About Dwayne Epstein

Dwayne Epstein is the author of a number of young adult biographies, covering such celebrity personalities as Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Hilary Swank, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Denzel Washington for Lucent Books’ “People in the News” series. Epstein also contributed to Bill Krohn’s bestselling books “Hitchcock at Work” and “Joe Dante and the Gremlins of Hollywood.”Prior to writing biographies, Epstein contributed to film chronicles on a regular basis. He wrote for Filmfax Magazine on subjects such as Bobby Darin, the Rat Pack, television pioneer Steve Allen, film director Sam Fuller, comic book artist Neal Adams, “Invasion of the Body Snatcher’s” Kevin McCarthy, John Belushi and comedy legend Sid Caesar. Epstein later contributed to Cahiers Du Cinema’s “Serious Pleasures” which had a high profile in Europe. He wrote on American films chosen for rediscovery by directors Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood. Early in his career, Epstein earned his first professional writing credit reviewing films for Hearst Community Newspapers. Epstein was born in New York’s Coney Island in 1960, and moved West with his family at age 8, spending the rest of his childhood in Cerritos, Calif. He moved back east, attended Mercer Community College in New Jersey, and also served as an assistant editor for the five area newspapers of Cranbury Publications. Epstein made one more cross-country move and currently resides in Long Beach, Calif. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching and reading about movies and collecting soundtracks.

CHARLES BRONSON PASSED ON THIS DAY IN 2003

Charles Bronson. Charles Dennis Buchinski. They are one in the same and he left us this day 15 years ago, but not before leaving one hell of an impression. I’ve blogged about him previously, as seen here and here but I’ve never given him his due as an actor here. What he may have lacked in acting talent he more than made up for in steely, snake-eyed masculine presence. I am a genuine fan of most of his films, the exception being those god-awful Death Wish and Cannon films. But even those are bearable for his tired visage. His 60s European film and starring roles in 70s American films stand out best for me. If you haven’t see them, you’re in for a treat. I discovered a wonderful side to Bronson’s personality while researching the many films he made with Lee Marvin, as stated in Lee Marvin Point Blank. It’s what Marvin himself called Bronson’s “Little gleam, way back behind the eyes.”
Obviously, I am a fan which is why my Lee Marvin publisher, Tim Schaffner of Schaffner Press, agreed to publish my bio of him. Unfortunately, he then told me he wanted to take his company in a different editorial direction and we agreed to cancel the contract. Sigh. Fear not as there will be some exciting news on that end shortly. When I’m ready, I’ll post.
For now, I toast Mr. Bronson/Buchinski and remember him well as Marvin himself did. So long, Charlie Sunshine.

Obituary for Charles Bronson, August 30, 2003.

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LEE MARVIN ARCHIVES FOR SALE: 20 YEARS’ RESEARCH ON 1 CD!

Lee Marvin Archives? Yes, Lee Marvin archives. I recently completed archiving ALL of my exclusive Lee Marvin research material that I used for Lee Marvin Point Blank by scanning and putting it on CD. The eight full volumes of binders were organized chronologically and consists of at least a 100 pages in each volume. It was pretty labor intensive as it took me over a month and was well over a 1,000 pages in total! I did manage to get everything on one CD, though. It is a true must-have for any Lee Marvin as I can guarantee you’ll discover things not see anywhere else. ANYONE INTERESTED IN A COPY CAN CONTACT ME HERE OR VIA FACEBOOK. FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING!
The computer folders breakdown like this, with samples below…

1. Ancestry & Parents, 78 pages: Family details dating back to the 17th century,

Monte Marvin, Lee Marvin’s father, being interviewed in the paper on the death of his beloved uncle, Ross Marvin.

including verified info on Lee’s great uncle Ross Marvin’s actual cause of death and his father Monte Marvin’s childhood reaction!

2. Childhood & Life thru 1965, over 200 pages: This volume is the thickest as I was not planning on doing more than one volume. Consequently, I squeezed in everything I discovered from his early life, all the way up to and including his massive success by 1965.

Extremely rare first page of 3-page detailed account of Lee Marvin’s time at the experimental Manumit School in upstate New York.

It covers and documents his childhood, school years, war years, postwar years, early stage work, early film work, ascent to stardom and his full-fledged stardom by the mid-1960s.

3. Films & Life, 1966-1970, over 190 pages: Emphasis on Marvin’s films from this period includes

A profile of Marvin after winning the Oscar in the local Florida paper near where he went to school.

interviews and profiles in every major magazine at the time, from Playboy to Coronet, and every periodical in between, large or small, and many no longer in print or available online.

