Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons

Robert Mitchum as athe creepy "priest" in Night of the Hunter.

I always liked Robert Mitchum as an actor. He had that air of menace which made him brilliant in films like The Night of the Hunter. I liked him even more after reading about him and Jean Simmons.

Jean Simmons, who was married to Stewart Granger, was acting in a  Howard Hughes film. Hughes was eager to start a sexual relationship with Simmons and kept harassing her. Granger put a stop to his advances by angrily telling Hughes over the phone: "Mr Howard bloody Hughes, you'll be sorry if you don't leave my wife alone."

Later when Simmons was in the film Angel Face, Hughes instructed director Otto Preminger to treat Simmons as roughly as possible. He reportedly told Preminger,  "I'm going to get even with that little bitch and you're going to help me."  

Mitchum and Simmons with Preminger

When filming one scene, Preminger insisted on repeated takes of Mitchum slapping Simmons harder and harder. Mitchum was uneasy at this instruction so he slapped Preminger hard in the face asking him, “Is that how you want it?”

Preminger retaliated by trying to fire Mitchum, but Howard Hughes refused. Hughes wanted Mitchum and Simmons even if Simmons didn't want him. 

With Preminger and Hughes bullying her, Simmons was lucky to have Mitchum around to protect her. 

Simmons and Mitchum in Angel Face

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  1. Wow, Interesting story about the slap.

  2. Always liked Bob Mitchem but I really like him for slapping Preminger. Must admit I thought "The Night of the Hunter" was one of the scariest pictures I had ever seen. Took me a while to like him again.

  3. I don't think we know half the things that some of those classic actors, directors, and producers did. I'm sure many actresses who were there and gone left due to harassment such as this.

  4. I'm very distressed at the disgusting things I've heard about movie directors and other people who want what they want and don't like hearing the word NO. It makes me wonder why anyone would want to be an actor.

  5. What a gentleman. Thank you for sharing, even if the abuse is saddening. I agree with River more and more every day. Be well!