His mini-rant begins with Robert Parrish, an actor-turned-editor-turned-director who, whereas taking pictures “The Wonderful Country,” requested Mitchum, solid as an American mercenary working south of the border, “to gradually lose my Mexican accent and then pick it up again when I went back to Mexico.” An exasperated Mitchum throws up his arms and says to Ebert, “Parrish is essentially a cutter, not a director.” Having warmed to his theme, Mitchum proceeds to put into Robert Wise, the Oscar-winning director and editor with whom the actor labored twice. Evidently, the second collaboration, on Wise’s adaptation of William Gibson’s Greenwich Village drama “Two for the Seesaw,” was the top of their relationship.
Wise might be finest referred to as the director of “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music,” however earlier than he grew to become a director, he earned an Academy Award nomination for modifying “Citizen Kane.” Mitchum did not like being directed by an editor. As he stated to Ebert:
“Bobby Wise, for example, couldn’t find his way out of a field without a choreographer. Bobby even times a kiss with a stopwatch. He marks out the floor at seven o’clock in the morning, before anybody gets there. Lays it all out with a tape measure. True. It’s very difficult to work that way. I worked with him and Shirley MacLaine and Shirley said, ‘Why doesn’t he go home? He’s just in the way…'”