4. Life & Films,1971-1975, 104 pages: Extensive coverage of the films he made via

A sample of some of the exclusives in volume 4 is this cover story from the now log defunct “World” Magazine.

various articles, interviews and foreign periodicals, many of which no longer exist.
5. Palimony & More, 1976-1979, 136 pages: THE water cooler conversation of the late

One of the many articles involving the palimony suit included the effect of this Jimmy Breslin interview that nearly brought Marvin up on perjury charges.

70s was the infamous palimony suit Marvin was involved in. Here are all the daily rundowns of the court proceedings as well the actual legal impact the case had. By the way, it did NOT turn out the way most people think it did.
6. Late Life Interviews1980-1986, 125 pages: The old warhorse worked less in his

One of the many late life interviews Marvin gave includes this cover story for Parade magazine.

later years but did give many fascinating interviews in which he whimsically looked back on his life and work.
7. Obituary & Legacy1987-1999, 114 pages: Complete coverage of his passing in

One of the many articles in tribute to Marvin includes this rarity on his motorcycle days with Keenan Wynn.

August, 1987, as well as his legacy among friends and coworkers.

8. Growing Cult Status2000-2012, 119 pages: Since his passing in 1987, and his

The Loft Theater in Tucson showing its tribute to Lee Marvin.

growing cult status ever since,  Lee Marvin is remembered through a variety of sources, from a small repertory movie theater in Tucson to the Film Comment and MTV!!!

Feel free to contact me here for my information if needed, or to arrange payment via PayPal. You won’t be disappointed!
_ Dwayne Epstein

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NICK NOLTE, A LOGICAL FOLLOW-UP TO LEE MARVIN

Nick Nolte, a personal favorite actor since I saw Who’ll Stop the Rain back in 1978, was my idea of a perfect follow-up to Lee Marvin Point Blank. Why Nolte? Several reasons, actually. First of all, my publisher had put into the Lee Marvin contract that he would get first look on whatever project I proposed as a follow-up. Market considerations being what they are, many of my favorite subjects were automatically excluded due to the glut of titles already written about them (Steve McQueen, James Cagney, Burt Lancaster, etc.). With that in mind, I zeroed in on Nolte, as there has been very little published on the multi-Academy Award nominee.

The first and only book written about Nick Nolte came out in 1999.

For the longest time the only title was a book called Caught in The Act, written by Nolte’s friend, Mel Weiser. Not exactly a biography as it focused on Nolte’s technique while making the Merchant/Ivory production, Jefferson In Paris (1995) and included a few background anecdotes from earlier in his career. That meant a full, definitive biography had yet to exist.
My publisher liked the idea for that reason and then proceeded to ask me what my admiration was all about. Well, I told him I’d been a fan since Who’ll Stop the Rain. Truth is, when Nolte first made a splash with Rich Man, Poor Man and then The Deep, I was anything BUT a fan. The prime-time soap opera left me cold, and seeing The Deep in a drive-in with a bunch of buddies drooling over Jackie Bissett was fun but Nolte looked and acted like a Robert Redford wannabe.
Then came Ray Hicks and Who’ll Stop the Rain. It remains to this day one of my favorite films and Nolte gives a truly haunting performance. Following that he gave a string of knockout performances throughout the 1980s in everything from North Dallas Forty (1979), Heart Beat (1980), and Cannery Row (1982), to 48 Hours (1982), Under Fire (1983), Down & Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Weeds (1987) and New York Stories (1989). If you haven’t seen these, you are unnecessarily depriving yourself. Once seen, how can anyone NOT be a fan? Even when the film was so-so, Nolte was always worth watching. Interesting man, too.

Nolte (and director Paul Mazursky) answering my question following a screening of Down & Out In Beverly Hills at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica.

I met him briefly at a screening in 2015 and after his initial shyness, he proved to be a hilarious and spot-on storyteller. I very much looked forward to writing about the aforementioned films, as well as Prince of Tides (1991), Cape Fear (1991), Affliction (1997) and more. Cursory research proved he was quite a rebellious character in life, as well. If he could be summed up in one word it was done by a friend of mine who saw Nolte behind the wheel at a red light in Hollywood. He said it in one word: Ferocious.
Okay, his market value established, the dearth of biographies known and the life and fascinating talent worthy of exploring in place, it looked to be the perfect follow-up to Lee Marvin Point Blank. An actor, by the way, who had he lived, would have been even better than Oscar winner James Coburn as Nolte’s father in Affliction. Just saying.
Well, as the publisher and I were about to seal the deal, this showed up on Amazon….

Nick Nolte’s recently published memoir.

Sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Nolte did it, even if it took almost two more years to see the light of day. I’ve been reading it and loving it, as well. Unfortunately, it proved to be the death knell on my proposed biography.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. What’s a poor biographer to do? I went back to the drawing board and came up with what I thought to be a decent alternative. No, not Charles Bronson, as that’s a story for another blog. What I came up with I thought was rather ingenious. What was it, you ask? Heh, heh. Stay tuned…..

-Dwayne Epstein

 

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