MARVIN MAGAZINE COVERS: PART I

Magazine Covers

He may not have been the best looking guy in the world, but Lee Marvin did grace many a magazine cover in his time, and even after! His un-matinee looks aside, there was something about him the camera did indeed like and below are several examples that not only chart the trajectory of his career, but his personal likes, his audience and his lasting appeal…..
When the New York Hearld-Tribune’s TV supplement ran a magazine cover story in 1958 on the amount of violence on television, they had on their front the likes of Darren McGavin in “Mike Hammer,” Ty Hardin in “Bronco,” Richard Boone in “Have Gun Will Travel” and Marvin in “M Squad.”

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In fact, the success of “M Squad” was such, that even after it left the air and went into syndicated reruns, another newspaper TV supplement ran a magazine cover story on it and profiled its star in 1962….

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In between films & TV appearances Marvin had time to indulge in one of his lifelong hobbies which naturally garnered the cover of an appropriate magazine….

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He continued to be profiled between the covers of periodicals over the next few years as his popularity slowly gained momentum but only the NY Daily News Sunday edition chose to do a cover story on the actor. The year was 1966 and the print date was just hours before the Academy Awards in which Marvin surprised everybody…

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By 1967 he was the number one male box office star in America making appearances in every major magazine in the country. When he made the magazine cover once again it was to promote his latest project already in theatres at the time.
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MOVIE TIE-IN PAPERBACKS TO LEE MARVIN’S EARLIEST FILMS

Paperback Tie-ins
Ahh, Hollywood. If it’s ever possible to make a few extra sheckels via promotional ideas connected to a project, rest assured the studios will do it. A good example is the now quicky fading movie tie-in paperback, a former staple in bookstores, revolving drugstore book racks, bus stations, you name it!
Below are several examples of movie tie-in paperbacks to Lee Marvin projects even before he was a known entity.

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Reissue covers of The Big Heat & Violent Saturday paperbacks.

Lee Marvin had important, scene-stealing roles in both The Big Heat (1953) and Violent Saturday (1955,) but you’d never know it from the pulp noir covers shown above.

 

Raintree County (1957) and the excellent Seven Men From Now (1956) also featured excellent Marvin performances but since he was yet to be established, his name are image is nowhere to be found. Author Burt Kennedy, by the way, wrote the screenplay for Seven Men From Now and would go on to become a noted western film director.

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Movie Tie-in Paperback covers of Raintree County & Seven Men From Now

 

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Paperback covers for M Squad & Hollywood Confidential, featuring profile of Lee Marvin

 

When film success proved elusive, Marvin went to television and starred and co-produced the successful crime drama, M Squad. (1957-1960). The recognition resulted in such media attention as the tabloid collection shown above in which Marvin gave one of his most revealing interviews.

 

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Movie tie-in paperback covers for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance & The Comancheros

By the early 1960s, film stardom was still out of his grasp but he did make impressive appearances in the John Wayne films The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and The Comancheros (1961) as shown above. Even his name was mentioned on the covers! Liberty Valance was an original story by Dorothy M. Johnson (“A Man Called Horse”)  but the paperback was novelized by the film’s screenwriter and frequent John Ford cohort, James Warner Bellah. Go figure.

 

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