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Novel Concept
Xploitedyouth15 May 2003
While this film is undeniably bad, one can't help but respect the filmmakers for trying something new. Movie cops are usually strong, resourceful, quick-thinking and quick-acting. They don't usually play by the rules, but they get the job done. They're usually played by attractive, young, popular actors that people like, and usually get the classiest ladies. Now, take a look at MITCHELL. MITCHELL stars Joe Don Baker as Mitchell, a cop who fits none of the above, "cookie-cutter" prerequisite stereotypes. Mitchell is fat. Mitchell is sloppy. He's an alcoholic. His apartment is filthy and littered with porn. The only woman he can get is a prostitute, and he treats her like a lowly dog. Mitchell is stupid. He's incompetant. The only way he gets any crimes solved is purely by accident, and because the villains in the movie overestimate him. Joe Don Baker is not a hot young actor. He's not popular and he's not good looking. So, kudos to the filmmakers! Way to break down barriers.
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I met Mitchell!
thebigsee3 August 2005
I had watched "Mitchell" many many times on MST3K and had basically memorized the entire show out of love. One day my brother and I were talking about a local diner/bowling alley in Woodland Hills, California -- "Woodlake Bowl" -- and we were remarking how much our dad liked it and how it wasn't what it once was. My brother said, "You know who I see whenever I go there? Joe Don Baker." I was thrilled to hear this but next time I went to the Woodlake Bowl for lunch with my Dad, I wasn't thinking I'd see Joe Don. It was a rainy day and as I exited my car and waited for my Dad to get out of the passenger side, an aged Datsun 240Z with cracked and fading paint pulled up in the spot next to mine. I started walking in a minute or so later and then I heard from behind me - in an unmistakable boomy Texas drawl: "YOUR HEADLIGHTS IS ON." I turned around to stare Joe Don face-to-face! I was starstruck, like I had met Brad Pitt or Marilyn Monroe or something. It was raining and Joe Don was in a long coat and droopy hat. And yes, he said "is on", not "are on"! I thanked him and he went on his way. I couldn't help but think of his face and of MST3K's description of him: "A melting bear". It was spot-on. As I walked past his rust-bucket 240Z, I couldn't help but have a peek inside. I remember the interior was just as bad as the exterior and he had a lot of softball equipment under the hatchback. I sort of imagined Joe Don as a little-league softball coach at that point and for all I know he is! But overall I was left with the feeling he was a lonely bachelor type who ate meals alone at a divey diner every day and drove a junkbox of a car -- hey, sounds like Mitchell! But seriously, I felt he is too much maligned as he seemed like a melancholy but nice guy. You go, Joe Don!
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Any given episode of The Rockford Files is better than this.
ZachsMind1 February 2002
Joe Don Baker plays a police detective with an affinity for booze and blondes and not much else. His life is miserable. One finds oneself wondering why anyone would want to tell the story of someone so unhappy and why we the audience are spending 90 minutes of our lives being exposed to his misery.

Despite his lack of personal morals in his own life, and his inability to engender anything more than disdain from his fellow coworkers, somehow Baker has acquired a near zero-tolerance for any criminal behavior among other people. He's simultaneously amoral and noble, and we the audience are left wondering why, because the script never manages to explain it for us. There's very little to love about Mitchell, but Baker manages to muddle through the script nonetheless; not an easy job for any actor. Baker should have received an award for tolerating the terribly written script that was given him.

The film is more like a failed pilot for television than an actual silver screen cop action movie. The plot is difficult to describe without the use of censorable and colorful adjectives. There appears to be at least two different plots going at the same time, and the plot with John Saxton in it starts the film but then peters out about halfway through. The other plot involves Baker sitting outside a rich guy's house because he's somehow involved in drug smuggling, and eventually finding himself being beat up and shot at. He's even accosted verbally by a young child on a skateboard. Attempts at humor abound, but nothing seems to really engender a good laugh. Linda Evans uneventfully plays a prostitute who is hired to make love with Mitchell, and for some strange reason falls in love with him despite the audience's inability to comprehend why.

