SOME QUOTES ON THE WILD ONE AIRING THIS FRIDAY ON TCM

With The Wild One airing this Friday on TCM, it seems like a good excuse to post on this blog some previously unpublished thoughts. Readers of Lee Marvin: Point Blank are already familiar with Lee Marvin’s thoughts on the role; producer Stanley Kramer’s thoughts on the film’s controversy; the headache of working with Brando AND Marvin and most interesting of all, what the actual bikers depicted in the film thought of Lee Marvin’s performance.

Original ad for The Wild One in which 4th billed Lee Marvin is shown (barely) but not mentioned.

Original ad for The Wild One in which 4th billed Lee Marvin is shown (barely) but not mentioned.

The film has indeed held up fairly well over the years, thanks in large part to Marvin’s performance. It’s legacy has become even greater thanks to the influence it has had creating the genre of biker films, the emulation by Hell’s Angels founder Sonny Barger, and a strange effect it had a young British musical group that would become the most famous rock band of all time.

Another ad campaign for the film, with some actual dialog ("After a while you got to have a ball") and some dialog that makes no sense at all ("And if Someone gets hurt that's just tough!").  Oh, and exactly what is Brando supposed to be looking at?

Another ad campaign for the film, with some actual dialog (“After a while you got to have a ball”) and some dialog that makes no sense at all (“And if Someone gets hurt that’s just tough!”).
Oh, and exactly what is Brando supposed to be looking at?

Lee’s first wife, Betty, was one of my earliest and most influential interviews and her observations and experiences were amazing. Below, are a few previously unpublished thoughts on her ex-husband and his then co worker, Marlon Brando from 1995…..

In the re-release pressbook for The Wild One, some publicity ideas (above) offer a way to ballyhoo the film locally.

In the re-release pressbook for The Wild One, some publicity ideas (above) offer a way to ballyhoo the film locally.

Betty: I found similarities in what Brando was saying about acting and what Lee felt. I know the time we spent together, Brando, Lee and I, I would be hearing them, they were very much in accord. Personally, there was also a mutual respect there.
Dwayne: I heard, depending on who you talked to, they either showed respect for each other or they didn’t like each other, there was a rivalry.
Betty: Brando lived next door to us. When they did The Wild One, he was our son’s babysitter. We were together all the time. Brando taught me to play bongos on the peanut butter jars. We did things together. They were different in some ways in that Brando, compared to Lee, was very childlike. Brando was the one who would make Lee laugh. He’d tell me that they would drive to the studio and he’d tell me later, “Do you know Bud was trying to pick up a girl at the red light?” He was like a kid, flirting.
Dwayne: He’s still like that. Did you see him on Larry King?
Betty: I liked him on Larry King because I liked his honesty. I also think he’s very bright. He’s precocious. He’s very bright and..
Dwayne: Very manipulative too.
Betty: Oh he always did.
Dwayne: In the The Wild One, I think Lee was one of the few actors who wasn’t blown off the screen by Brando.
Betty: Not at all…..You just saw that adrenalin pumping. Also, They were both young actors, but Lee had a maturity that Brando didn’t have yet. Brando was kind of a kid next to Lee. Lee was like the adult in that gang. Remember, he was like the older guy.
Dwayne: A lot of critics felt he was to old for the part..
Betty: He was perfect.

From the book LIFE GOES TO THE MOVIES, the image above depicts how Lee Marvin's character of Chino came from the actual events in Hollister, Calif. back in 1947, despite the critics at the time saying Marvin was too old for the part.

From the book LIFE GOES TO THE MOVIES, the image above depicts how Lee Marvin’s character of Chino came from the actual events in Hollister, Calif. back in 1947, despite the critics at the time saying Marvin was too old for the part.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN LENNON: A RARE LEE MARVIN CONNECTION

On what would have been his 74th birthday, PointBlankBook.com has found a perfectly useable connection to Lee Marvin and birthday boy, John Lennon. You may or may not know a more prominent connection. John Lennon was a big fan of The Wild One, and as stated in Lee Marvin: Point Blank, Marvin’s gang in the film, The Beetles, proved to be quite inspirational.
Stranger still, but nontheless applicable, is yet another Beatle connection. When Lee Marvin’s recording of “Wanderin Star” from Paint Your Wagon was released as a single, no one was more surprised by its success than Marvin himself. The record company that released the single in England crowed no little bit about the success and paid for the following ad to be placed in the industry’s BillBoard magazine…..

Billboard Magazine ad touting Marvin's successful release of his singel of Wandern' Star.

Billboard Magazine ad touting Marvin’s successful release of his singel of Wandern’ Star.

 

The ad’s copy, barely visible in the bottom right corner, boastfully states:
We said LEE MARVIN had a record! But “Wanderin’ Star” is a song as timely as today from a story that is ageless.
Lee Marvin’s record of “Wanderin’ Star “from the movie “Paint Your Wagon.” PD’s [Program Directors] throughout the country loved the record.
“It’s the most different thing I’ve heard,” was what we heard most. “But when can I play it” is the thing we heard second most.
For anyone who missed the flash, this record was #1 — in England. It kept the Beatles out of the top of the chart.
We have just sent you a shining brand new copy of “Wanderin’ Star.” Listen to it again.
Get with the picture playing in every neighborhood in America.
Just play it. It takes care of itself.

That’s right. He kept the Beatles from having one last number 1 hit in the UK. The Beatles’ single came close but topped out at number 2. This fact, of course was NOT lost on Marvin who chided his Beatle-loving son Christopher about it constantly.
What was the Beatle song that Marvin kept out of the top spot? Well, let’s just say…..

The Beatles - Let It Be

The Beatles – Let It Be

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