Body: The Sensational Age of the American Paperback: 1945-1955 Danger Is My Business: An Illustrated History of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines: 1896-1953 Asian Pop Cinema: Bombay to Tokyo Sam Fuller: Film Is A Battleground: A Critical Study, with Interviews, A Filmography, and a Bibliography

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