Mitchell features what is perhaps the slowest car chase in the history of cinema, and that alone is worth watching the film for true action flick fans, if nothing more than to see what film makers should never do. Mitchell acquired a renewal of sorts in the form of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the mid-90s, when the film was featured as the form of torture used by mad scientists on an innocent Joel Robinson and his lovable robots. This particular episode of MST3K is the turning point of that series, because it's the one where Joel Hodgson left the series and was replaced by head writer Mike Nelson. So all fans of MST3K hold a special place in their hearts for this, the worst cop flick ever.
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Traci Lynn17 September 2001
Awful. Gloriously, fabulously awful. My-my-my-my goodness this was a piece of work... If the hideousness of this movie had been intentional, I doubt it would be so amazingly funny. I laughed so hard I almost passed out. What I wouldn't give for "Mitchell 2: the Geritol Years."
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In Defense Of Mitchell
Cicman6914 May 2003
Ok, like most people, I was introduced to "Mitchell" via the comedy genius of Mystery Science Theater. It's one of my favorite episodes of the Joel era. However, I have recently seen the original un-MSTied verison of "Mitchell" and I can saw, it's really not all that bad. It's not good mind you, but it's no "Manos". The problem is they squeezed about an hour's worth of material into a 97 minute movie. And let's not forget, Mitchell is supposed to be unlikable. He's an anti-hero, something not often seen in American movies. Joe Don Baker did a decent job in this given the limitations of the material.
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Goodbye, Joel, goodbye
lee_eisenberg7 August 2005
You know that a movie is really bad when the best scene in it is when a woman is wearing a dress that shows her entire back torso. That's the case with "Mitchell", a fourth-rate cop flick with Joe Don Baker as the title character going after drug dealers. It isn't even so bad that it's good; it's so bad that it makes you feel like your brain just turned into mashed potatoes (in fact, that statement is insulting to mashed potatoes). Fortunately, hope is not lost: "MST3K" showed this hunk of junk and Joel, Servo and Crow had lots to say about it. As it was, that was Joel's final episode, as he was replaced by Mike. Mike did an equally good job helping the 'bots mock crummy movies.
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Seeing this on MST3K does not count as seeing the movie
dbborroughs11 February 2005
How many people who laugh at this film have actually seen it complete? I don't think very many since this film was used as one of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science 3000. But even I have to admit that when you remove a third or more of a movie its very easy to make fun of it.

Thats a shame because as exploitation films from the 1970's go this one is one of the best. No it won't win an award but its unrepentant trash with sexist remarks and dopey action. Joe Don Baker was never a great actor but he could turn in a good exploitation performance before becoming simply a cartoon character.

If you're in the mood for a good mindless action film give this a try. Its better than you think and certainly better that being near the bottom of a worst film of all time list.
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"I've got beer and... vodka."
bensonmum22 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
  • Over the years I've learned that anytime Joe Don Baker is the "star" of a movie, you know you're in trouble. I don't know what the people behind Mitchell were thinking, but Joe Don Baker cannot carry a movie. He's fine as a goofy sidekick to provide some comic relief, but he just looks silly trying to play an action star.

  • The plot really doesn't matter. The highlight of the movie is watching Baker run, drink beer, and recite goofy dialog. One of the weirdest moments in the movie is a scene with Baker and a little boy on a skateboard. The exchange they have is utterly ridiculous and feels like it belongs in another movie.

  • I'm not sure what Linda Evans, Martin Balsam, and John Saxon thought Mitchell would do for their careers, but it's certainly a low point. Fortunately for Saxon, he disappears about half way through and doesn't make it to the film's "dramatic" conclusion. I've always looked at Balsam as a fairly accomplished actor. He should have known better. As for Evans, her love scenes with Baker are enough to induce nausea. Hoyt Axton musical ode to Mitchell only adds to the ridiculous nature of the this scene.

  • I've seen Mitchell both with and without the MST3K commentary. The preferred viewing is with the commentary. I'm no MST3K expert, but this is my favorite episode that I've seen. Much of it is truly laugh-out-loud funny.
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Bad movie, but JDB actually portrays a believable action hero
lemon_magic24 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A strange choice for Joel's final episode of MST3K, but it's hard to imagine what would be a more appropriate choice. Maybe one of the Russo-Finnish things they covered, like "Sinbad", or "The Day the Earth Froze" (to end on a high note), or "Monster-A-Go-Go" (which embodies the essence of all the crap that MST existed to make fun of.)

