Robert Mitchum on the set of Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, 1957.
During the making of this film, Robert Mitchum gave director John Huston his all. Huston often cited Mitchum’s willingness to give his all physically as well as artistically — working with a twisted ankle, a cut foot, and almost skinning his chest, arms, and knees sliding down a coconut palm. Repeatedly, the actor crawled through high weeds before Huston secured a take that satisfied him. When Mitchum stood up, blood oozed from his chest where the stinging nettles had punctured his skin. Spotting what had happened, Huston apologized and inquired why Mitchum had not complained. Mitchum shrugged. It was, he said, Huston’s job to get the shot, and, for the salary he was being paid as an actor, it was his obligation to provide what the director was after. “You work for John Huston, you suffer,” he kidded. “What else can you expect?”