Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank know that like most of us, the Oscar-winning actor had a complicated relationship with his father, Lamont ‘Monte’ Marvin. From childhood to adoloscensce and well into adulthood, the two men loved each other but had a difficult time expressing, let alone understanding, their emotions toward each other. Those emotions ran a larger gamut that most father/son relationships as they encompassed envy, rage, one-up-manship, you name it. These are often emotions one would more likely find in say a boss and employer relationship. Which may be the very theme of this blog entry…
I was extremely lucky to come into much ofthe exclusive reasearch data that I did when exploring Lee Marvin’s life. Keep in mind, when using the term ‘lucky’ I mean it in its purest form: When opportunity meets preparation. Such was the case wth the images below. Readers of the book are familair with the central image from this scanned page in the book’s photo section:
The image I’m referring to out of the three that are pictured, is the rare one depicting Lee Marvin in costume as Ben Rumson for the 1969 film Paint Your Wagon. Beside him, whooping it up in laughter, is his father, Monte.
Now, here’s the interesting part. From the same photo collection is the following image….
Based on the clothes it is pretty safe to assume the photos are from the same day as the one from the book’s photo section.
I had been told from several very reliable sources, that Lee’s drinking was not a constant thing, especially where work was concerned. However, when production slowed down, when things began to go astray, when incompentence began replacing experience, Marvin would simply state, “I’ll come back when you all know what you’re doing.” He’d then proceed to the nearest watering hole.
Now, having said all that, and noting the dour expression on the actor’s face in these photos, the final photo ties it all together. Obviously, Marvin did walk away, but a watering hole was not nearby. Monte sought to help his son as best as possible but knew not how. The result of this is Lee’s condition and the complicated relationship of father & son as depicted below….