I understand why some people don't like Joe Don Baker movies, but my own judgments of his films are influenced memories of one of my best friends in college (since passed away, alas). My friend was an older ex-Army sergeant who was a lot like Baker in many ways, and who would undoubtedly see a lot of himself in Baker's screen persona. A couple of tours of duty in the Army as an enlisted man and non-com had turned him into a self-described "FFS" (Fat F***ing Sergeant): an overweight, dyspeptic, burned out, cynical, hard drinking sad sack. But if you got to know him and got past the outer shell, he was one of the best friends a person could ask for; intelligent, loyal, generous, kind, and hard-working to the point of being a workaholic.

I think that my friend would look at Baker's character in this film (and in "Final Justice") and see Mitchell in the same way he saw himself: someone who doesn't seem at all glamorous or fancy, but still can do whatever it takes to get the job done.

And that's the whole point of Baker's character in "Mitchell": he doesn't look like anyone's idea of an 'action hero', but underneath the flab and the bad attitude is an incorruptible 'real man' who can kick the pretty boys' butts when the chips are down and who stays the course in spite of every obstacle and distraction that would stop a lesser, 'metrosexual' blow comb user. And if the movie does anything well, it at least gets this point across.

It seems to me that Joel and the gang took any excuse to hammer on Baker when the he and his movie weren't really any worse than most of the stuff that came out at the time. In other words, they struck an attitude and then made up 'straw man' targets to attack to justify their attitude, hoping that the sheer venom of their rhetoric would keep the audience from actually making their own decisions...just like Dennis Miller does in his rants. Baker is somewhat heavy, yes, but he's no Charles Durning or Sidney Greenfield (two actors who you DID expect to have a coronary in any given scene). And his character is somewhat unkempt, but the whole beer/baby oil/revulsion thing they paint for him is at least three notches worse than what the movie presents. You don't believe for a moment that Linda Evans would ever go to bed with Mitchell, but OTOH the results wouldn't be nearly so revolting as Joel and the Bots would have you believe.

So no, not a good film by any means. But approach it with an open mind and you'll have a watchable cop flick with a twist on the usual 'action hero' casting and formula.
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Thankfully MST3K did a treatment of this.
sipes2317 July 2001
I don't know what persuaded the makers of this movie to release it. I don't know why they hired the editor they did. He should be lynched for technical ineptitude--not that he had much to work with. And so should anyone else associated with this movie.

UNLESS you are viewing the MST3K version. Then this movie becomes a real laff riot.
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Reasons why this unjustly maligned cop movie masterpiece is better than "The French Connection"
Woodyanders3 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When given the awesome challenge and responsibility of making a comment on the extraordinary piece of pure cinematic gold that is "Mitchell," one simply can't just write your basic synopsis of the plot and follow it with a critique of the picture itself. Instead, one must show a little creativity and imagination (two sterling attributes which are richly abundant in this remarkably fine feature) in order to properly give the film itself it's true due. So, I'm going to happily list the many reasons why "Mitchell" is better than "The French Connection."

