In His Kind of Woman. Robert Mitchum plays a down-and-out gambler who is offered a deal that MUST be too good to be true; he’s smart enough to be suspicious and knows that he must discover the real deal before it’s too late. He meets a on-the-top-of-the-world hottie (Jane Russell), who is about to become down on her luck, too.
They are stuck in the confines of a Mexican beach resort with a full complement of shady characters, played by noir standard-carriers Charles McGraw, Jim Backus and Philip Van Zandt. And there’s the star of movie swashbucklers (Vincent Price), who is hiding out from his unhappy marriage. Tim Holt (Treasure of the Sierra Madre) shows up as another guy who isn’t what he seems. And, anchored just offshore, is the ruthless Italian crime lord (Raymond Burr at his most pitiless).
What makes this a noir classic is the complete amorality of the very sympathetic Mitchum and Russell characters. They’re not bad people, but they are playing the hands that they have been dealt. Neither questions the justice of their situations – they don’t feel sorry for themselves, they just deal with it. And they don’t worry about sleeping around or breaking a few laws if they have to. They may not be lucky, but they are determined to survive.
Reportedly, studio owner Howard Hughes fired the director John Farrow and replaced him with noir-master Richard Fleischer (Cry Danger).
His Kind of Woman plays occasionally on Turner Classic Movies and is available on DVD from Netflix. You can stream it from Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play and Flixster.