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The quasi-noir is Macao (1952), a compulsively enjoyable piece of nonsense produced by the ever-meddling Howard Hughes. It's credited to director Josef von Sternberg, but it was largely reshot by Nicholas Ray (according to a Mitchum-Russell interview included on the disc, Mitchum wrote some of the new scenes). Doesn't matter; the combo of Mitchum and Jane Russell (re-teamed from the even kookier His Kind of Woman) is enough to carry this slice of backlot exotica. Both actors look skeptical about the material and amused by each other, and Russell gets to sing "One for My Baby."
Home from the Hill (1959) is an underappreciated change of pace for both Mitchum and director Vincente Minnelli. Mitchum, all authority as the super-manly patriarch of an East Texas family, supplies the brawn; Minnelli brings the same sensitivity to the emotional effects of color and movement that he brought to his musicals. Biggest surprise here is that two young-cub Georges, Peppard and Hamilton, are both very good in the male-ingénue roles. Another long film, Fred Zinnemann's The Sundowners (1960), is a gentle and wise account of a nomadic family of sheep-herders in Australia. Mitchum and Deborah Kerr bring a beautiful sense of mature romance to their relationship, and Zinnemann catches the beauty of the country. Plus, you learn how to shear a sheep.
The clinker in the set is Burt Kennedy's The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, a 1969 Western that can't decide whether it's sending up High Noon or playing it straight. Mitchum's the aging Marshall eased out of his job, George Kennedy is the equally aging varmint whose gang (led by whippersnapper David Carradine) plans a train robbery. One can imagine John Wayne as the Marshall and Mitchum as the rogue, but the movie would still fall flat. Finally, The Yakuza (1975) finds Mitchum in his weathered seventies form, and easily the best thing about Sydney Pollack's stately film. The Paul Schrader-Robert Towne script heads to Japan for some cultural lessons and much finger-severing. All in all, the set shows the range of a perpetually underestimated actor who never stopped being cool. --Robert Horton
One of THE best Japanese noir films ever. The only other film I found that came close was Black Rain. If you liked that..you're gonna love this!Published 7 days ago by Dante Alighieri
This is a must see move. It talks about the yakuza and there code.Published 1 month ago by Harold E. Navroth
Another 70s classic that holds up well. Behnd-the-scenes making of film from the time the film was made is a great bonus. Why don't all DVDs do this??Published 3 months ago by MORTY S. TASHMAN
One of the greatest films ever made: 9.5. Also Mitchum's best. And as others have noted, 'its the best film about Japan made by a non Japanese' well yes it is - but it wasn't just... Read morePublished 3 months ago by AustraliaRealEstate.mobi
Still has that good action all the way to the end as I remember with Robert Mitchum, they don't make them like this anymorePublished 4 months ago by Hernandez L.
An excellent movie that many people don't know about.
Mitchum is at his finest with an excellent story line.
One of my favorite films, and way ahead of its time! Directed by the great Sydney Pollack, screenplay by Robert Towne and Paul Schrader, and featuring Robert Mitchum in a role... Read morePublished 4 months ago by randallo
I was so glad to hear that someone had The Yakuza on DVD. I have it on VHS but don't have a VHS player.Published 6 months ago by Art Garcia