1) Burly, bullfrog-faced 70's B-movie icon Joe Don Baker portrays the scruffy, boozy, blithely amoral and thoroughly unorthodox maverick cop Mitchell with an animal passion and charismatic conviction which makes Gene Hackman's overrated Oscar-winning performance in "French Connection" seem extremely bland and superficial. Moreover, the character of Mitchell clearly influenced such subsequent "you gotta bend the law in order to enforce it" fellow iconoclastic rough-around-the-edges police detectives as Nick Nolte in "48 Hours" and especially Mel Gibson in "Lethal Weapon." 2) The sluggish pacing will give you a profound newfound respect and admiration for the stirring spectacle that is watching grass grow. 3) Both John Saxon as a suavely slimy lawyer and Martin Balsam as a dastardly dope-dealing businessman sneer and leer with a lip-smacking go-for-it panache that's an absolute joy to behold. 4) The adversarial relationship between Mitchell and his huffy disapproving superior boldly explores heretofore untouched terrain in a cop action flick. 5) Linda Evans as a gorgeous high class hooker bears a striking resemblance to Cathy Lee Crospy. Don't miss the post-coital scene which shows Mitchell kissing Linda's bare feet; I'm sure this particular moment is wholly accountable for Quentin Tarantino's foot fetish. Furthermore, the Patsy Kensit gratuitous love interest character in "Lethal Weapon 2" was obviously patterned after Linda Evans' role in "Mitchell." 6) The choppy editing forsakes a steady snappy rhythm for a herky-jerky carelessly slapped together quality that's bound to make you queasy. Kudos are also in order for beautiful cinematography which sharply photographs the picture with a painter's discerning eye for breathtaking poetic imagery. 7) The insanely funky score cuts a righteous get-down groove which makes that over-hyped "Theme from 'Shaft'" sound like insipid elevator music. Better yet, we are further entreated to a couple of wonderfully corny country and western songs which are deftly drawled by the sublime Hoyt Axton ("Hey hey hey my Mitchell"). 8) The infrequent, but nonetheless still thrilling action scenes are staged with a rip-snorting aplomb and consummate expertise that makes John Woo seem dull and uninspired. The guy who takes a spill out of a helicopter and falls all of five lousy feet into the ocean below has to be one of the single most exciting and impressive stunts I have ever had the pleasure to see. All in all, as this illustrious list quite persuasively proclaims "Mitchell" is without a doubt a shamefully unsung and unheralded work of tremendous art that future generations of film fans will watch in total awe and amazement.
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"Mitchell a lot of people don't like you...why is that?"
duke3310 November 2000
All i can say about this movie is "wow". Not that i'm blown away by it, but that i can't believe that joe don baker and linda evens were that hard up for cash to make this bowser.

The script is pretty flimsy, sometimes with 2 or 3 subplots going their own directions and then somehow overlapping, yet it doesn't quite work. There are so many "bad guys" yet for some reason you can never quite figure out who is crossing whom, and what each person's relation to each other is. Towards the end, it starts to become more apparent, but it's still not that exciting.

Then, Joe Don Baker as Mitchell really does a poor job...I don't think it's his fault..just that the character was not that likeable. I mean, a boozing slob of a cop is not exactly what you think of when you think of great detectives...

I agree that this movie is amusing if you watch the MST3K version of fact it's one of my favorites, just because they jab Joe Don and this movie EVERY chance they can get, and I'd say that it's more than deserving of every single one.

Overall - one and a half out of ten stars.
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Everything you hated about the 1970's in one movie
quamp20 January 2000
Mitchell is one of those movies that just didn't stand up to the test of time. (then again, it wasn't great to begin with.) Joe Don Baker probably drank so much as Mitchell to ease the pain of being in this movie. That and having to make out while Hoyt Axton (sounding like a very drunk Mac Davis) sang a song. Other lowlights include the treatment of the old lady Mitchell hired when he picked up the suitcase; the use of the little kid who came to Mitchell when he was in his car; The death of Benton; and the list goes on. Avoid this one unless you're seeing the MST3K version. That is somewhat more easier on the stomach.
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They phoned it in
Cue-ball4 January 2000
Unlike Hunter Felt, I don't think Baker, Balsam (an Oscar winner for "A Thousand Clowns"), Evans, and Saxon are a second-rate cast. But this movie was so bad it got thoroughly and hilariously skewered by "Mystery Science Theater 3000", which was the version I watched. (Example: "Hey, Alan Gibbs played the Mustang Hood!" "Yeah? Who played the headlights?") If you never saw a car fix itself in the middle of a chase scene, you might want to watch this late one night after getting really drunk.
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Not Baker's fault
knsevy4 August 2002
A lot of people have trashed Joe Don Baker over this movie, mostly in a lame 'monkey see, monkey do' following of MST3K. The movie itself IS bad, but to suggest that Joe Don Baker is responsible for that is ludicrous. The character of Mitchell is actually a unique creation for a protagonist. He's not one of these muscled, brooding, overhyped types we've gotten used to, over the years. Okay, it doesn't work. There's a reason Hollywood panders to the lowest common denominator: because there are more idiots than intellectuals.

