NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY PICKS ANOTHER LEE MARVIN FILM

The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress recently announced its latest list of inductees into its prestigious pantheon of preservation. Its purpose, as stated on its website is that, “The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.” Among the 25 worthy picks for 2018 is Bad Day at Black Rock, making it the fourth Lee Marvin film to be so honored since the Registry’s inception in 1989. Previously preserved classics include The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (2007), The Big Heat (2011) and Point Blank (2016). The Registry’s reasoning for including Bad Day at Back Rock is quoted below:

 

The mostly male cast of BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK: (L-R) Dean Jagger, Walter Sande, Lee, Walter Brennan, Russell Collins, Robert Ryan and Spencer Tracy), as chosen by the National Film Registry for preservation.

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
“Though only 81 minutes in length, “Bad Day” packs a punch. Spencer Tracy stars as Macreedy, a one-armed man who arrives unexpectedly one day at the sleepy desert town of Black Rock. He is just as tight-lipped at first about the reason for his visit as the residents of Black Rock are about the details of their town. However, when Macreedy announces that he is looking for a former Japanese-American Black Rock resident named Komoko, town skeletons suddenly burst into the open. In addition to Tracy, the standout cast includes Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Dean Jagger. Director John Sturges displays the western landscape to great advantage in this CinemaScope production.”

Clearly a worthy choice but the future remains unknown. Personally, I’d like to see the inclusion of the likes of The Dirty Dozen, The Professionals, Monte Walsh and The Big Red One, among others. Why? Well, one need only read Lee Marvin Point Blank to figure that out and discover the amazing stories, critical response and lasting legacy of Lee Marvin and his phenomenal career.
Until then, happy holidays!

-Dwayne Epstein

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2018 GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS: TRUTH SPEAKS LOUDER THAN FICTION

The 2018 Golden Globe nominations were announced today and I noticed a specific trend in some of these worthy projects and performances. See if you can guess….

1965 Golden Glob Winner, Samantha Eggar for The Collector (left) and Lee Marvin for Cat Ballou, compare trophies.

Best Picture (Drama)
BlackKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Picture (Comedy)
The Green Book
The Favourite
Vice
Best Actor in a Drama
Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Marek in Bohemian Rhapsody
Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased
John David Washington (son of Denzel) in BlacKkKlansman
Best Actor in a Comedy
Christian Bale in Vice
Viggo Mortensen in Green Book
Robert Redford in The Old Man & The Gun
John C. Reilly in Stan & Ollie

Catch on to the trend, yet? No? Well, this might help….
Best Actress (Drama)
Melissa McCarthy in Can You Forgive Me?
Rosamund Pike in A Private War
Best Actress (Comedy)
Olivia Colman in The Favourite
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali in Green Book
Timothée Chalamet in Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver in BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant in Can You Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell in Vice
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Amy Adams in Vice
Claire Foy in First Man
Emma Stone in The Favourite
Rachel Weisz in The Favourite

And several TV nominees fit the theme as well….
Best Limited Series
The Alienist
Dirty John
The Assassination of Giovanni Versace
Escape At Dannemora
A Very English Scandal
Knowing the regular subject of this blog, you must have guessed it by now…That’s right. Each one of the projects mentioned above are based on fact and in some instances, are out and out biopics. I don’t know if that’s a record for nominees, compared to years past, but it sure seems pretty impressive to me.
In other words, as long as it’s done well, you can’t go wrong being nominated and possibly winning an award if you base your project on non-fiction. Lee Marvin Point Blank is just such a worthy project (if I do say so myself), having made the NY Times Bestseller list at number 4 and garnering several awards when first published.

My personal copy of The hardcover dust jacket of Lee Marvin Point Blank (note the bronze medallion for winning the IPPY award), that is going to be quite collectible as it’s almost out of print!

Matter of fact, an extremely talented veteran filmmaker agrees with me. This uniquely talented writer/director wrote me the following:

“I am someone who absolutely believes in this project. It is such a rich story, with a unique protagonist, and goddam, it’s actually a TRUE story that encapsulates everything from rags to riches, from rise and fall, from hell to paradise, external bravo battling versus internal anguish….The list of ‘why do this?’ for me, goes on and on. I love it.[…] My desire is to be part of this project somehow, as I truly believe it will be a fabulous film that will resonate with Hollywood, and be award-baiting. You, sir, are sitting on an amazing project and I hope you realize, appreciate, and buy into, how much I love it.”

His response was based on the treatment I penned based on my book. Impressive, no? Now the question becomes what’s missing to make this project see the light of day? Answer: proper investors……Any takers? Seriously. It is available and the rewards are clearly there for the taking. Feel free to contact me here if interest has been peaked. Happy holidays!
– Dwayne Epstein

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ARMISTICE DAY, VETERANS DAY & THE MARVINS

Armistice Day began Nov. 11th, 1918 when WWI officially suspended combat on the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour. In time, the name of Armistice Day became Veterans Day in 1954, honoring all those who served in the military on Nov. 12th.
For the Marvin family, there was not a single military conflict in which the family ranks were not involved and seriously depleted, going all the back to the American Revolution. As Lee Marvin liked to say, “It’s my country. We fought for it, we Marvins.” However, since Armistice Day, began with the end of WWI, the involvement began a little closer in Lee’s lineage, which meant his father, Lamont Waltham “Monte” Marvin.

Monte Marvin in his WWI uniform.

Monte was a 1st, Lt. during the war and in charge of a unit in the 302nd Engineers stationed in France. He later served in WWII as a battalion Sgt, again in France, having resigned his commission. As he wryly told a reporter years later, “I was too young for the first war and to old for the second, so I ended up in both.”

An older Monter Marvin in uniform during WWII.

The Marvin men all served in WWII, with Lee’s brother Robert serving in the ground crew of the Army Air Corp. and Lee seeing the most combat as a Marine in the USMC’s island hopping campaign in the Pacific.
All told, the Marvins did their part to earn respect and recognition for their duty in the service. This being Veterans’ Day — and a very special one, as it’s the 100th anniversary of the Armistice signing of WWI — take a moment some time today and remember those who served. Their contribution deserves our thanks.
How to show that remembrance? One way is to read Lee Marvin Point Blank and discover in the actor’s own words via never-before-seen letters exactly what he experienced firsthand and how he really felt about the war at the time he went through it. You won’t be disappointed. Happy Veterans Day.
-Dwayne Epstein

Monte Marvin (left) and son Lee photographed for LIFE Magazine in the 1960s.

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