Lee Marvin & Jeanne Moreau lit up the screen in Monte Walsh (1970) and they also did the same during a dual interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” from October 15, 1970 to promote the film. However, you would never know it since Cavett never brings it up! What you do get in the clip is the wonderfully flippant attitude from Marvin which is why he was so much fun to watch on talk shows of the era. More impressive is the sparks that fly between Lee Marvin & Jeanne Moreau. Just watch the way she looks at him when speaks.
Screen grab of Lee Marvin & Jeanne Moreau on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW as Moreau clearly shows her admiration for Marvin.
Personally, I never really cared much for Cavett as an interviewer, as he loves to drop names to whomever he interviews, as he does here in mentioning his friendship with Orson Welles (usually it’s Groucho or Woody Allen). He doesn’t always get some of Marvin’s comments, either, nor does he avoid asking such sexist questions of Moreau: “What do you look for in a man?” “How come you weren’t considered beautiful?” Geez, Cavett! Would you ask that of Marvin? Okay, gripes aside, it is tantalizing watching the two actors together. Several of my sources who worked with them on Monte Walsh, such as actor Mitch Ryan told me about Marvin & Moreau’s relationship for my bio Lee Marvin Point Blank and it was quite fascinating, considering they almost married after the film was completed. In fact, his publicist was surprised that they DIDN’T get married! Find out all about that in my book: wink, wink. I had blogged a little about it previously but it’s more fun to watch them together here as well as in the film itself. And so, I give you Lee & Jeanne. Enjoy! – Dwayne Epstein
Dick Cavett, not quite the ‘King of Late Night’ that Johnny Carson was, actually gave Carson a run for his money for a while there in the talk show wars of the 60s and 70s. A former writer for Carson, his style was a little more urbane and his guests slightly more intellectual than Carson’s usual array of Carl Sagan and Charo or Merv Griffin’s infamous ‘theme shows’. Cavett sometimes had headline making events on his show, such as the feud that happened live on the air between Norman Mailer and Gore VIdal, or the time Yippie co-founder Jerry Rubin punched redneck Governor, Lester Maddox.
Screen grab of Lee Marvin’s appearance on the old Dick Cavett show, circa 1970.
Personally, I liked the show best when Dick Cavett went one-on-one with such guests as Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn or Marlon Brando for the entire episode. Recently, I discovered a YouTube video of Cavett doing just that with Lee Marvin, although it was only a segment and not the full episode. That aside, it’s a wonderful time capsule capturing Marvin had the height of his cinematic popularity. He comes off contemplative, naturally humorous and in appearance, every inch a charismatic movie star. Cavett actually seems a little nervous talking with Marvin but then again, that’s not surprising based on how imposing Marvin looks next to him.
In watching the clip, it’s a little startling to see how much Marvin smoked at the time. That and his drinking would of course wreak havoc in a fairly short time, as shown in another interview with co-star Charles Bronson.
Oh, one more thing. Watch the short clip to the end when Marvin surprises his host and audience with his amazing candor concerning his war wound. Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank were able to read some of the letters he spoke of concerning his mother’s reaction to his getting wounded.
All that said, here now is a wonderful blast from the past. I give you Lee Marvin, circa 1970…
When a high-profile magazine, such as Esquire, wants to sell copies of their latest issue back in 1970, they put the biggest star in the world on its cover (Lee Marvin Point Blank, p. 175). It would be natural to assume that would mean this same big star would be profiled within its covers. The magazine, which at the time measured a whopping 10×13, had a caption that would lead the reader to believe it as well. “Evil lurks in California. Lee Marvin is afraid. See page 99,” Okay, turn to page 99 and what’s to be found? On page 99 you find the beginning o a multi-layered article on why evil does indeed lurk in California. At that moment in time it meant the Manson family, the murder of Robert F. Kennedy and a slew of other well-known atrocites. Keep in mind, this is the same magazine that thought it would be cute to have a cover photo of Lt. John Calley smiling as he’s shown surrounded by a group of Vietnamese children and villagers.
In any event, Marvin may indeed have been afraid, but you’d never know it from Esquire…or from the cover photo!