On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.
Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading →
A new documentary from Showtime Documentary Films, Listen To Me Marlon, will be opening in theaters nationwide this fall. As implied, the film takes a personal perspective on the life and career of 2-time Academy Award-winning actor Marlon Brando, narrated by Brando, himself, from hours of audio tapes from his personal archives. Writer/director Stevan Riley (Fire In Babylon, Everything Or Nothing) compiled Brando’s narrations along with hours of archival film footage of the actor with the help of co-writer Peter Ettedgui (Vigo: A Passion For Life, Everything Or Nothing). Brando is considered among many film historians and critics to be one of the greatest actors in history, give-or-take a few others. He is probably best known for his portrayal of the title role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, but his dynamic talents lead him to portray a vast array of characters throughout his career in films like A Street Car Named Desire (1951), Julius Caesar (1953), and On The Water Front (1955), the latter of which earned him his first Oscar. He won his second Oscar for The Godfather in 1972 but famously refused to show-up to accept it and instead sent a young Native American woman in his place, making a political protest against the persecution of Native Americans in the United States. Nevertheless Brando went on to star in such films as Superman (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979), imbedding himself in American culture until his death in 2004. Listen To Me Marlon first premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to be shown at the Film Forum on July 29th in New York City, and then 2-days later at LA’s Landmark Theater before the nationwide release in the fall. We’ll keep an eye out for an official release date.