The 9/11terrorist attack took place more than a decade after Lee Marvin passed away, which meant he never lived long enough to see the threat of terrorism on American soil. He did, however, make a live-action cartoon about the possibilty that which, sadly, proved to be his final theatrical film appearance. Why he agreed to be in the painful-to-watch Chuck Norris opus, Delta Force, is explained poignantly by his agent within the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank.
Marvin’s feelings, however, about dealing with terrorism, were best explained in this article in PREVUE magazine which was meant to publicize the film. Marvin does the journeyman task of promoting the film but, if you read between the lines, you can tell what his real feelings were concerning such an occurrence….
The paperback tie-in tells the story. In the last decade in which he worked, Lee Marvin continued to look for worthy projects in spite of his age and the dearth of material. Times had clearly changed from the experimental films of the 60s & 70s that had made him a star. As the paperback tie-in covers below indicate, he did try….. Although filmed in the late 70s, writer/director Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One wasn’t released until 1980 in a truncated version that disappointed all involved. Fuller’s novel (right) filled in the gaps of the story until the reconstructed version came out over 20 years later.
The largest manhunt in Canadian history was the source for Death Hunt (1981) for which there was no book version, but the paperback (left) retold the facts fictionalized in the film in which Charles Bronson played Albert Johnson as a victim of circumstance. Marvin played real life RCMP Edgar Millen, pictured below from the book’s inside cover, proving the film definitely changed the actual events….
More literate material was available via the popular Martin Cruz Smith crime thriller Gorky Park (below right) with Marvin giving a pitch perfect performance as the mysterious Jack Osborne. On the left, Marvin’s final film appearance, the 1986 live-action Chuck Norris cartoon Delta Force, in which even the cover could not hide Marvin’s tired appearance…..