Victor Mature – a few little anecdotes

In the book Richard Burton Prince of Players –  in the chapter “Lust and Life at 20th Century Fox”, there is this paragraph where the author recalls Richard Burton telling him that one of the pleasures of making The Robe was working with Victor Mature.
Richard Burton said:
“I’ve never known an actor so happily aware of his limitations. He rejoiced in them. He liked to joke that he was no actor and he said he had 60 films to prove it. But against him I looked like an amateur. We had a scene where the robe falls on to me and I scream like a girl before becoming overcome with religious fervour. And all the time Victor just stands there gazing into heaven with great conviction. I asked him, “How do you do it? What are you thinking?” He said, “I’m thinking of the money they’re paying me”. What a wonderful man.”

Above – Victor Mature in The Robe kneels before the cross. 

Just watch this Youtube clip of The Robe Premiere below:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1CfMl1AJ7M&feature=player_detailpage#t=0s

Another Story about Victor Mature – The film composer, William Alwyn, used to tour film societies showing a clip from a western, in which Victor Mature played a settler who had just found his family massacred by Indians.

The director, according to Alwyn, had spent multiple retakes trying to conjure grief from Mature’s rocklike expression. The actor became the joke of the set. However when the film was previewed, audiences during the scene in question wept.

“That man knew something about film acting which we didn’t,” Alwyn said.

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Jim Backus told this story about working with Victor Mature on the 1952 period film “Androcles & the Lion,”which was set in ancient Rome. Both actors were playing Roman soldiers from that era,Victor Mature as a captain,Jim Backus as a centurion.On a lunch break they walked into a restaurant,fully dressed in their Roman military costumes.The owner of the restaurant simply stared at them in mute disbelief when Mature asked for a table.  Finally Victor Mature said to him “What’s the matter,don’t you serve men in uniform?”

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Victor Mature – a few little anecdotes”

  1. Victoria Mature says:

    Thank you for compiling these terrific stories!
    Cheers!
    Victoria Mature

    • Movieman says:

      Thank You for those kind words Victoria. Victor Mature was my father’s favourite actor. He thought he was wonderful in The Robe – so did I and so did Richard Burton who starred in the film along with him. He has, of course, a star in the Hollywood Hall of Fame – and he richly deserves it.
      He was very well thought of here in England where he made some of his films. Thank you again. Neil

  2. William J Giesin says:

    Thank you Victoria … for showing me this web page. I really enjoyed all your dad’s films …. this truly was high praise from one of the greatest actors of all time (Richard Burton). I have always believed that your dad (Victor Mature) should have won an Oscar for Samson and Delilah.

    • Movieman says:

      William, Victor Mature was a very fine actor and terrific in Samson and Delilah but his acting in The Robe was superb and Richard Burton referred to this and said he was the most convincing of all of them. He should have received an award for this one I think. My own father loved Victor Mature in films and I
      have the opinion that he was vastly underestimated and almost ridiculed by some critics – who lets face it – know very little about acting – but Victor Mature did. Also he had a great screen presence. Someone said that film producers loved him because he was never in a film that did not make money.

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