Still, in this stinker of a film, Joe Don Baker's performance is one of the bright spots. He's doing his best to make something out of nothing.
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It's not that bad !
chinaskee29 September 2003
"Mitchell" basically looks a cop TV show from the seventies and as far as cop shows go this one isn't all that terrible. If you're basing your review on the Mystery Science version the fact is you haven't seen the movie. All you've seen are some nerdy creatures make fun of a movie because they're not talented enough to make a movie themselves. Those guys could make "Casablanca" look like a piece of junk. That's their shtick. If you're a fan of shows like " The Rockford Files" you'll probably like this movie. It's not that bad !
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Predictable But Entertaining Police Thriller
zardoz-1319 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Mitchell (Joe Don Baker of "Walking Tall") is an unkempt, beer-drinking, Los Angeles Police Detective who looks like a role model for Nick Nolte's character in "48 HRS." "Chism" director Andrew V. McLaglen has put together a less politically strident version of "Dirty Harry" with "The French Connection" heroin plot. Mitchell is such a maverick cop that he doesn't even have a partner. The formulaic Ian Martin Kennedy has our rough-hewn hero trying to bust a corrupt attorney Walter Deaney (John Saxon of "The Unforgiven") for the murder of a house prowler when he isn't shadowing James Arthur Cummins (Martin Balsam of "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys")who is part of a heroin ring. Like most post "Dirty Harry" thrillers, the eponymous protagonist in "Mitchell" makes up his own rules.

When Mitchell isn't tailing Cummins, he enjoys the carnal pleasures of a $1000-a-night prostitute (Linda Evans of "Tom Horn")who totes around a bag of marijuana. Predictably, the plot goes around in circles as the characters circle each other. Deaney wants to make a real estate deal with Mitchell, while Cummins uses Mitchell as a body guard against his other unsavory associates. When Mitchell gets in a tough spot and he encounters many predicaments, he shoots to kill without a qualm. He wastes two ruffians with a shotgun, blasting them in the guts and shoots a guy on a motorcycle as the thug roars over a hill. The narcotics narrative is not as interesting as Mitchell's character. He is shown kissing on the hooker's foot after a night in bed and loves to drink beer. One amusing scene has our tough-as-nails cop arguing with a skateboard kid, telling him in no uncertain terms to "piss off."

John Saxon plays a sleazy bad guy who kills prowler in the opening scene and then plants a loaded gun by his corpse. Mitchell, who is riding with the uniformed cops when they respond to the call, takes one look at the crime scene and knows that the prowler wasn't tall enough to have retrieved the loaded firearm from a gun cabinet. McLaglen stages an interesting helicopter versus a boat scene. Mitchell catches a ride in a chopper and purses Cummins and his chauffeur out to sea. They are making a run for Mexico and Mitchell rigs up a battering ram. Mitchell orders the chopper pilot to attack the yacht and they smash the elevated steering tower. Eventually, Mitchell uses the battering ram as an anchor to slide down the rope to the boat. He dispenses with Cummins' bodyguard Benton and shoots the villain between the eyes with an M16 when Cummins tries to make a deal with him. The Linda Evans hooker is used as comic relief. Mitchell busts her twice for simple possession of marijuana.

"Mitchell" is not as bad as everybody claims, just an ordinary cop potboiler with lots of automobile chases. Again, the lead character is more interesting than the story. Joe Don Baker does a good job playing a blue-collar cop who rents an apartment without a dish-washer and sleeps on a fold-out bed. You wouldn't see Dirty Harry in these domestic circumstances.
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Can't lose with Johnny Mathis (or Al Noga)
ticklemetorgo28 March 2005
Chances saw the MST version. So have I, but do want to get the original. I still expect it to be cheese. But what fun cheese it is, Joe Don Baker IS Mitchell, who seems to solve crimes by accident. Nobody like him, he doesn't like anybody and yet he gets the job done. Will booze stop him? NO!! Not so bad-ass mobsters? NO!! John Saxon?? NO!! Merlin Olsen comes close but even misses the mark (send him a pick me up bouquet or something) And Greta who keeps sleeping with him despite being busted constantly. Who does like Mitchell? The MST fans themselves. If it wasn't for them this film would be nowhere to be found, rotting away in 99 cent bins at the video store until there are no videotapes left (you think that they would release this on DVD without MST?)
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Riveting, self-paced action for the IQ impaired
Chad-1427 October 1998
This film can only elicit one remark as a summary of this great piece of American Film. Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma Mitchell......

WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP!!!!! If it wasn't for the Mystery Science Theatre rendition, the cast and crew of this movie would/should be unceremoniously rounded up, tortured, and shot! I have been working on my bedroom technique of picking up the six pack with my toes. I know how women love classy moves, and I bow before the King of classy moves: Joe Don Baker. If you watch the movie, bow in the presence of the King. He evidently was Gary Busey's idol.
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Sometimes, Crap Can Be Amusing.
GuyCC22 July 2000
Mitchell the cop is a slobby, beer guzzling, mass eating, uncharismatic cop who taunts children by stooping to their level, sleeps with his prostitute girlfriend (Linda Evans? Why?) and busts her when done (Community service, I guess?), and somehow, in God's mercy I suppose, nabs the bad guy at the end of the film. What a hero. What a guy.

Take all that, add a lame, one-dimensional bad guy and equally as weak supporting characters, a bland "been there too many times, even for the '70's" plot, and an unforgettable theme song "My, my, my, my Mitchell", and you have this movie. Joe Don Baker's cinematic opus.

Yet this film makes me laugh every time. Simply put: This movie is a hoot.

Then again, I could never watch this film without the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" treatment. Even I don't have that much self-loathing. I could see why Joel would jump ship after this one. It's a completely ridiculous film, but it remains in my video library. Maybe it's the Johnny Mathis look-alike villain, maybe because it's the bane of all that is considered good taste. One of the few films that I can somehow manage to simultaneously almost kind of recommend, yet warn people to stay away from like the plague. That's the kind of movie "Mitchell" is. Check it out for yourself. Or not.
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very watchable
Thorsten-Krings10 February 2009
The film is actually pretty good. It's written by ian Kennedy Martin who delivers a Sweeney style action packed cop drama with lots of blokey humour, car chases and gratuitous sex and violence. Industry veteran Andre McLaglan puts it effectively on screen. It's a film that was shot with a good budget which shows. The cast is brilliant, a lot of well known faces although in the last scene Balsam has alook on hbis face that seems to be saying: I can't believe I'm doing this. The theme tune is sung by Hoyt Axton. Linda Evans looks as though she had been using Botox twenty years before it was invented. So all in all, this is pretty good offering if you like faced paced action cop dramas, something in between The Sweeney and Dirty Harry. Joe Don Baker is really good as slob cop Mitchell and delivers some great lines. very watchable.
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"You want me to give you some advice..., watch out for falling rocks."
classicsoncall22 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe these flicks are wearing me down. I watched the IMDb rated 3.4 film "Gone With The West" yesterday and I didn't think it was all that bad. I follow it up today with "Mitchell", and even though practically everyone with a review here bashes it for it's insensibility, I actually got a kick out of it. Thats' not to say I didn't use the fast forward button a few times, but I'll do that anyway through most films with senseless chase scenes and slow spots that don't make a difference.

Here's the thing - Joe Don Baker is like the Energizer bunny, he just keeps on ticking. Would you rather have a dull, boring cop without charisma, or a dull, boring cop without charisma but wearing all those groovy plaid sport coats? I can't remember the last time I saw one of those, but I might have had one back in the day.

Anyway, there's some kind of heroin deal going on, and Mitchell's assigned to the case, more or less to keep him out of the trouble he'd get into by tailing a well connected socialite gangster (John Saxon). But he tails Saxon anyway, along with drug kingpin Cummings (Martin Balsam), who's taking HIS orders from a couple of other higher ups in the heroin chain. You can't fault Mitchell for his inventiveness, I particularly liked the 'smash the goon's hand in the car door' trick; that looked pretty painful. And if I ever see another picture that features a death by dune buggy, I'll know the inspiration was born here.

