MITCH RYAN TURNS 92 TODAY!

Mitch Ryan, the veteran actor of film, TV and stage has turned ninety-two years old today! He made his film debut in his twenties in the Robert Mitchum cult classic, Thunder Road (1958), returned to the stage and then didn’t make another film until his appearance as Shorty in the Lee Marvin classic, Monte Walsh (1970). Naturally, it was his work in that underrated western that made him the subject of my intense interest. In fact, here’s a story  that I’ve never told publicly before that I think says volumes about the man’s character.

(L-R) Lee Marvin, Mitch Ryan and Jack Palance in MONTE WALSH.

I had attempted to interview him several times over the years but the attempt was often in vain. Lee Marvin’s lawyer, David Kagon, knew Ryan and contacted him for me while I was in Kagon’s office. Ryan was polite but firm. He said he had to honor Pam Marvin’s wishes and not speak to me.
Okay, flash forward a few years and I’m still working on the book and attempting more interviews. I don’t recall how but I came in contact with Ryan again. This time, however, he was infinitely more receptive and agreed to a phone interview. The result was one of the most revealing and useful interviews I ever got as he was a great friend to Marvin throughout the remainder of his life. Our talk can be read in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank and it is both impressive and poignantly revealing.
After the book came out, Jeff Mantor invited me to a Q&A Book signing at his legendary store, Larry Edmunds Bookshop on the dirty boulevard of Hollywood. He encouraged me to invite a celebrity who knew Marvin to help sell books. Not many of my interview subjects were still around but when I asked Mr. Ryan…..

Mitch Ryan at the Larry Edmunds book signing enthusiastically shows off his prized possession.

 

What a guy, huh? I’m telling ya, not just a wonderful actor but a true mensch. We dined at Musso & Franks before the signing (on my publisher’s dime) and had a wonderful time at the signing itself. I can’t say enough about this great man so happy birthday, Mitch, and here’s to many more. You’re aces in my book! And thanks to your help, it’s a NY Times bestseller!
– Dwayne Epstein

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HAPPY HOLIDAZE FROM LEE MARVIN: POINT BLANK

Happy holidaze from Lee Marvin Point Blank. Why happy holidaze instead of happy holidays? A couple of reasons. First, it’s been an insane year for all of us, from mass shootings becoming commonplace with no end in sight, to the impeachment of Donald Trump and the ongoing saber-rattling of Korea’s Kim Jong-un! Climate change has appeared to be gaining momentum (Australia’s catastrophic fires, anyone?) and the most powerful nation in the world has leaders who don’t even think it exists.
I could go on, of course but what would be the point? I’m not an innate pessimist, nor for that matter am I Pollyanna. Let’s just say I’m a cock-eyed pragmatist and with that mind, I say happy holidaze and enjoy it with a satisfying look back at what was and a heartwarming hope for what will be. As to the look back, try this…..

My publisher’s Xmas tree a few years back. Not familiar with all the titles but the one down front looks nice, don’t ya think?

To the future? My idea would be the same. In other words, check out Lee Marvin: Point Blank in 2020 if you haven’t done so already.
Planning on doing any traveling this holiday or new year? Might I suggest the most perfect travel companion?

TSA would let you pass through with this unbeatable combination for any national or international flights.

So, whether you celebrate Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa, or even Festivus, do it in style. Send the gift of a nearly 5-star rated, multiple award winning, NY Times bestselling film biography to a loved one or for yourself as a special treat. You won’t be disappointed. Until then, I’ll share more next year, and don’t forget, the most important message of all is of course the most obvious and hardest to achieve. …..

‘Nuff said. 

  • Dwayne Epstein
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A DIRTY DOZEN REMAKE IS IN THE WORKS

A Dirty Dozen remake is apparently in the works, according to breaking news in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood. Such pronouncements have been made in the past over the years but the urgency in which this has been green lighted by Warner Brothers is of worthy attention.  Of course, in retelling the info about the original, contemporary Hollywood beat writers got some obvious facts wrong, especially Mike Fleming of Deadline Hollywood, but more on that later.

Montage of images from the one, the only, the original, THE DIRTY DOZEN.

The man behind the project, David Ayers, has an interesting resume’ as I consider his script for Training Day (2001) to be as impressive as Denzel Washington’s Oscar winning performance. Although known mostly for Suicide Squad (2016), Ayers has also made the WWII-era tank drama Fury (2014) with Brad Pitt so I gave him a lot or room to be judged in terms of a Dirty Dozen remake.

Here’s  what I consider the intriguing part. All articles state the remake will be “updated” from it’s WWII-era roots. “Updated” to what? Korea? Vietnam? Afghanistan? Iraq? WHAT? With Ayers resume’ of other dark police dramas, maybe it’s not a war film at all. Perhaps a bunch of convicts will be released to wreak havoc on the south central street gangs of Los Angeles….except I think that’s been done before, too. Bad enough the same studio is allowing Mel Gibson to remake The Wild Bunch (1969).

And the infuriating faux pas of the Deadline Hollywood article? I’m calling out the author, Mike Fleming on this. The one person in the cast NOT listed alphabetically in the credits or  in the ads, in other words, the star of the film IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED WITH THE REST OF THE CAST! For shame, Mr. Fleming. In case you didn’t know, his name is LEE MARVIN, the subject of my book and this blog, Lee Marvin Point Blank.

Oh, and Donald Trump was impeached today.

  • Dwayne Epstein
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