APRIL 2022 ON TCM

April 2022 seemed to get here fast and with it, comes a month-long slate of films on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Unfortunately, that month does not contain a single Lee Marvin film and very little Lee Marvin-related films. However, there are indeed some favorite films I intend to watch that I’ve always enjoyed and are listed below…..

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The Hustler: Breathtaking and gritty cinematography by Eugene Shufton highlight this classic with a powerful supporting cast. Oh, and Paul Newman. 
Midnight Cowboy: Dustin Hoffman’s absolutely greatest performance.
Brute Force: Well titled brutal prison break film toplining a young Burt Lancaster.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid & The Sting: It’s all been said.
The Actress: Less remembered film of Ruth Gordon’s memoir with a standout performance from Spencer Tracy as her father.
The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean: Screenwriter John Milius actually wanted Lee Marvin for the lead role as shown here.
The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, The Adventures of Don Juan: The best films of TCM’s Star of the Month, Errol Flynn.
The Drowning Pool: Underrated sequel to Paul Newman’s Harper.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Kelly & Sinatra together again with a standout dance number by Kelly doing “The Hat Me Dear Old Father Wore.”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Don’t know if it’s Lon Chaney or Charles Laughton but it doesn’t matter. Both are excellent!
The Getaway: McQueen, Peckinpah, ’nuff said. 
Badlands: Chilling and haunting film debut by director Terence Malick.
Barfly: Mickey Rourke as writer Charles Bukowski back when Rourke took his career seriously. 
Days of Wine & Roses: Jack Lemmon & Lee Remick are heartbreakingly good as a young alcoholic couple.
The Natural:Robert Redford is perfectly cast in one of the greatest baseball films of all time highlighted by one of the greatest scores of all time courtesy of Randy Newman.
The Story of Mankind: Irwin Allen’s bizarre take on human history with an all-star cast. Must be seen to be believed.
Five Minutes to Live: Speaking os needing to be seen to be believed, Johnny Cash stars in this neat little thriller as a “Door-to-door Killer,” (the film’s alternate title), costarring future Oscar winner, Ronny Howard.
The Magnificent Seven: All star cast headed up by Yul Brynner in my all-time favorite western.
Going Home: Robert Mitchum murders his wife witnessed by his young son. Now a grown Jan-Michael Vincent, with eyes on Mitchum’s new wife, Brenda Vacarro. Pretty trippy character study.
Gentleman Jim: Another Flynn favorite as he plays Heavyweight champ Jim Corbett.
The Cowboys: Not that big of a John Wayne fan but this one is a must-see. Beware, it’s also VERY poignant.
Kelly’s Heroes: One of the first Dirty Dozen rip-offs with costar Donald Sutherland’s ‘Oddball’ stealing every scene he’s in.

Check your local listings for days and times. Who knows, April 2022 maybe Marvin-less but perhaps May 2022 will be Marvelous. And don’t forget, you can read all about him in Lee Marvin Point Blank.

 

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JUNE 2021 ON TCM

June 2021 is almost upon us and with it comes a new month of films on TCM. Unfortunately, the line-up is rather sparse when it comes to Lee Marvin but thankfully, thee are a few (rather redundant) choices. 

Ship of Fools (1965): June 12th, 2021.

Lee Marvin off camera as Bill Tenney in SHIP OF FOOLS. Anyone know who the Annette Benning look-alike is helping Marvin adjust his tie?


This Stanley Kramer directed classic has aired on TCM more than a few times but it’s well worth multiple viewings. Diehard Lee Marvin fans are not particular enamored with it as he’s not toting any heavy firepower. In fact, the only firepower he totes is his racist southern accented dialogue. There are many interesting facts behind the scenes concerning Lee Marvin’s involvement in the film that I’ve blogged about in the past, but the best and most intimate revealing details are of course in Lee Marvin Point Blank.

Lee Marvin and the diminutive Michael Dunn share a laugh between scenes.



The film is not entirely successful in its melodrama but if you do choose to watch it having not done so before, be sure to hang in for the great scene between Marvin and Michael Dunn, as well as the climax between Marvin and Vivien Leigh. 

