Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum’s collaborations span four feature films including “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” (1957), “The Sundowners” (1960), and “Ryan’s Daughter” (1970). Together they crafted some of the most memorable performances in cinema, showcasing both their individual talents as well as their chemistry as a couple. From lighthearted romantic drama to dark suspense films, Kerr and Mitchum proved that their on-screen partnership had an uncanny ability to draw audiences in and keep them engrossed. Whether it was their easy banter or intense confrontation scenes, Kerr and Mitchum were always able to bring out the best in each other, creating a truly electrifying cinematic experience.
Below, I’ve ranked these four stellar films from “worst” to best. Please note that we consider no film here to actually be bad. In fact, the top three were incredibly hard to rank, as we adore all three of them almost equally! If you enjoy watching Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum onscreen together, then you’ll definitely want to watch all four of these films!
Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum Movies, Ranked
4. Reunion at Fairborough (1985)
- Genre: Romance / Drama
- Starring: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr, Judi Trott, Barry Morse
- Directed by: Herbert Wise
4th Kerr-Mitchum Movie Ever Made
Reunion at Fairborough was a TV movie made for HBO in 1985 and reunited Kerr and Mitchum two decades after they were last seen on screen by audiences. For that alone, this movie is worth a watch. It’s always exciting to see Classic Hollywood actors reunite together onscreen when they’re older, and this film is no different.
Kerr and Mitchum make a perfect pair as they effortlessly capture the old sparks that have never gone away between them. Despite the years that have passed, they remain as passionate and romantic as ever. Kerr brings out the vulnerability of her character, while Mitchum provides the strength and resilience of his. Together, they create an incredibly strong connection that is palpable to all viewers.
In Reunion at Fairborough, Mitchum plays a war hero who returns to England for a 40-year reunion with the Air Corps. There, he reunites with an old flame (Kerr) — and learns that he’s both a father and a grandfather!
3. The Sundowners (1960)
- Genre: Drama
- Starring: Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov, Glynis Johns
- Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
3rd Kerr-Mitchum Movie Ever Made
The Sundowners is one of the best Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum movies! This drama takes place in Australia in the 1920s and follows a family torn apart by their plans for the future. The husband (Mitchum) of the family wants to continue living his nomadic lifestyle, while the wife (Kerr) wants to finally settle down with their son somewhere. A riveting drama!
Kerr and Mitchum’s performances really bring the characters to life, and provide the heart of this story. Their chemistry is tangible and captivating, and the onscreen couple deliver subtle yet powerful performances, particularly in the heart wrenching ending. Apart from their excellent work, the cinematography showcase beautiful landscapes that truly capture the stark beauty of the outback.
The Sundowners was nominated for five Academy Awards — and Deborah Kerr’s performance in this film earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination! However, she ended up losing the award to Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8). With its top-notch performances and stunning visuals it is a must-watch for all fans of cinema.
2. The Grass Is Greener (1960)
- Genre: Romance / Comedy / Drama
- Starring: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons
- Directed by: Stanley Donen
2nd Kerr-Mitchum Movie Ever Made
The second-best Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum movie is 1960’s The Grass Is Greener. This romantic comedy is a real delight — and a lot of that has to do with the amazing cast that includes Grant, Kerr, Mitchum, and Simmons.
Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum deliver captivating performances in the 1960 rom-com The Grass Is Greener. Taking a unique look at interpersonal relationships and social norms, the film follows the adventures of wealthy English baronet Victor Rhyall (Mitchum) and resourceful American heiress Hilary St George (Kerr). Hilarious misadventures abound as Victor and Hilary attempt to bridge the gap between their two distinct worlds.
Kerr shines as an independent woman determined to find her place in society, while Mitchum’s portrayal of a struggling nobleman adds a depth of humanity to the role. Their poignant exchanges reveal the complexity of human connection, and explore themes of romance, money, class, loyalty, and generational differences with refreshing honesty. The Grass is Greener is must-see for fans of romantic comedies and classic Hollywood cinema alike.
In The Grass Is Greener, Grant and Kerr play an impoverished aristocratic couple who begin to think they should leave each other for wealthier spouses. Enter Mitchum and Simmons, two new romantic interests who enter their world. It’s a fun film!
1. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
- Genre: War / Adventure / Drama
- Starring: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
- Directed by: John Huston
1st Kerr-Mitchum Movie Ever Made
The best Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum movie is, without a doubt, 1957’s Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. This amazing war film is a classic for a reason! Kerr’s excellent performance here also earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, though Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve) ended up winning.
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is an outstanding, captivating drama from director John Huston that showcases the remarkable talent of Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr. The story follows two individuals, a marine corporal and a nun, who are stranded on a Japanese-occupied island at the height of World War II. Unexpectedly thrown together in the face of adversity, they must rely on each other for survival. As their relationship develops, the two discover a unique bond despite their differences in faith and worldview.
Mitchum and Kerr both give highly nuanced performances as the unlikely duo, vividly conveying the joys and challenges of their shared experience with an emotional depth that draws viewers into the film. The scenery and cinematography also contribute to the movie’s powerful atmosphere, enhancing the characters’ daring escapades with a heightened sense of suspense.
In Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, Kerr plays a nun, while Mitchum plays a U.S. Marine. Both find themselves stranded on a Japanese-occupied island and, as they try to evade capture by the enemy, they slowly form an unbreakable bond. An amazing film!?
What’s Your Favorite Deborah Kerr-Robert Mitchum Movie?
Comment below your own personal favorite film starring Kerr and Mitchum! Do you agree with this list? Or would you reorder it in another way? We’d love to hear all your thoughts and opinions about this legendary onscreen duo — hit the comments below!