I’ve spent nearly half an hour trying to prove that the first screen actor to say “if is the middle word in life” was Robert Mitchum in some late ’40s film noir and not Dennis Hopper‘s photojournalist in Apocalypse Now, who said it second. I know I heard Mitchum say this in Macao or His Kind of Woman (one of the greatest titles in cinema history) or Out of the Past or The Locket…one of those. But I can’t nail it down.