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(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above - Robert Mitchum and his saddle pal Richard Martin (as "Chito Jose Gonzales Bustamante Rafferty") in WEST OF THE PECOS (RKO, 1945). Mitchum's trusty steed is the famous movie hoss Steel (who has a unique face blaze and three white socks).

Robert Mitchum
Full name: Robert Charles Durman Mitchum
1917 - 1997

Special thanks to Petrine Day Mitchum for help on this webpage on her Father. Petrine confirmed that her Dad rode Steel (photo above), and she has that photo and a nice writeup on Steel's movie career with Mitchum, Ben Johnson, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and many others in the book Hollywood Hoofbeats: Trails Blazed Across the Silver Screen by Petrine Day Mitchum with Audrey Pavia. Click HERE for more on her book about movie horses and a separate window/tab will open.

This webpage is simply to chronicle the early B western adventures of Robert Mitchum.

Before his breakthrough role in STORY OF G.I. JOE (Selznick International, 1945), Robert Mitchum learned his craft in bit and support roles in various films, including B westerns with Johnny Mack Brown at Universal, Eddie Dew at Republic, and most often, with William Boyd in seven of the Hopalong Cassidy features released through United Artists. During that same time period, he also appeared in other films including several military / World War II themed movies - a good example is his portrayal of one of the B-25 Mitchell bomber pilots in THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (MGM, 1944).

His B western support/henchman roles were in the following, and in most, he was billed as Bob Mitchum:

HOPPY SERVES A WRIT (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
COLT COMRADES (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
FALSE COLORS (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
RIDERS OF THE DEADLINE (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
BAR 20 (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
BORDER PATROL (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
LEATHER BURNERS (United Artists, 1943; Hopalong Cassidy film)
BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER (Republic, 1943; stars Eddie Dew)
LONE STAR TRAIL (Universal, 1943; stars Johnny Mack Brown and Tex Ritter)

When Tim Holt left for World War II service, RKO recruited Mitchum as the lead in a pair of oaters based on the writings of Zane Grey, NEVADA (RKO, 1944) and WEST OF THE PECOS (RKO, 1945). Then came the STORY OF G.I. JOE (Selznick International, 1945) and his star was definitely on the rise ... and his B western days were over.

His cowboy hero job at RKO was filled by James Warren (who would star in three before Tim Holt came back from military service to resume his movie career as RKO's resident range rider).

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Robert Mitchum:

It's always interesting to click through excerpts of newspaper headlines and clippings at the Google news archive. There's a July 8, 1945 article at the Pittsburgh Press newspaper titled "Remember the Name: Bob Mitchum, For You'll Be Hearing About Him!" Go to:

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - William Boyd vs. Robert Mitchum as one of Victor Jory's henchman, in a scene from HOPPY SERVES A WRIT (United Artists, 1943). This was a Mitchum role where he was credited as Bob Mitchum.

(From Old Corral image collection)

From left to right are Dustine Farnum, Betty Blythe, William Boyd, Andy Clyde and a young Robert Mitchum in a scene from BAR 20 (United Artists, 1943). Dustine Farnum (Dustine with an e at the end) was the daughter of Dustin Farnum.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In the above lobby card from BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER (Republic, 1943) are brief Republic leading man Eddie Dew, and on the right side, Richard Clarke tends to the prone Bob Mitchum who portrayed "Trigger Dolan".

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - pretty Nancy Gates tends to Robert Mitchum's injuries in a 1951 re-release lobby card from NEVADA (RKO, 1944).

(From Old Corral image collection)

Notice anything strange about this blue duotone re-release lobby card for the Hopalong Cassidy adventure FALSE COLORS (United Artists, 1943)? Unsure when this Masterpiece re-issue came out, but it was probably early 1950s. Look who gets top billing as the star. In this film, Mitchum (along with Roy Barcroft, others) are gang members reporting to Douglass Dumbrille. In the center of this lobby card are Andy Clyde and Jimmy Rogers overseeing William 'Hoppy' Boyd who is holding on to Tom Seidel (who has a dual role).

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