LEE MARVIN HIGH SCHOOL? NOT LIKELY THESE DAYS!

The idea of a Lee Marvin High School, or any other institution, may seem as likely as the Joan Crawford Day Care Center or perhaps the Stanley Kowalski School of Etiquette. The reason being is that in today’s cultural, social and political climate, political correctness has run amok, unfortunately.
An example of such ridiculous behavior was in the news recently. Virginia’s Bowling Green University had the name of Lillian Gish and her sister Dorothy removed from the school’s campus theater. A petition was passed around by the students to have the action taken and despite an outcry from the mainstream creative community –the likes of James Earl Jones, Martin Scorsese and more — the action was taken. Ms. Gish’s offense? She starred in D.W. Griffith’s 1915 racist cinematic opus, Birth of a Nation. Never mind the copius amount of money she and her sister had donated to the school over the years or her amazing contribution to film and theater in general. The dictates of political correctness reigned supreme here. The entire sad series of events can be read here.
Ironically, when Spike Lee accepted the school’s Gish Prize in 2013, he said, “Would you believe, two of the most important films that impacted me while I was studying at NYU starred Miss Lillian Gish. Those films were D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation and Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter. Isn’t it funny (sometimes) how life works? And how ironic life can be? God can be a trickster. Peace and love to the Gish Sisters. . . .”
It is with that in mind I conclude that in the current climate of political correctness, the possibility of a school or institution named for Lee Marvin seems remote at best. It did almost happen, though, while he was still alive….

An image from Donald Zec’s bio on Lee Marvin in which the actor admires St. Leo’s recently named dormitory in his honor.

The honor bestowed upon the school’s famous alumni was sadly short-lived, however. The reason most people think his named was removed was of course, incorrect, as well as the fact that he was NOT kicked out of school before graduating. That controversy was explained by the school’s archivist in a previous blog entry.

Teenaged Lee Marvin in full uniform when he briefly attended the political incorrectly named David Farragut Naval Academy in Toms River, NJ.

No, Marvin might have to wait a long time before seeing his named carved on the hallowed halls of some great institution. His own persona and famous ways aside (chronicled in depth in Lee Marvin Point Blank), there would be another reason why. In these insane times of political correctness, it could easily be discovered: He and his brother were proudly named after a distant relative on his Virginia born mother’s side: losing Confederate general, Robert E. Lee.
– Dwayne Epstein

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SEANA KOFOED: INTERVIEWED FOR EMMY.COM

Seana Kofoed was the subject of my latest piece for Emmy.com which was posted on the website almost the same day as my birthday. How cool is that, right? I truly love the assignments I get for Emmy.com as it allows me the chance to meet some fascinating people and help others as well as myself discover some phenomenal contemporary projects. So far, that’s meant interviewing the likes of Nick Rutherford, Vella Lovell and permission to write about Lee Marvin’s TV career based on my Lee Marvin Point Blank research that I called LEE TV.
Interviewing Seanna Kofoed was something even more special. Like Lee, she is a veteran character actor with remarkable credits and training to give superb performances whenever called upon to do so. Space constraint for the article didn’t allow me to get into her background but, as Wikipedia states:
“Kofoed was raised in the Chicago area and attended New Trier High School, Northwestern University and the Royal National Theatre in London. She began her stage career in Chicago, appearing in productions at the Goodman Theatre, the Court Theatre and the Victory Gardens Theater, before moving to New York City. In New York, Kofoed was best known for productions on and off Broadway. Her Broadway credits include Proof with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Night Must Fall with Matthew Broderick. Off Broadway credits include several productions at Manhattan Theatre Club, the Atlantic Theatre Company, and Manhattan Class Company, in addition to experiences in Glimmer, Glimmer, and Shine with the late John Spencer and An Experiment with an Air Pump, for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Kofoed soon made the transition to on-camera acting, making an appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and lending her voice to a small role in the movie Shark Tale. In 2006, she was cast in the hit dramedy Men in Trees, playing the lead character Marin’s (Anne Heche) editor and best friend, Jane. In 2018, Kofoed was cast as a series regular on Lifetime’s American Princess.”

From her Facebook page comes this image of Seana’s character Maggie Chaney regally portraying Ren Faire’s Queen Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Three of Seana’s Ren Faire subjects cavort in a Shakespearean comedy in which…no, wait! That’s Lee Marvin on the far right at the American Theater Wing!

The purpose of the interview was to promote her role on the Lifetime series, American Princess. When it turned out that the interview could only be posted after her show’s initial lifespan ended, I asked her if that would be a problem. Her response: “In fact, possibly of extra value because betwixt us…It looks like A&E is actively talking to possible new homes for the show. So any love the show gets in this moment, is a huge help! The timing could be perfect. Either way, yay, and thank you so very very much, can’t wait to read/share, etc!”
Is this a nice lady or what? So, without further ado, my interview with this terrific actress in all its glory. Ladies & gentlemen, Seana Kofoed. Hope A&E picks up American Princess because believe it or not, I liked it!
– Dwayne Epstein

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LEE MARVIN’S BEST MOVIES? NOT EVEN CLOSE!

Lee Marvin’s best? That’s a pretty subjective concept. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison but still and all, some things along such lines are pretty obvious.  “The 5 Best Lee Marvin Movies” is the title of a recent blog entry I came across by chance on the web and the concept is the subject of this blog.
I’m not really big on chiding other writers but the author’s choices leave much to be desired. The title alone is somewhat irksome: “The 5 Best Lee Marvin Movies.” Why only five? Wouldn’t ten be more appropriate for such a lengthy career? And his choices! If you can’t see the link I included above, here’s what he chose:
5. The Wild One
4. The Big Heat
3. Cat Ballou
2. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
1. The Dirty Dozen
Can you see the problem I had with the choices that were made? Three of the five are not even Lee Marvin movies in the strictest sense. Marvin had supporting roles in The Wild One, Big Heat and Liberty Valance. Granted, they were great scene-stealing roles, but supporting roles, nonetheless. They are all better known as Marlon Brando, Glenn Ford & John Wayne movies and Lee Marvin would be the first one to say it. All the films (and more) are of course recounted and detailed in Lee Marvin Point Blank, by the way. It also includes Marvin’s input into these roles as well as what he thought of each of them.
While I applaud the effort made in the end to encourage others to seek out Marvin’s films, doing so by this list would make someone wonder what’s the fuss about Lee Marvin since he apparently was merely a villain in the 1950s & 1960s. The author barely recognized the fact that Marvin was a major star in the 1960s & 1970s.
I’m not and never have been a fan of “Best Lists,” which is why there isn’t any on this blog site. However, if one were to attempt a list of Lee Marvin’s best, here’s a good start, at least in terms of what might make someone a fan. Consider the following a sort of starter kit. If after viewing these films, you’re still not a fan, then you never will be.
– Dwayne Epstein

The Professionals, 1966.

Point Blank, 1967

Monte Walsh, 1970

Emperor of the North, 1973

The Big Red One, 1980

 

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