"We had never seen any creature like him on the screen before, but we had seen them down at the filling station, so we recognized Mitchum for what he was: jailhouse aristocracy-the best of the worst-a loser with a winner's heart. However often he fell, he would remain a "stand-up guy" we knew. He would never snitch off a friend, or pardon his failings with some lame excuse, or ver, ever change. That was the glory of jailhouse aristocrats: They could be killed, but they could not be defeated. The pity was, they rarely ever won."
Dave Hickey expliquant bien mieux que moi pourquoi j'aurais voulu etre Robert Mitchum. In "Mitchum Gets out Jail", in, Luc Sante/Melissa Holbrook Pierson Ed., Ok You Mugs-Writers on Movie Actors, Granta, 1988.