FOR FATHER’S DAY: UNPUBLISHED THOUGHTS FROM CHRISTOPHER MARVIN

I was extremely fortunate to interview Lee Marvin’s son Christopher, especially since he was understandably reluctant to be interviewed. He eventually came around (with his mother’s urging) and gave some wonderful insights into his father, almost all of which can be found in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank. A handful of his observations did fall through the cracks for one reason or another. Sadly, Christopher succumbed to cancer in October 2013 and so, as a lasting a tribute to his father, here are some never-before-published thoughts for Father’s Day:

Left to right is grandfather Monte, father Lee and son Christopher with family dog, Liberty.

Left to right is grandfather Monte, father Lee and son Christopher with family dog, Liberty.

“I think his job was just his job. When he was home, it was a different thing. It was a father-son relationship. That was his gig and it was no big deal. He didn’t boast about it and he didn’t even really talk about it. It was just the thing he enjoyed doing. Once he finished a film, he moved on to another one, or he took time off. That’s it. He enjoyed doing what he was doing. It was tough for him to get the end result the way he wanted it, like anybody else.”

Christopher and his father wearing matching suits in the early 1960s.

Christopher and his father wearing matching suits in the early 1960s.

“He and I had some real delicate time as well; soul searching stuff…. I appreciated it. I don’t think very many people really have that. When he drank, then he got real loud but he never got violent. He never hit me once. There was no reason…. Verbally abusive, yeah he could always be, because he’d be mad at something else. Then, it would just come out. We got a few things back edgewise at each other, you know, one-liners, that made him happy and still pissed off. I’d say certain things to him. Like this one time, I was 17 or 18 and it was about finding work, and not looking for work, and this and that. He would want me to kind of cause an argument, like he would do with his father. I said, ‘I’m not you and you’re not grandpa. This shit stops here.’ Then, when I was 18, he said, ‘I love you but I’m disappointed in you.’ I want you to be a lot better than I am.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Why don’t you just knock me out right now? That’s bullshit.’ He looked at me. He got a snicker out of that.”

Christopher (right) with his father in the 1970s outside his father’s Tucson home.

Christopher (right) with his father in the 1970s outside his father’s Tucson home.

 

“I get a lot of compliments from people who really loved dad. That’s what I really respect. The more I hear that from people, then I get to learn more about what he really represented. Now that I look at it, he really tried to play that character out of himself so he could get people to understand.”

The author of Lee Marvin: Point Blank (right) with Christopher Marvin enjoying a laugh at the American Cinematheque screening of Point Blank & The Killers in 2013.

The author of Lee Marvin: Point Blank (right) with Christopher Marvin enjoying a laugh at the American Cinematheque screening of Point Blank & The Killers in 2013.

Share Button

2 thoughts on “FOR FATHER’S DAY: UNPUBLISHED THOUGHTS FROM CHRISTOPHER MARVIN

  1. Lee and I were fast friends. We met on set and chatted and hung together around town for three days. He was a his son said, just a normal guy. A treat to hang with and never talked about the Film Business, anything but. Loved to talk about the Mountains and Grizzly Bears. I was invited to visit in Arizona but never made it. Lee and my father died at the same age on the same year, both Vets and both great guys. I often think of him across the table having a beer with me and it is a clear memory of a great time. RIP Lee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove that you are human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.