ARMISTICE DAY, VETERANS DAY & THE MARVINS

Armistice Day began Nov. 11th, 1918 when WWI officially suspended combat on the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour. In time, the name of Armistice Day became Veterans Day in 1954, honoring all those who served in the military on Nov. 12th.
For the Marvin family, there was not a single military conflict in which the family ranks were not involved and seriously depleted, going all the back to the American Revolution. As Lee Marvin liked to say, “It’s my country. We fought for it, we Marvins.” However, since Armistice Day, began with the end of WWI, the involvement began a little closer in Lee’s lineage, which meant his father, Lamont Waltham “Monte” Marvin.

Monte Marvin in his WWI uniform.

Monte was a 1st, Lt. during the war and in charge of a unit in the 302nd Engineers stationed in France. He later served in WWII as a battalion Sgt, again in France, having resigned his commission. As he wryly told a reporter years later, “I was too young for the first war and to old for the second, so I ended up in both.”

An older Monter Marvin in uniform during WWII.

The Marvin men all served in WWII, with Lee’s brother Robert serving in the ground crew of the Army Air Corp. and Lee seeing the most combat as a Marine in the USMC’s island hopping campaign in the Pacific.
All told, the Marvins did their part to earn respect and recognition for their duty in the service. This being Veterans’ Day — and a very special one, as it’s the 100th anniversary of the Armistice signing of WWI — take a moment some time today and remember those who served. Their contribution deserves our thanks.
How to show that remembrance? One way is to read Lee Marvin Point Blank and discover in the actor’s own words via never-before-seen letters exactly what he experienced firsthand and how he really felt about the war at the time he went through it. You won’t be disappointed. Happy Veterans Day.
-Dwayne Epstein

Monte Marvin (left) and son Lee photographed for LIFE Magazine in the 1960s.

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POINT BLANK HARDCOVER NEAR EXTINCTION!

Dust jacket of LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK hardcover with 2013 Bronze Independent Publisher Book Award sticker (IPPY).

Lee Marvin: Point Blank hardcover version is extremely close to being gone…for good! The paperback will most likely stay in print for a while and the E-book as well.
Yes, I indeed wrote on this site previously that the hardcover is going out of print but I discovered something since then from my publisher, Tim Schaffner. It’s a little thing called ‘returns’ and every time they’re made, the inventory goes up and my royalties stay down. Well, since there is a tipping point in which my royalties go up after a certain number is sold (minus the returns), the hardcover is FINALLY within real striking distance of that number!  This could be the perfect time & reason to get your copy of the hardcover, if you’ve been putting it off until now.
So having said all that, if anybody reading this has been on the fence about buying it, this may very well be the best (and last) time to do so, what with the holidays soon upon us, as well as Veteran’s Day this month. Seriously! If you are now or have ever been thinking about it, here are some thoughts that might help you decide.

  1. Since it will be going out of print soon, purchasing it now will ensure that you have a true collectible. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and like the dodo bird, it won’t be coming back. The Amazon link is above but Barnes & Noble (linked here in blue) works just as well. However, PLEASE don’t buy it on Ebay. After market retailers are a rip-off.
  2. Contractually, the way my royalties were set up, a certain tipping point had to be reached before the percentage would go up and that point has FINALLY been reached. In other words, buying the book would be a great way for any friend, family member, or colleague to help yours truly if you’re so inclined. Hopefully you are. By the way the Amazon/Barnes & Noble discount prices do not effect my royalty, so take advantage of that guilt-free offer.

    Without the dust jacket, the LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK hardcover has this exclusive graphic image.

  3. I am not in a position to offer any special deals of any kind but I can offer U.S. buyers  a little something special to sweeten the deal. If you do indeed buy the hardcover, let me know and I can send you a personally signed postcard as a keepsake, bookmark, what-have-you, which is as close to having a signed copy of the book as you can possibly get! They are in limites supply as well and once I run out of them, that’s all there is. The postcard is from the A&E Biography of Lee I was interviewed for and provided much of the graphics back in ’01 when the book was still in the research stage. They are in limited supply but I’ll put it in an enevelope & pay the postage if you reply to this message. Your info would be kept in confidence as I;m the only one who sees the e-mail address.
    So, what are you waiting for? Get your copy at the links above, TODAY!
    – Dwayne Epstein

    Front and back images of the postcard promoting A&E’s Biography episode on Lee Marvin.

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LEE MARVIN BIOPIC: BACKGROUND & POSSIBILITIES

A Lee Marvin biopic would seem like a natural following the surprise success (except to me, of course) of the publication of Lee Marvin Point Blank in 2013.  Why? Well, one would just naturally assume that any non-fiction title that made the NY Times, Publisher’s Weekly and Wall Street Journal’s best seller list in the top five would have studios and executive producers just scrambling for the rights. Sadly, that has not been the case (yet) but it can be rectified with a little background info.
I have written about the possibility previously on this blog, as readers may have noticed. I’ve brought up the subject based on lead actors, young and old, possible directors, even casting ideas for supporting characters.

Schaffner Press decided to include the sunburst image and green banner highlight for Lee Marvin Point Blank’s paperback release in 2014.

Why have I written about it? A couple of reasons. First and foremost, the market for biopics has gained enormous interest lately, as detailed earlier this year in Market Watch.
Secondly, I would be less than an honest if I said the idea of a Lee Marvin biopic based on my book had not crossed my mind while I was working on it. It took me nearly 20 years to get a publisher interested in my book and the idea of a biopic existed even then.
My agent, Mike Hamilburg and I were constantly being told that the proposal is well-written but that there wasn’t a market for a Lee Marvin bio. Then Tim Schaffner of Schaffner Press agreed to publish it on almost a whim in 2013. It won several awards when it came out and, as previously mentioned, in June of 2014, the e-book made the NY Times bestseller list at #4. Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, too! So much for there not being any interest in the project.
Okay, all that said, it was my agent, Mike, Hamilburg, who first suggested I write a film treatment based on the book.

I did just that, submitted it to him and was told that he would then shop it around as he thought it was one of the best he had ever come across. This, coming from the guy who helped put together the film American Hustle (!) Unfortunately, Mike fell into a coma around the holidays and died New Year’s Day, 2016. The project has been in free fall ever since, with no agent and no way to contact anyone to pitch it to for a possible option, which is a VERY frustrating situation.

One of the rare times Lee Marvin himself played a real-life character on film was RCMP’s Edgar Millen in DEATH HUNT.

Lee Marvin as Edgar Millen in DEATH HUNT.

I feel without a doubt Marvin’s PTSD and how he dealt with it is a major selling point. The time period it encompasses is also a popular aspect. I like to think of it as sort of The Hurt Locker meets “Mad Men.”
A good example of success in this area is FX Channel’s show about Bette Davis & Joan Crawford called “Feud” which was extremely popular and dealt with the same time period as the bulk of my Marvin bio. It too, was based on a popular book (by Shaun Considine that came out in 1989). I hope I won’t have to wait that long for an option but you get the point I’m making:
There is an audience for a great biopic just waiting to be seen and I own the copyright and the registration with the Writer’s Guild.
So, with that in mind, I unabashedly state that if anybody reading this has possible industry connections and likes the idea of a Lee Marvin biopic, do not hesitate to contact me here and we can definitely work out a deal. Seriously. Let me know and we can get the ball rolling. Until then, here’s hoping some clear thinking investor/producer/entrepreneur reads this and does indeed make contact. Fingers crossed.

Title page with logline, tagline, copyright & WGA registration for the film treatment FROM HELL TO HOLLYWOOD based on LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK.

-Dwayne Epstein

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