DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION CIRCA 1960

Now that the 2020 Democratic convention is in full swing despite the pandemic, I thought it a good time to revisit another Democratic convention, circa 1960. I’ve posted this previously but I thought it a good time to remind folks of a few things, such as the fact that not all badass movie stars are conservative Republicans. So without further ado…..

The 1960 Democratic Convention…..with Lee Marvin?
In researching Lee Marvin: Point Blank, I encountered many surprises, not the least of which was the actor’s personal politics. The popular theory was that in being such a macho tough guy on screen, he must have been a conservative Republican, like his frequent co-star John Wayne. Not so, in Marvin’s case, according to friends and family.

Fans may think of him as a classic badass who thought like Wayne, but the truth is he was, by all accounts, a lifelong liberal Democrat who despised Republican stalwarts, such as costar Ronald Reagan, as mentioned at length in Lee Marvin Point Blank.

Marvin rarely made his politics publicly known but he felt so strongly for candidate John F. Kennedy, he agreed to appear on stage at the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in support along with several other like-minded celebrities of the day (Ralph Bellamy, Lloyd Bridges, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Tony Curtis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary DeCamp, Anthony Franciosa, George Jessel, Phyllis Kirk, Hope Lange, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh, Shirley MacLaine, Mercedes MacCambridge, Sheree North, Arthur O’Connell, Alma Pedroza, Vincent Price, Edward G. Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Jan Sterling, Inger Stevens, Shelley Winters).

Lee Marvin takes his bow when introduced on stage at the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles.

Marvin warbles the national anthem along with the likes of Nat ‘King” Cole, Shirley MacLaine and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Kennedy’s assassination during the filming of The Killers devastated the cast & crew and made for a poignant and ironic event in Marvin’s relationship with his son, also recounted in Lee Marvin Point Blank. He would never again publicly endorse a political candidate. But, in the heady days of 1960, his endorsement of JFK was shown in full flower with other Hollywood celebrities, as shown in the video below.  Enjoy…
– Dwayne Epstein

 

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FOR THE RECORD: 60s LEE MARVIN SOUNDTRACKS ON VINYL

Soundtracks on Vinyl
Research for Lee Marvin Point Blank sometimes included things not normally associated with an acting icon, such as collectible soundtracks on vinyl records. Below are some examples of just that….

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soundtrack cover to Ship of Fools

 

 

 

 

Ernest Golds’ rousing and poignant score for Stanley Kramer’s Ship of Fools (1965) was released as an album conducted by no less than Arthur Fielder of The Boston Pops.

Capitalizing on the surprising success of Cat Ballou the same year, an album was released as a’sort of’ soundtrack that was comprised of the title tunes sung in films by the then recently deceased Nat ‘King’ Cole, even though the album cover prominently featured something else….

BALLOU

soundtrack cover to Cat Ballou

 

With his stardom in full ascension by the mid and late 60s and soundtrack sales soaring, it was a natural that the following albums to Lee Marvin films be released. Maurice Jarre’s muscular, Mexican-themed score to The Professionals (1966)…..

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Soundtrack cover to The Professionals

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soundtrack back cover to the professionals

And of course, Marvin’s biggest hit film of the decade (and of his career) naturally meant a soundtrack release of Frank DeVol’s score for The Dirty Dozen (1967), especially for anyone who needed to hear the full version of Trini Lopez singing The Bramble Bush….

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soundtrack cover to The Dirty Dozen

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soundtrack back cover to The Dirty Dozen

 

Closing out the decade with a true musical entity, Paint Your Wagon’s soundtrack included this simple watercolor of Marvin in the inside gatefold….

PYW

Inside watercolor portrait of cover to Paint Your Wagon of Lee.

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LEE MARVIN AT THE 1960 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

The 1960 Democratic Convention…..with Lee Marvin?
In researching Lee Marvin: Point Blank, I encountered many surprises, not the least of which was the actor’s personal politics. The popular theory was that in being such a macho tough guy on screen, he must have been a conservative Republican, like his frequent co-star John Wayne. Not so, in Marvin’s case, according to friends and family.

Fans may think of him as a classic badass who thought like Wayne, but the truth is he was, by all accounts, a lifelong liberal Democrat who despised Republican stalwarts, such as costar Ronald Reagan (See Lee Marvin Point Blank, pp. 109-110).

July 15, 1960: Sen. John F. Kennedy during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. About 50,000 attended the final session held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Earlier sessions were held in the Sports Arena. This photo was published in the July 16, 1960 LA Times.

July 15, 1960: Sen. John F. Kennedy during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. About 50,000 attended the final session held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Earlier sessions were held in the Sports Arena. This photo was published in the July 16, 1960 LA Times.

Marvin rarely made his politics publicly known but he felt so strongly for candidate John F. Kennedy, he agreed to appear on stage at the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in support along with several other like-minded celebrities of the day (Ralph Bellamy, Lloyd Bridges, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Tony Curtis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary DeCamp, Anthony Franciosa, George Jessel, Phyllis Kirk, Hope Lange, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh, Shirley MacLaine, Mercedes MacCambridge, Sheree North, Arthur O’Connell, Alma Pedroza, Vincent Price, Edward G. Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Jan Sterling, Inger Stevens, Shelley Winters).

Kennedy’s assassination during the filming of The Killers devastated the cast & crew and made for a poignant and ironic event in Marvin’s relationship with his son (p.135). He would never again publicly endorse a political candidate.

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