The Bat (1959): June 23rd, 2021.
No, Lee Marvin is not in this Vincent Price thriller but he was, believe it or not, in a stage version of the play early in his career. It’s not known which part he did play but it’s a pretty safe bet it was the Vincent Price role. So with that in mind, watch it….if you dare! 
Ahem, sorry.

I Died a Thousand Times (1955): Junes, 25th, 2021. 
Jack Palance took a stab at leading man status in the scene-for-scene remake of Humphrey Bogart’s High Sierra. Marvin’s scenes are minimal as one of Palance’s goofy henchmen but he did leave an impression on a young Shelley Winters as I wrote about previously.

That’s it for June, 2021, Lee Marvin fans. As I said in the beginning, the choices are sparse but I figure ANY Lee Marvin is better than none. 
– Dwayne Epstein

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DECEMBER ON TCM

December on TCM is upon us and with it, comes a rather paltry amount of entries for Lee Marvin fans. In fact, from what I can tell, they’re not airing a single one of his films this December. However, there are a couple of little gems being aired during the month that might be of interest in terms of Lee Marvin’s life and legacy. All times are PST….

The Snow of Kilimanjaro (1952) Thursday, December, 3rd at 12:45am

Susan Hayward comforts gangrene-stricken Gregory Peck in the overblown SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO.


Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank know the importance of this Hemingway tale to the Marvin oeuvre, despite this bastardized version Hollywood did to this poignant short story. Starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner, this lush looking Twentieth-Century Fox production bears almost no resemblance to what the author wrote, which is why he hated so many of the films made of his stories. Of course, in fairness, Lee Marvin’s The Killers, based on Hemingway’s short story suffered the same fate which might be rather Karmic in its own way.

On Dangerous Ground (1952) Thursday, December 3rd, 3:00am

Marvin costar Robert Ryan as psycho cop Jim Wilson near opening of ON DANGEROUS GROUND.


Frequent Marvin costar Robert Ryan could be pretty villianous when he had to be and I personally don’t think he was ever more frighteningly so than in this taut little thriller directed by cult filmmaker Nick Ray and costarring Ida Lupino and Ward Bond. It’s on in the wee small hours but if interested in watching any part of it, by all means watch the scene early on when Ryan threatens an informer and then follows through on his threat (“Why do you make me do it?!”) He’s never been scarier. As for Ryan’s thoughts on Lee Marvin. I was privileged to get some insight into that from his daughter, Lisa Ryan.

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) Tuesday, December 15th, 9:45am

Gloria Grahame appreciating her Oscar for THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.



Lee Marvin’s The Big Heat costar Gloria Grahame won her only Oscar for Best Supporting actress in this wildly overrated expose’ of a Hollywood cad that everybody hates and loves at the same time. Kirk Douglas plays the cad with Barry Sullivan, pouty-mouthed Lana Turner and Dick Powell as satellites to Douglas’s burning sun. Grahame plays Powell’s smalltown pouty-lipped wife who craves the attention of hollywood glamor. Director Vicente Minelli won many plaudits for this behind-the-scenes expose’ but I found it to be just okay. Watch and see for yourself if you think Grahame was more deserving of an Oscar for this or for her role as Debbie, Lee Marvin’s scar-faced moll in The Big Heat. My opinion is obvious.

Susan Slept Here (1954) Saturday, December 19th, 11am & Christmas morning, 9:15am.

(L-R) Glenda Farrell, Alvy Moore and Debbie Reynolds.


Speaking of Dick Powell, he stars in this bit of froth that has almost no connection to Lee Marvin at all….almost. Powell’s last screen appearance has him playing a middle-aged writer who gets the surprise of his life on Christmas Eve in the person of juvenile delinquent Debbie Reynolds. The Marvin connection? One of the film’s supporting players is Alvy Moore, better known as Mr. Kimble, “Green Acres” befuddled county agent. Moore was also a decorated WWII Marine and very good friend of the young Marvin who told this author that the buzz on him for this film actually got him more roles and talk of an Oscar nomination. Watch and see if the buzz was worthy as he said which had his buddy Marvin more than a little envious.  
Well, there you have it, A rather dismal holiday feast for Lee Marvin fans but some interesting nuggets, none the less. Hopefully, January and 2021 will bring some better viewing choices. Anything has got to be better than 2020.
– Dwayne Epstein

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