Anybody else beside me remember Saga Magazine from back in the 1970s? Saga Magazine was a weird mix of fake hard news, conspiracy theories, macho adventurers, celebrity profiles and scantily clad — but never quite nude (dammit!) — up-and-coming young starlets and models. It was for that reason I didn’t put it in the category of ‘Men’s Magazines” as I did with the Police Gazette, and the like. Based on the 75¢ cover price it might best be described as maybe a poor’s man’s Esquire. Better yet, anybody else remember the magazine, Argosy? Yeah, it’s more like that.
In researching Lee Marvin Point Blank I of course had to scour everything available on Marvin and this article was one of them.There are some decent quotes in it but the attributed author, Jim Sirmans (or perhaps the editor), really needed to check the facts in the piece. Lee’s father’s name was NOT Courtenay. That of course, was his mother’s name. The film he made with John Wayne was not The Heroes but The Comancheros. Ah well. Enough nitpicking. Below is the article I speak of. Enjoy!
Cover of the June, 1974 issue of SAGA barely featuring Lee Marvin.
First page of the article in SAGA featuring some interesting contrasting images of Marvin.
Lee Marvin SAGA profile, Page 1.
Lee Marvin SAGA profile, Page 2.
Lee Marvin SAGA profile, Page 3.
Lee Marvin SAGA profile, Page 4.
Lee Marvin SAGA profile, Page 5.
Why a blog on the best films of 1982? Well, long before I even thought of writing NY Times Bestseller, Lee Marvin Point Blank, I was lucky enough to land a freelance gig on a local paper (thanks to a grade school friend of mine) that allowed me to write film reviews on a regular basis. Amazingly, without any formal training or education, my reviews were popular enough to warrant an end of the year “Best Of” article, resulting in the piece you can read below.
It was a strange existence. My part-time job paying my bills was as a union housekeeper at Kaiser Hospital in Downey, Calif. So, and this is no exaggeration, I led a superhero’s existence for a few years. By day I was scrubbing toilets and by night I was attending film previews with the likes of Jack Nicholson and Timothy Hutton. Ya just can’t make this stuff up!
The reviews were popular enough to be syndicated through the company’s several local papers (the company was called SCCN: Southern Calif. Community Newspapers), which included my own city, of Cerritos. Unfortunately, it did not prove popular enough to sustain my employment when I new managing editor was hired requiring all employees to have a degree in journalism. I was sent back to scrubbing toilets…full-time.
What both amazes and amuses me as I reread what I wrote so many years ago, is how cock sure I was in my opinion, without anything to really back up said opinion. Ahh, youth. It might be worth noting that my pugnacious aside, what I wrote in reference to the films below I think still holds true. Oh, and if it matters, I did eventually get to see E.T. still wasn’t all that impressed….
This young punk’s take on the best films of 1982 as published and syndicated in SCCN.
Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia may be the most appropriate place to honor Memorial Day this weekend. For some reason, it seems to me that in recent years, some folks have either confused or deliberately forgotten the true meaning of the day. I’ve know some veterans who have been justifiably irate when someone thanks them for their service on Memorial Day. That, of course is the function of Veteran’s Day. Truth be told, it should be the function of every day but that’s another matter. For Memorial Day, we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, or are no longer with us but their memory sustains us. For that purpose, Arlington — established just before the end of the Civil War — is the quintessential ground in which the grateful citizenry pay its respects.
USMC Private First Class Lee Marvin toward the end of his duty in the Pacific during WWII.
Lee Marvin Point Blank readers know that he is interred there but the criteria for his inclusion is barely met, believe it or not. It’s not simply a matter of his active service but the fact that he received a Purple Heart that allowed him entry. However, his celebrity status resulted in a very special placement in a section reserved for dignitaries, officers and heads of state. For Marvin, who was actually cremated (known as inurnment as opposed to interment) his remains are near the final resting place of heavyweight boxing cheapen and WWII veteran, Joe Louis. His headstone smaller, Marvin’s placement is nonetheless well earned.
Lee Marvin’s headstone next to that of boxing champion, Joe Louis.
Not able to make it Arlington National Cemetery this weekend? Totally understandable. There are other ways to honor our fallen that has nothing to do with the unofficial start of summer, such as big box sales or backyard BBQs. My publisher has informed me recently that Kobo has chosen my e-book version for their Memorial Day Sale for which I am of course honored to discover. So, if you can’t make it to Arlington but want to pay your respects to a true American hero this weekend, feel free to read and discover what makes Lee Marvin an eligible member of that honored and elite group. And may your Memorial Day be a safe and honorable one.