Casa Grande, AZ
Cameron Mitchell The High Chaparral
David Lee Guss
Photograph - Photography
Cameron Mitchell (1918-1994), as Buck Cannon, in David Dortort's "The High Chaparral." He appeared in all 97 episodes filmed. Mitchell had a very spotty film career, mixing "A" films with European made grade Z schlock.
One of his first films was "They Were Expendable" (1945) with John Wayne, considered one of director John Ford's greatest films. So he started at the very top since Ford is respected as one of the best directors ever in film history.
(The poignant scene where Navy nurse Donna Reed (1921-1986) is a dinner guest at an officer's mess, on the eve of the fall of Corregidor in the Philippines, is exquisite, heart breaking.)
Mitchell was also a stage actor, appearing as Happy in the original 1949 production of the Elia Kazan directed "Death of a Salesman," written by Arthur Miller. (He reprised the role in the 1951 film.)
Mitchell later signed with 20th Century Fox and became friends with Marilyn Monroe. Mitchell has the historical distinction of introducing Marilyn, on the Fox lot, to her future husband, Miller.
During "Expendable's" final credits director Ford included the former military rank of every actor who had served, including Robert Montgomery. Duke had nothing as Ford thought him a coward for not enlisting.
For weeks on end Ford had hurled abuse at Wayne, until Robert Montgomery stepped in saying he had to stop. The bully Ford burst into tears. To my knowledge no other actor called Ford on his nasty habit of abusing his actors.
@2012 David Lee Guss Film homage, Cameron Mitchell, The High Chaparral, They Were Expendable, 1945, Old Tucson, AZ, 1967-2008
April 20th, 2013
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