LEE MARVIN: POINT BLANK MAKES THE PERFECT FATHER’S DAY GIFT!

Still looking for the perfect, last-minute Father’s Day gift for this Sunday, June 17th? Well, look no further as LEE MARVIN: POINT BLANK  might be just the thing! For those who may have already purchased it, then you know all about it. A copy for any dad who’s a fan would fit the bill and if he’s not a fan, he jus may become one after reading it.
If you didn’t already know, it’s  the winner of the Bronze in Biography at the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards(IPPY), a finalist in Forewod Magazine’s Book of the Year contest, a NY Times & Wall Street Journal top ten best seller and, according to Time Magazine’s Stefan Kanfer, it’s “Unforgettable… a surprisingly intelligent and heroic figure springs from the page… Epstein looks at a complicated figure and presents him in a full-length, three-way mirror. And it is absolutely impossible to look away.”
Amazon’s website offers next day shipping AND gift wrapping! It’s available in three separate formats. First, as a collectible hardcover…..

My personal copy of the hardcover dust jacket forLee Marvin Point Blank (note the bronze medallion for winning the IPPY award), that is going to be quite collectible as it’s almost out of print!

Without the dust jacket, Lee Marvin Point Blank has this really impressive image engraved on it!

It’s also available in trade paperback with extra material added as shown in the starburst added for extra incentive….

Trade paperback cover of Lee Marvin Point Blank that’s identifiable by the Leonard Maltin quote and added star burst.

Lee Marvin Point Blank’s  paperback table of contents that delineates the exclusive extras.

If your father is fairly tech savvy, then you should know that Lee Marvin Point Blank is also available as an e-book in various incarnations. The most popular has proven to be Amazon’s Kindle. In fact, in June 2014, it made the NY Times bestseller list at number four! Pretty cool, huh? It’s described below as….

Screen shot of Amazon’s Kindle description of Lee Marvin Point Blank.

So, all that said, what are you waiting for? Reduced pricing, great extras, free shipping and gift wrapping, all add up to make Lee Marvin Point Blank the perfect Father’s Day gift. You’re welcome.
– Dwayne Epstein

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MY FAVORITE FILM FIGHT SCENES: PART 3 OF 5

Continuing on into the groundbreaking decade of the 1960s, below is the next five films in my list of personal favorite movie fight scenes……

11. SOLDIER IN THE RAIN-1963
Rarely scene and hardly liked by most Steve McQueen fans, Soldier in the Rain was made fresh off his blistering success of The Great Escape. It may seem like an odd choice to most McQueen fans as it’s an odd film to begin with but along with Baby, The Rain Must Fall it is in dire need of rediscovering. Based on a novel by the prolific WIlliam Goldman,and directed by the criminally underrated Ralph Nelson the offbeat tale is mostly a comedy about the peace-time shennigans of Supply Sgt. Eustis Clay (McQueen) and Master Sgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason) and their unlikely yet beleviable friendship. The moody tone of the latter half of the film is hinted at during the opening credits via Henry Mancini’s meloncholy main theme. Tuesday Weld heads up the equally offbeat supporting cast of Ed Nelson, Lew Gallo, Tony Bill, Adam West, Tom Poston and Rockne Tarkington.

Jackie Gleason takes Ed Nelson for a spin.

Jackie Gleason takes Ed Nelson for a spin.

The black and white film is shot bright and sunny throughout most of the proceedings but once the film’s mood changes, so too does the lighting, to a darker tone that is neither inappropriate nor jarring. It all works, and brilliantly at that, especailly during the barroom brawl that remains a favorite if spooky reminder of how great this film is. The viewer is right in the thick of it as McQueen and Gleason versus Gallo and Nelson reaches a most beleviable conclusion, as does the film itself in which all loose plot developments are poignantly tied up. The pairing of Gleason and McQueen in an early ‘Buddy Film’ may seem odd at first glance but the chemistry between them is there and quite touching at times.

Steve McQueen (right) consoles Jackie Gleason (left) following their barrom brawl.

Steve McQueen (right) consoles Jackie Gleason (left) following their barrom brawl.

In a moment that sounds like a scene right out of the film, rumor has it that Gleason gave McQueen a pair of cufflinks depicting one of his own favorite recreations, playing golf. Supposedly, McQueen thanked him for the gesture but told The Great One he didn’t wear cufflinks when indulging in his favorite recreation: riding motorcycles.

12. DONOVAN’S REEF-1963

When I interviewed Betty Marvin for Lee Marvin Point Blank she was not only forthcoming in her memories of her ex-husband, she proved to be extremely insightful of his screen persona. In comparing Marvin to frequent costar John Wayne, she used a wonderful metaphor, describing Wayne as a big lumbering, yet to her mind, loveable bear. Lee, on the other hand was a panther, sleek, muscular and ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. No where is that anaology more true than in Donovan’s Reef, which opens with a wonderful comic brawl between the two that makes almost the entire remainder of the fllm anti-climatic by comparison.

Marvin and Wayne temporarily abide by Jack Warden's orders to heed their annual birthday brawl in Donavan's Reef.

