LARRY EDMUNDS BOOKSHOP

Larry Edmunds Bookshop has been a staple on Hollywood Blvd. for decades and just recently it celebrated its 31st anniversary under the auspices of owner Jeff Mantor. Not only is Larry Edmunds Bookshop my favorite book store (Evah!), but I’ve been going there since high school, which kind of predates Jeff Mantor’s ownership. Don’t get me wrong, I like all bookstores but the speciality aspect of Larry Edmunds towers above the competition: Samuel French, and the once thriving stores such as Book City, Hollywood Book & Poster, etc. Why? They were all either too pricey or limited in their inventory. Larry Edmunds had and still has, EVERYTHING! 

I knew I arrived as a biographer when Larry Edmunds (“The Lare”) carried my book and helped promote it.


   Not only did I go there regularly pre-Pandemic to browse, I don’t think I ever left that place without buying something. Yeah, it’s that enticing and that good! 
  I should add that owner Jeff Mantor has gone out of his way to help promote my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank in a way that defies description. In fact, when the publicist my publisher hired could not get the right people from the American Cinematheque on the phone, I told Jeff and he did the rest. I talked Chris Marvin into joining us for an evening of his father’s films and the rest as they say, is history. Thank you, Jeff! 

Book signing table with Jeff Mantor set-up in the lobby of the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theater in Santa Monica.

 

   He also offered to do a book signing IN Larry Edmunds bookshop if I could provide a worthy guest speaker to join me. A frantic call unsuccessful to first Angie Dickinson and then a successful one to the late, great Mitch Ryan clinched the deal on a magical night highlighted here. Once again, thank you, Jeff. 
 So here’s to a wonderful anniversary, for Larry Edmunds Bookshop and hopefully many more. See you soon, Jeff.
– Dwayne Epstein

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100 BEST NOIRS…..AHEM!

100 best noirs seems like an ambitious undertaking, especially since it has nothing to do with Eddie Muller, the self proclaimed ‘Czar of Noir.” However, a Facebook friend (who shall remain nameless) recently sent me a link to an online magazine article in which the attempt to catalogue the 100 best noir films is done by several writers. Here’s that list and some further thoughts on my own.
   It’s a thoughtful, fairly well-written piece but as my friend pointed out, it seems to lean heavily on more recent films and less so on more classic noir. It seem to me, that if you’re going to proclaim the 100 best noirs then some of the choices that made the list are either incorrect or just plain bogus. Sorry but Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), the film that made me a huge James Cagney fan is NOT noir. If you put that on the list then all the great 1930s Warner gangster pix should also be included.
And why Gaslight (1944), Key Largo (1948) or Miller’s Crossing (1990)? Sorry, all great films but hardly noir. 
   More importantly are the films absent from the list. These are my choices both classic and modern:
Act of Violence (1948), On Dangerous Ground (1951) & Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), all three starring the criminally underrated Robert Ryan!
Brute Force (1947)
Panic in the Streets (1950)
The Hustler (1961)

Modern noir? How about these:
Serpico (1973)
Mean Streets (1973)
Who’ll Stop the Rain (1978)
Cutter & Bone, aka Cutter’s Way (1981)

And since this blog is dedicated to Lee Marvin and as the author of Lee Marvin Point Blank, allow me to ask, where’s this cult favorite remake? 

Theatrical poster for the made-for-TV movie (the first!) THE KILLERS, released in theaters worldwide.

Not to brag but I did get to interview many of the costars, including Clu Gulager, Angie Dickinson, Norman Fell and Bob Phillips, all of whom told me great tales concerning this classic noir! 
Now I ask you, did they miss the boat in the article, or what?! Any of your favorites missing as well? Feel free to comment.

– Dwayne Epstein 

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TUCSON ARIZONA & LEE MARVIN

Tucson Arizona, a city with a surprising history of filmmaking (mostly westerns, of course) was also the home to Lee Marvin the last few decades of his life. Recently, I came across an online photo spread of Tucson’s rich celebrity enriched images which can be seen here
If you don’t want to scroll all the way down to find Lee Marvin like I did, here’s the image below…

Original caption: “Sarah Gorby and actor Lee Marvin hold baby javelinas before a fundraising dinner at the Tucson Racquet Club for the Sarah Gorby Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund in 1983.” Anybody know what the hell a javelina is?

 

Of course, the plethora of film & TV actors captured in photos at work, play and various other venues is certainly worth scrolling through. Pretty impressive as it runs the gamut from the 1950s to today and features everyone from John Wayne (natch!) to Ted Danson! Particular favorites are Groucho Marx and Jayne Mansfeld. The info is intriguing, as well, despite the fact that Jack Lemmon never made a movie called It Happened One Night (1934) but did costar with June Allyson in a 1956 musical remake called You Can’t Run Away From It. Also, the Paul Newman movie in which he’s getting his boots shined was not Pockey Money (whatever that is!) but Pocket Money (1972), costarring the subject of this blog. 
 Speaking of the subject of this blog, the fact that he did reside in Tucson Arizona played a pretty significant role in my biography of him, Lee Marvin Point Blank finally seeing the light of day. Publisher Tim Schaffner, a Tucson resident himself, was pondering whether to publish my work or not Told me that when he noticed his local video store having a speical on Lee Marvin movies, several folks told him some Lee Marvin stories. Hey, every little bit helps! 
 As for Lee Marvin stories, social media can help in the strangest ways. It didn’t make the book but rocker Brad Brooks had his own interesting tale to tell I wrote about here. He later told me he met the man while he worked delivering water to the Marvin home and the serial rapist was real! Just goes to show ya, you never know where or how Lee Marvin can pop up in the world!

-P.S. Been so busy on other projects I haven’t had time to blog in a while. With that in mind, allow me to wish a wonderful yet belated happy 90th birthday as of September 30th to the legendary Angie Dickinson! She is a class act I was fortunate enough to interview for my book and unpublished selections can be seen here. All the best, Angie!
– Dwayne Epstein

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