Apart from Linda Evans' hooker falling for a guy like Mitchell, the way he scrapped vehicles like old pairs of socks, and the picture's goofy 'Mitchell' theme song, you know what really freaked me out? How did old Mitch know which switch in the electrical panel would have operated the front gate at the beginning of the story? Then he did it again by hitting the right one to close down the swing doors in Saxon's hallway. I open my panel about once a year when I have to shut something down, and it'll take me a few minutes just to figure out the right one.
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Another movie unfairly hated thank to MST3000
bellino-angelo201425 September 2019
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 was a show that laughed at B-movies. And since it lasted 11 years they had to find lots of movies to assault. However as the years passed they picked poor and mediocre movies and mocked them in the usual way, and fans of the show assumed that these movies are garbage. This would account for films like GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS, SOULTAKER, PUMAMAN and MITCHELL that until a year ago were on IMDB's Bottom 100. MITCHELL, just like the other movies mentioned, it's not a awful movie and it's pretty entertaining. And if it wasn't for MST3000 it would have an higher score than its actual score of 2,5.

This movie, that followed the trend of the DIRTY HARRY movies of those years, stars Joe Don Baker as Mitchell, a sleazy cop that plays by his own rules. He is hated by his superiors and he has some women of company here and there. When he investigates the murder of a burglar in a luxury home, he thinks that the homeowner killed the thief himself. After a while he discovers a heroin smuggling case and he will not stop at nothing since he has to take the garbage out!

So, is MITCHELL that bad? Not really. While it looks substandard to many cop thrillers of the time, it has a nice soundtrack, some fight scenes here and there and at times the viewer will stay at the edge of the seat. It has a nice cast. While Joe Don Baker is a odd choice for a Dirty Harry-type cop, the supporting cast is good. Linda Evans, John Saxon, Martin Balsam and Harold J. Stone in a tiny cameo are all good.

However don't have high expectations for this movie. Just take it for what it is. A watchable b-movie thriller just like many others of that period.
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Watch out for falling rocks.
Hey_Sweden11 November 2018
"Mitchell" is something else: a hilariously *stupid* and *ridiculous* cop-movie-action-thriller featuring an unusual sort of hero. Joe Don Baker of "Walking Tall" fame is the title character, a slovenly, unlikable, not terribly competent police detective. Add to that the fact that Mr. Baker is not exactly a "matinee idol" sort of star. The only woman who will have sex with him is a hooker (Linda Evans of later "Dynasty" fame) who he didn't even pay for, and whom he treats like dirt. He gets an assignment to "lean on" an import racketeer (Martin Balsam, "Psycho"), while being told to ignore the case of a hotshot attorney (John Saxon, "Enter the Dragon") who shot an intruder in his home.

Fairly invigorating action scenes (a dune buggy chase, a pursuit on the open ocean between a boat and a helicopter) are outweighed by the extreme silliness of the script by Ian Kennedy Martin, a veteran of TV series such as 'Juliet Bravo'. However, the very inanity of the dialogue and characters helps to make "Mitchell" entertaining in a train-wreck sort of way. Most of the actors do manage to keep from looking too pained, with Balsam a standout. Other familiar character actors like Morgan Paull "Blade Runner"), Harold J. Stone ("Spartacus"), Robert Phillips ("The Dirty Dozen"), Rayford Barnes ("The Wild Bunch"), Jerry Hardin ('The X-Files'), and Sidney Clute ('McCloud') round out the cast. Football star Merlin Olsen has a substantial supporting part as Balsams' none-too-bright lackey.

The movie isn't necessarily badly made, with attractive photography and some decent location work, but it's all negated by the silliness on display. The worst moment (or best, if you totally dig "so bad they're good" movies), is the WTF, totally out-of-nowhere exchange between Mitchell and a young boy.

It's entirely possible that this was meant to be a parody of cop thrillers with tough guy heroes, so it may help you in your enjoyment if you think of it that way.

Five out of 10.
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It's only a $500.00 fine and with you getting $1,000.00 a night you'll still be ahead
sol-kay2 March 2006
**SPOILERS** Considered worthy enough to be featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 "Mitchell" really lives up to it's low standards as being one of the worst crime/cop movies ever made by a major Hollywood studio. The film seemed to have been made with actors who could have only agreed to be in it if meant the end of their acting careers if they weren't.