Marvin and Wayne temporarily abide by Jack Warden’s orders to heed their annual birthday brawl in Donavan’s Reef.

13. WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS-1966
Why is a Toho monster film on this list? I say, why not? Besides, when I was a kid I LOVED this movie. Watching it now it commands an amazing amount of camp value that rivals anything Ed Wood ever did! The premise is simple enough. Two incredibly ugly behemoth brothers battle it out over bragging rights to destroy Japan, while destroying Japan in the process. You want camp? Try this, when a lounge singer warbles out the film’s love song  on a crusie ship (“The Words Get Stuck in My Throat”), a Gargantua, skilled in music criticism, promptly picks her up, eats her, and spits out her clothes like a sunflower seed shell.
The Brown Gargantua is ‘the good one’ and the Green is ‘the bad.’ Naturally, I was rooting for the green. Along for the ride is a slumming Russ Tamblyn as a hip talking scientist. All in all one of the best — albeit longest — fight scenes in movie history. Their faces and body language alone is worth the price of admission!

No it's not Whoopi Goldberg and Sharon Osborne. It's the title characers of WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS in mid-brawl.

No it’s not Whoopi Goldberg and Sharon Osborne. It’s the title characers of WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS in mid-brawl.

14. THE SAND PEBBLES – 1966
As a 1960s roadshow engagement film and the only time Steve McQueen ever got an Oscar nomination, the overblown production of The Sand Pebbles is dying for rediscovery, if only for the bizarre fight scene between diminutive Mako and Slovenly giant Simon Oakland.  The film revolves around a U.S. gunboat mired in the quagmire of 1920s China’s political upheaval. The many analogies to Vietnam become a little annoying afte a while but the relationships of the characters, especially the crew of the San Pablo, is the heart of the film. The battle between Oakland and Mako is a standout as the viewer doesn’t think there’s any way Mako can possibly triumph. He’s a ship’s Coolie fighting for his right to stay on the ship in a bet made by McQueen’s Jake Holman character (who incidentally proves he  can take Oakland himself by a couple of quick body blows). Oakland is fighting for the right to break in a virginal Chinese prostitute. What unfolds in the sequence is not only good ol’ fashion underdog heroics, but a rousing yet beleviable climax of events.
One little known footnote: When Francis Ford Coppola was filming Apocalypse, Now! he had his cast & crew watch The Sand Pebbles first in order to see what kind of superior filmmaking can emerge in the midst of difficult location shooting. Robert Wise’s The Sand Pebbles proved to influence films more than he ever realized.

Slovenly Simn Oakland seems destined to pummel minute Mako in The Sand Pebbles. Viewers of the film know better....

Slovenly Simon Oakland seems destined to pummel minute Mako in The Sand Pebbles. Viewers of the film know better….

15. POINT BLANK– 1967
“Taut thriller, ignored in 1967, but now regarded as a top film of the mid-60s,” is how film historian Leonard Maltin aptly described director John Boorman’s ‘arthouse action film,’ Point Blank. How could I possibly write about my favorite fight scenes and not include this Lee Marvin movie? There are of course several to choose from, but I chose the battle between Marvin’s Walker and a couple of thugs hired to beat him up behind the movie screen of Angie Dickinson’s posh strip club, covered by the wailing of on stage soul singer. Why was it chosen? This film is chockful innovations: the first film shot at Alcatraz after it was shut down; the first film in which the actors were each individually miked for sound; the  stylized jump cuts, camera angles visual effects; but more than anything it’s the fight scene. Speaking of firsts, witnessing Marvin grab stuntman Jerry Catron by the crotch –the way someone would grab an opponent’s lapels to punch him in the face, and then doing just that, to his CROTCH — is an innovation in itself, for better or for worse. I defy any man to watch that moment and not reflexively bend over, cross his legs and wince after witnessing it!

Lee Marvin's Walker surprises mob goon Jerry Catron with a beer bottle to the kisser, and that's just for starters!

Lee Marvin’s Walker surprises mob goon Jerry Catron with a beer bottle to the kisser, and that’s just for starters!

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MOVIE CRAZY: Leonard Maltin Reviews “Lee Marvin: Point Blank”

MOVIE CRAZY’S LEONARD MALTIN:

 

Movie Crazy

MOVIE CRAZY LEONARD MALTIN

Late last month, Leonard Maltin gave my new book “Lee Marvin: Point Blank” a stellar review. The renowned film author of countless books himself (of which I own more than a few) has a well-earned reputation for knowing his cinematic history and is consequently, a well sought after maven by fledgling authors of film history, such as myself.
It was not an easy thing to convince him to read and write-up a piece on my book as he has a mutltiude of such requests on a regular basis. After much cajoling from my distributor’s publicist and a wee bit of luck, he managed to squeeze Lee Marvin Point Blank into his overflowing schedule. I will give you a sample below, but by all means, please go to his site to see the full review. He has a wonderful blog called “Movie Crazy.”

“I doubt anyone will ever match its (Lee Marvin: Point Blank) breadth and depth in assessing Lee Marvin’s life and career.”Leonard Maltin

 

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