From Publishers Weekly
"Never forget that one of the biggest stars in the world was Rin Tin Tin, and she was a four-legged bitch," was tough guy Robert Mitchum's stock response when asked what it felt like to be a movie star. While many Hollywood personalities and stars now attempt to maintain their personal privacy, Mitchum gloried in the seamless meld between his lives on and off screen. Born in 1917 to a railroad worker and a mother with intellectual, even bohemian, inclinations, Mitchum lost his father early, and ran off when he was 14 to hop freight cars during the Depression. After gigs as a boxer, stevedore and union worker (perhaps even joining the Communist Party), he tried acting and finally got a break in Hollywood. After playing a cowboy in a 1943 Hopalong Cassidy serial, he made another 18 film appearances that year. In 1945, his performance in G.I. Joe made him a star. He perfected his tough guy image by the late 1940s, playing variations on this part (often comic as his career waned) until his last film, in 1995. In his heyday, Mitchum made headlines by suing Confidential magazine for libel, getting arrested on a marijuana drug change and generally acting rowdy. Server (Danger Is My Business) is at his best describing Mitchum's fine actingAespecially in the 1955 Night of the HunterAand his struggles to remain independent in an industry that demanded conformity. This is a well-researched, highly entertaining and revealing biography that contextualizes Mitchum in the broader world of industry and national economics, business and politics. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Mitchum was Hollywood's original "Bad Boy," who, as the title implies, didn't seem to care about living up to anyone's expectations. Best known for tough-guy roles in a career that spanned over 50 years, he made over 120 films, "forty of them in the same raincoat," and played everything from cowboys to sophisticated lovers. With no pretensions toward being Lawrence Olivier, Mitchum said he picked jobs for the number of days off, but there was no doubt that he was a powerful, sad-eyed, simmering screen presence. His private life was even more interesting than his film roles. Mitchum was a Depression-era hobo who fell into acting. Even when famous, he was independent and found trouble; he was busted for smoking marijuana before most people in the country even knew what it was. Server (Danger Is My Business) does good research but also offers a big, thick, juicy celebrity read that will not disappoint aficionados of the genre. Highly recommended.DRosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.