The Curious Languor of Robert Mitchum

  • MUBI
Everyone notices the eyes first, languid, those of a somnambulist. Robert Mitchum, calm and observant, is a presence that, through passivity, enamors a viewer. His face is as effulgent as moonlight. The man smolders, with that boozy, baritone voice, seductive and soporific, a cigarette perched between wispy lips below which is a chin cleft like a geological fault. He’s slithery with innuendo. There’s an effortless allure to it all, a mix of malaise and braggadocio, a cocksure machismo and a hint of fragility. He’s ever-cool, a paradox, “radiating heat without warmth,” as Richard Brody said. A poet, a prodigious lover and drinker, a bad boy; his penchant for marijuana landed him in jail, and in the photographs from his two-month stay he looks like a natural fit. He sits, wrapped in denim, legs spread wide, hair shiny and slick, holding a cup of coffee. His mouth is
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