Victor Mature : Favorite Victor Mature Films

Favorite Victor Mature Films

Perhaps there is not as much opinion to be plumbed here under this topic as for some actors, as many of Mature's films were a bit on the B-movie side. Still, he was good (imho) even in his less than great films. One such example--in the 1954 film Betrayed, Mature's performance is really the only thing salvaging 108 minutes of otherwise wasted celluloid.

For my money, his best film, without a doubt, is My Darling Clementine in which, he plays Doc Holiday to Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp in one of John Ford's greatest westerns (i.e., so by definition, one of the greatest westerns). It is the only film by Mature to reside in my top 10, and, with the exception of John Ford himself, he has as much to do with the lofty placement among my favorite films as anyone else in the film. His Doc Holiday is a badly wounded idealist, an alcoholic--a Rick Blaine with gun and cowboy hat. Long since has his studied cynicism, grown into a full blown fatalism, buoyed in part by his growing acquaintance with encroaching death (he has TB). He can be thoughtless, brutish, even cruel--though glimpses of his former character does, in spite of himself, seep through into the daylight at times, revealing a learned, thoughtful, compassionate side 16d0 . Through his mastery of a gun, and a disregard for his own well-being, he has become the town of Tombstone's most important citizen, sometimes running roughshod over the rights of its citizens, but supplying at least a dollop of control over an otherwise unruly and dangerous town. When Fonda's Earp becomes Town Marshall, a showdown with "Doc" is inevitable, and is one of the highlights of the film. It takes place at the bar of one of the many saloons, and Doc eventually tells him to draw, but Earp isn't carrying a gun. Doc slides one to him down the bar, but Earp slides it back and remarks, something to the effect, "Virgil--he's the good looking one. Morg is the big one," referring to two of his brothers who are posted elsewhere in the saloon, each with rifles pointed at Doc. Without batting an eye, Doc says to Earp, "Have a drink." He may have little regard for his own well-being, but he has a prominent practical side. Mature plays every nuance here convincingly, and though he has been as good in other films, none of his other vehicles have reached the heights this one achieves. Cheerio!

"Nothing in this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!"--Little Big Man

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

If you get a chance, see Randolph Scott's Frontier Marshal with Cesar Romero as
Doc Holiday. John Ford improved on it, but between the two of them they are the
least factual presentation of what happenned at the OK Corral.

I remember The Big Circus when I was a lad. It was a poor ripoff of what DeMille had done in The Greatest Show On Earth, but it was still nicely done.
If DeMille hadn't done his first and better this film would have gotten more

Now I really like Footlight Serenade among his early work. Vic and John Payne
getting their hormones in overdrive over Betty Grable.

Bureaucrats need love

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

Hmmmmm. I am incapable of envisioning Romero as Doc Holiday. Worth a look if only for that reason. Of course, Hollywood never let reality get in the way of a good yarn, and for the most part, I'm in full support of this, so even if My Darling Clementine misses the mark concerning historical accuracy, it hits all the marks regarding entertainment, so give me this over Wyatt Erap or Tombstone any day (not that these were horrible movies, but definitely not in the same league as Ford's version).

Haven't seen Footlight Seranade, but I'll keep an eye out. The Big Circus didn't make much of an impression on me, but it's watchable.

Probably my second favorite Mature film is Kiss of Death which I regard as a classic noir. Mature is quite good (as usual) though Richard Widmark steals the show as the giddy psychopathic killer.

Two other goodies are Cry of the City and Violent Saturday, though the latter could have used a little better direction and better production values. Cheerio!

"Nothing in this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!"--Little Big Man

I Wake Up Screaming

I Wake Up Sceaming (1941), early Vic, and as much a vehicle for Grable, Landis and especially the scene-stealing (and for my money the movie-stealing) Laird Cregar. An excellent example of early or proto-noir, and if you haven't seen it you're in for a treat. For some reason I have a soft spot for Demetrius and the Gladiators, which I loved when I saw it on TV as a kid, and I like Violent Saturday, a good, rather atypical film for Vic in the middle fifties.

Re: I Wake Up Screaming

No, I don't beleive I've seen I Wake Up Screaming, but it sounds as if it's worth a look. I mentioned Violent Saturday also as one of his better vehicles. Your mention of "Demetrius" reminds me that I forgot to include another of my favorite Mature films in my earlier posts, The Robe. I know this opens me up to ridicule in some circles, but no matter. I think it an excellent film, with Mature giving a standout performance. He and Jay Robinson (as Caligula) steal the film away from their bigger name co-stars. Demetrius and the Gladiators was a decent and under rated follow-up which I also enjoyed. That scene in which his girlfriend seems to die in response to his prayer is a good one, and shows off Mature's considerable talents as an actor.


"Nothing in this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!"--Little Big Man

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

I haven't seen many of Vic's movies (although I plan on seeing more!) I'd deffinately have to say My Darling Clemintine. He was spectacular! Wonderful, wonderful actor. Fantastic looking aswell! *swoon*

Paulie: "Look at this place! No class in here!"
- Rocky III

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

I haven't seen a lot of his films, but of the ones I've seen so far, Kiss of Death would be my favourite. He's really quite believable in his role, and although Richard Widmark has the showier role, it's Mature who anchors the picture.

I've read a lot of comments of people criticizing his acting (himself included), but I think he was better than he was given credit for. What he may lack in technique he makes up for in natural ability. In The Robe, Richard Burton comes off looking very artificial, while Mature seems very real.

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

I love Kiss of Death too!! his character was so fantastic in that movie!

and yeah i kinda see what your sayin....i mean, he really isn't anythin to write home about as far as actin but he isn't painfully bad, like some Kiss of Death he was pretty toned down and kept it to a bare minimum which worked well for him.

"I'm waiting for the sun to shine."

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Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

My five favorites are:
1. Kiss of Death
2. Samson and Delilah
3. My Darling Clementine
4. The Robe
5. Demetrius and the Gladiators

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

All good films, though of course, I might quibble with their order (especially My Darling... which is tops by a mile in my list) but these would be relatively minor disagreements.

Another film that Mature is excellent in is After the Fox--a film that has several major flaws, but Mature's acting isn't one of them. He really shines in this, one of his last roles.


Fighting for Truth, Justice, and making it the American way.

Re: Favorite Victor Mature Films

Victor Mature's top ten films.

THE ROBE [1953]