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Robert Mitchum - The Signature Collection (Angel Face / Macao / The Sundowners / Home from the Hill / The Good Guys and the Bad Guys / The Yakuza)

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robert Mitchum: Signature Collection, The (DVD)


Big bad Bob Mitchum: Seriously, is there anybody you'd rather watch in a movie? Mitchum had the cool looks, a dancer's sense of balance, and a thoroughly modern amusement about his own stardom. Somehow he made you invest in a movie, while simultaneously communicating his own smirky suspicions that the whole thing was a joke. Mitchum gets boxed in Robert Mitchum: The Signature Collection, a six-disc batch of random but rewarding Mitchum vehicles. Highlights are two noirish outings, and two prestigious auteur pictures that allowed Mitchum to play outside his usual job description. The one authentic noir is Otto Preminger's Angel Face (1952), with Mitchum as an incredibly passive hero bewitched by Jean Simmons' spoiled rich girl. True to its title, the film is utterly deadpan in tracking the downfall of Mitchum's easily-seduced male.

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

Special Features

  • Angel Face (1952)
  • Commentary by author and historian Eddie Muller
  • B&W, 1.33
  • Macao (1952)
  • Commentary by author and historian Eddie Muller, screenwriter Stanley Rubin and actress Jane Russell
  • TCM Private Screenings with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell, hosted by Robert Osborne
  • B&W, 1.33, no French audio
  • Home from the Hill (1960)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Color, 2.35 anamorphic
  • The Sundowners (1960)
  • Vintage featurette On Location with The Sundowners
  • Color, 1.85 anamorphic
  • The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969)
  • Vintage featurette The Good Guy from Chama
  • Color, 2.40 anamorphic
  • The Yakuza (1975)
  • Commentary by director Sydney Pollack
  • Vintage featurette Promises to Keep
  • Color, 2.35 anamorphic, Portugese subtitles

Product Details

  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,104 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Robert Mitchum - The Signature Collection (Angel Face / Macao / The Sundowners / Home from the Hill / The Good Guys and the Bad Guys / The Yakuza)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richardson VINE VOICE on January 19, 2007
Format: DVD
Hi Folks,

the movies all look very good..and there are a nice group of bonus features from vintage featurettes to commentaries! On Macao...I particularly enjoyed the 30 minute interview with Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum that Robert Osborne conducted...very late in the life of Mr Mitchum. The packaging it great and frankly 6 films from the great Robert Mitchum at under $10 each on DVD w/bonus features is a terrrrrifffic deal!

The movies aren't generally considered Mitchum's best or best known but when you consider you've got Jean Simmons as a costar and Otto Preminger directing Angel Face, Josef Von Sternberg helming Macao, Vincent Minnelli directing HOme From The Hill, The great Fred Zinneman directing and the legend Deborah Kerr co-starring in the Sundowners can figure this isn't the bottom of the barrel either! Oh and Sydney Pollack directed The Yakuza and contributes a great commentary....

To sum up...warner Bros...continues to deliver THE VERY BEST classic titles on DVD with the best combination of quality transfers/bonus features and value packages!!!!
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Format: DVD
This is a wonderful assemblage of terrific Robert Mitchum movies, spanning nearly three decades. His star shined brighly for many years because he never lost that irresistible appeal.

He was best known for his iconic work in film noir at RKO, many of which have been released in recent years by Warner Brothers in superb DVDs. 2 more are included here, where he is under the direction of two legends: Otto Preminger at the helm in ANGEL FACE, with the great Jean Simmons, and MACAO by the one and only Josef Von Sternberg, where Mitchum once again is paired with a sizzling Jane Russell. These are a treat. Then, we move to broader territory. The amazing Vincente Minnelli, although best known for musicals, could master ANY genre, with his genius. HOME FROM THE HILL, is an example of a searing family drama, where Mitchum, Eleanor Parker and newcomers Georges Peppard and Hamilton are just terrific. Mitchum here sets the stage for Dallas' J. R. Ewing years later. An underrated masterpiece with a great score by Bronislau Kaper. Then comes one of Mitchum's truly greatest works, where under the direction of Oscar-winner Fred Zinnemann, he re-teams with Deborah Kerr in the unforgettable drama THE SUNDOWNERS from 1960. By 1969, Mitchum was ready for a little western fun, and you get that in spades from THE GOOD GUYS AND THE BAD GUYS. A delightful western comedy with an all star cast. Appropriately, the set ends with Sydney Pollack's masterpiece THE YAKUZA, a 1975 work that was ahead of its time. A brilliant performance by Mitchum, and a must have for his fans. Although you can cherry pick some of these separately, the deal you get by buying the whole box is the bargain of the Century!
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Format: DVD
ST. CLAIR's "signature" series each consist of three public domain films (on a single DVD) that are good, but not necessarily the featured artist's best work-- sometimes the actor is far from the lead character (such is the case with two of these titles).


AGENCY-- A millionaire buys an advertising agency and replaces personnel with allies chosen to subliminally slant product ads to further the owner's political aims and beliefs. A copywriter catches on to this scheme and ends up dead. 1970s cynicism is reflected in this mediocre Canadian-made whodunit.

GUNG HO! -- Mitchum is a lowly 10th banana here. A decent cast in an idealized rendering of a WWII true event: the Marine assault of a Japanese-held island that occurred two months after Pearl Harbor.

AERIAL GUNNER-- This one's even less of a Robert Mitchum film. He gets no screen credit for a bit role in this dual/genre WWII-era tale of a training camp love triangle and Pacific airwar story.

For a similar set, check out the RONALD REAGAN SIGNATURE COLLECTION, also from St. Clair.

Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings found at a film resource website.

(5.2) Agency (Canada-1980) - Robert Mitchum/Lee Majors/Valerie Perrine/Saul Rubinek

(6.0) Gung Ho! (" 'Gung Ho!': The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders") - (1943) - Randolph Scott/Noah Beery Jr./J. Carrol Naish/Sam Levene/Robert Mitchum/Rod Cameron (Chet Huntley-narrator)

(5.8) Aerial Gunner (1943) - Chester Morris/Richard Arlen/Lita Ward/Jimmy Lydon (uncredited: Robert Mitchum/Jeff Corey/John Hamilton)

BONUS: Robert Mitchum Poster Gallery
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This is one of the best of the Warner "Signature Collection" boxsets, because it collects some of the most interesting (if not as well-known or popular) titles starring Robert Mitchum. For any "auteurist", this collection is essential, because it contains important works directed by Otto Preminger (ANGEL FACE), Josef von Sternberg (with an assist - actually, a studio-imposed take-over - by Nicholas Ray: MACAO), Vincente Minnelli (HOME FROM THE HILL). There's also THE SUNDOWNERS, possibly one of the most charming movies directed by Fred Zinnemann, THE YAKUZA, a deliberately provocative melodrama - one of the first to attempt to graft Asian genre conventions in an American framework - written by Paul and Leonard Schrader and directed by Sydney Pollack, and THE GOOD GUYS AND THE BAD GUYS, a journeyman Western directed by Burt Kennedy. The transfers are exemplary, and ANGEL FACE (one of the moodiest and most psychologically complex of film-noirs), MACAO (with some elaborately decorated sequences which show von Sternberg's skills at their best), HOME FROM THE HILL (perhaps the most operatic and ripely detailed of Minnelli's melodramas) and THE SUNDOWNERS (a relaxed and tender family chronicle, set - at that time - in the rarely seen Australian outback) make this package worth the price.
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