After a reported burglary at mob lawyer Walter Deaney's mansion a cop squad car, with what looks like a strung out Mitchell in the back seat, shows up finding the burglar shot and killed by Deaney. Mitchell a bit groggy but awake enough to get on his feet feels that it wasn't self-defense on Deaney's part but murder.

Back at the police station Mitchell is told by his boss to stay away from Deaney and stake out James Commings a top west coast mobster who's suspected in smuggling a load of heroin into the country via Mexico. Mitchell despite orders from his boss not to bother Deaney goes out on his own to get him on a murder charge in the killing of the burglar. By doing that he opens up what becomes a drug connection between Deaney Commings Mafia boss Tony Gallano and head of the Califiornia crime syndicate Salvator Mistretta.

Unbeliveably complicated and totally ridicules movie with Mitchell doing his thing which is making a complete fool of himself yet coming out on top by doing in everyone who he's up against. In the end Mitchell even runs in Greta, a $1,000,00 a night call-girl, for smoking pot after he has a romp in the hay with her.

You wonder what exactly is going on in the movie with both Commings and Gallano since Gallano seems to be working for Mistretta. Mistretta for some strange reason want's Commings to use his mob connections to ship in some heroin, that's small enough to fit into a car trunk or glove compartment, into San Pedro Harbor. Were made to believe that Commings is a has been in the California crime syndicate and doesn't have the clout he used to have. Why then is it so necessary for big mob boss Mistretta, who must have hundreds of hoods working for him, to have Commings do the job which he can so easily do himself?

Mitchell meanwhile on a mission to get Deaney for murder is later blackmailed by him in having $1,000.00 a night call-girl Greta spend the night with him, all expenses paid, courtesy of Walter Deaney. Being too dense to get the message Mitchell has Greta run in for having a small plastic bag of pot on her which by doing that he's also implicating himself in a crime for accepting a hooker to spend the night with him!

The movie "Mitchell" now goes full-throttle with Mitchell doing in Deaney and one of his men in a mindless and a crazy dune buggy sequence where Mitchell on foot single handedly unseats Deaney's partner and then cracks his skull open with a bolder. Mitchell now behind the wheel of the dune buggy dives it like a man who completely lost his mind. Mitchell has the terrified embarrassed and stupid Deaney, who could have so easily gunned down the big and deranged guerrilla Mitchell, try to make a run for it as he flips over on his buggy landing on his head and burning himself to death.

Going after Commings Mitchell makes a deal with him to ship in the heroin but secretly plans to get to big mob boss Mistretta by doing it and then take care of Commings for all the trouble he gave him. The heroin is replaced with worthless white powder but were not quite sure, the movie never bothers to explain, exactly who did the switch Mitchell or Commings?

When Mistretta, after getting the car with the hidden drugs by Mitchell, finds out the drugs are worthless chalk powder he goes crazy and orders Mitchell to be knocked off! The cunning Mitchell, who knew that the drugs were fake, has plans of his own and ends up doing in both Mistretta and his hoodlums making it now possible for the movies grand-slam final. Mitchell commandeers a helicopter and goes after Commings who's yacht, together with his butler Bolton, is heading straight to the safety of Mexican waters with the $1,000,000.00 that Mistretta paid him for the phony heroin.

The movie "Mitchell" gets more and more ridicules as it goes along and by the time it's over you wonder if it's just you or something you drank or smoked that made you see what you just saw on the screen. The ending with Mitchell battening it out with both Commings and Bolton in an out of a helicopter and on Commings yacht has to be seen to be believed and ever after seeing it you still don't believe what you just saw.

Mitchell still has to run in poor and abused Greta, who for some strange reason seems to never have enough of the big lumbering lug, for a second time just to show her and the audience how cool, and stupid, as well as what a big he-man he really is. This after again finding a joint on Greta while spending the night with her in his apartment as the movie unexpectedly winds down to an end.

P.S The annoying and equally dinky movie theme song "Mitchell", with the person who's singing it sounding like he's drunk, pound it's way into our ears as "Mitchell" goes into freeze frame as the film finally come to a merciful end.
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