THE DIRTY DOZEN IN THE FILMS OF THE SIXTIES

Long gone, the publishing company Citadel Press put out a series of books known as “The Films Of..” which focused on actors, genres, directors and decades, with The Films of The Sixties being a prime example. Written by Douglas Brode and published in 1980, it contains a series of essays chosen by the author in chapters broken down by each year within the decade. Brode was one of the better writers in Citadel’s stable and his insight into a given film is highly perceptive. That’s the good news about this title. The bad news is in the amount of information he got wrong, either by misinformation or by omission.  By omission it can be stated that he includes only two Lee Marvin films in his assessment, The Professionals and The Dirty Dozen. Since the book came out in 1980, the cult status and influence of Point Blank was well enough established to have been included in the book, as well as several others.

The cover of the Citadel Press book, THE FILMS OF THE SIXTIES by Douglas Brode.

When researching Lee Marvin Point Blank, I perused all available sources but was left wanting by Brode’s essay on the film. Why, you may ask? Well, the essay is below but here’s what to look for in terms of what went wrong.
-Donald Sutherland may be complimented to be referred to as intellectual but he’s certainly not English. He was born and raised in Canada and his character, Vernon Pinkley is neither Southern nor retarded. Slow-witted maybe, but his standout scene inspecting Robert Ryan’s troops shows him to be anything but retarded.
– Jim Brown’s character of R.T. Jefferson (Napoleon White in the novel) has good reason to be anti-white but Trini Lopez was certainly not his character’s Puerto Rican sidekick. Brown’s sidekick in the film is clearly Charles Bronson’s character.
– Although it’s a point that’s open to interpretation, Maggot’s murder of the young German girl is hardly on par with the inceneration of German officers and their civilian female counterparts.
– The author even misspelled Telly Savalas’ TV alter ego, Theo Kojak. Oy!
His overall assessment of the film and its importance is on the money, but the wince-inducing mistakes left me cold. This month being the 50th anniversary of The Dirty Dozen’s release, I invite you read for yourself the essay written on the film’s impact….

Page 1 of Douglas Brode’s DIRTY DOZEN essay.

Page 2 of DIRTY DOZEN essay.

Conclusion of DIRTY DOZEN essay.

Share

FOR THE RECORD: 60s LEE MARVIN 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….

fools-300x168

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 suprising 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)…..

PROFESSIONALS

Soundtrack cover to The Professionals

PROFESSIONALS2

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, especially for anyone who needed to hear the full version of Trini Lopez singing The Bramble Bush….

DIRTYDOZEN1

soundtrack cover to The Dirty Dozen

DIRTYDOZEN2

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 cover to Paint Your Wagon

Share

MAD MAGAZINE, PART DEUX

MAD MAGAZINE

Mad Magazine? Really? Yeah, really!  The purveyor of pop culture parody, has been successfully poking fun at iconic movies since the 1950s and is still going strong. The incredibly wild success of 1967’s  The Dirty Dozen (The biggest box office hit of the year and the 6th highest grossing film in MGM history) meant that in the January, 1968 issue of Mad Magazine, cartoonist Mort Drucker and writer Lou Silverstone would take on the monster hit film in their own inimitable fashion. Chock full of puns, inside jokes (check out the ‘cameos’ of Beetle Bailey and Co.), and wonderfully rendered caricatures of the entire cast of Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Trine Lopez, John Cassavetes, Robert Webber, Telly Savalas, Clint Walker, Donald Sutherland, Ralph Meeker and Robert Ryan.Too bad they didn’t do more Marvin parodies. Drucker did him great!
Oh, and the intro is wrong, by the way. The trend in anti-heroes didn’t start with Hud. That actually goes waaaay back to everything from Phantom of the Opera to Little Casear and the entire career of the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum and  beyond…..And whats with the guy with the eye patch smoking the cigarette?
maddd1maddd2maddd3maddd4maddd5maddd6

Share