DELTA FORCE IN THE NEWS 3 DECADES AFTER THE FILM

Delta Force, the U.S. Army’s highly trained Special Operations unit, was recently in the news following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 26th. Navy Seal Team Six did the deed on Osama Bin-Laden but it was Delta Force that was responsible for ending the life of al-Baghdadi in northwest Syria. Trapped in a tunnel with his three children, he detonated an explosive device in his vest that killed him and his offspring.
The special mission was months in the planning but raises the question, what does any of this have to do with Lee Marvin? Fans of the actor and/or readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank know that it was Marvin’s final theatrical film.

Lee Marvin as Colonel Nick Alexander in his final film, DELTA FORCE (1986).

A recent online article recounted the unit’s history beginning in 1977 and the cinematic re-creations since then, including Black Hawk Down (2001).
I was not previously aware of the unit’s illustrious history, nor did I include it in the book, as I consider it a career low point for the actor. He was on the money as usual, if a little tired looking. Consequently, it could have been a better project had it included some of the facts mentioned in the article. The reviews at the time were more polite than the film deserved but suffice to say, Col. Charles Beckwith’s legendary unit deserves better cinematic treatment than the Chuck Norris live-action comic book gave it.
I did of course give the film adequate mention and was fortunate to interview co-star Robert Vaughn, who had most of his screen time with Marvin. His take on the experience is well-worth the read. In the mean time, here are some choice reviews….
– Dwayne Epstein

Reviews for DELTA FORCE at the time of its release from The L.A. Times, Variety and Herald Examiner.

 

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GREAT MAN’S PASSING: AUGUST 29TH, 1987 WE LOST LEE MARVIN

Great Man’s Passing:
It was 28 years ago today that we felt the loss of the great man’s passing: we lost Lee Marvin to the ravages of time.The loss to many of those closest to him, such as friends, family, and co-workers, is well chronicled in Lee Marvin Point Blank.
However, as is often the case, at the time of his passing, news of his death was overshadowed by the loss of another iconic fim personality: in this case it was actor/director John Huston, who had passed away the day before, at the age of 81. Still in all, Marvin’s death was indeed recorded such as in the following obituaries, like this one from the L.A. Times:

L.A. Times Obit for Lee Marvin

L.A. Times Obit for Lee Marvin

 

LA Times obit, pt.2

LA Times obit, pt.2

 

In the actor’s home town of Tucson, the following obit ran:

Tucson obit

Tucson obit

 

The now long-defunct Herald-Examiner ran a piece in which they spoke with several of Marvin’s co-workers such as Ernest Borgnine and Ralph Bellamy:

Herald-Examiner, AP Wire obit

Herald-Examiner, AP Wire obit

 

However it was in the N.Y. Times, in the city of his birth, which gave Marvin’s passing the most complete coverage:

NY Times obit

NY Times obit

Ironically, one of Marvin’s most frequent co-stars, Charles Bronson, did not comment on his death but would himself pass away from Alzeheimer’s Disease exactly 15 years later to the day in 2003!

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BSOL: THE BASTARD SONS OF LEE, PART I

Bastard Sons of Lee? What the….? That’s what I asked myself when I first heard about it. I often get asked, “Why write about Lee Marvin? I mean, why him? ….And why are you wearing that shirt?” One of the answers has to do with Marvin’s legacy, which is unlike any classic film star I’ve ever come across. Seriously. The bizarre and secretive Sons of Lee Marvin is one thing, which I wrote about in Lee Marvin: Point Blank. The Bastard Sons of Lee?  After all, did John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart leave as many little ‘mementos’ in their wake? I think not. Actually, they’re not really Marvin’s sons. Bastards, maybe but… Anyway, they do indeed exist, and clearly, boast of their illigitmate status, as seen below:

bsolbumperst

BSOL-Bumper Sticker

Seriously? Have you seen this? Are there boastful Bastard Montgomery Clift bumper stickers? Ha! I think not!…Oh wait….never mind.

Well, how about this window decal…

bsoltarget

See what I mean? As the eminetly quotable Bugs Bunny would say, “Bizarre, ain’t it?” Clearly, it ain’t your father’s fan club, that’s for sure. In fact, maybe the best way to explain is via this L.A. Times article from the 90s. Click on in to enlarge. Read it. Then we’ll talk. There will be a quiz. Talk to you then….

bsol-1

 

 

 

 

bsol-2

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