DIRTY DOZEN PODCAST

Dirty Dozen (1967) podcast came as a well-timed pleasant surprise. It proved to be the brainchild of the versatile Steve Rubin, a writer, director, producer and yes, podcaster extraordinaire. After having done a previous podcast a while ago, Rubin contacted  yours truly to ask if I’d be willing to do it again in which the subject would be a Dirty Dozen podcast to be done along with film historian and screenwriter Steve Mitchell (Chopping Mall-1986). Of course I said yes. 

Montage of images from The Dirty Dozen.


    I got to know Steve Rubin through the auspices of FIlmfax magazine. Publisher Mike Stein asked if I’d like to an interview Rubin following his publication of The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia which turned out pretty good. We would talk periodically and help each other with research projects as he invited to me to join him and Stave Mitchell on a previous podcast. There were a few false starts but eventually it came to pass and despite my overt enthusiasm, I think it came off rather well.
     The latest installment of Rubin’s “Saturday Night at The Movies” podcast is available for listening now and I think it also came off rather well. We ran the gamut in discussing Robert Aldrich’s classic, covering everything from its flaws, its cast, screenplay, and its lasting impact. I especially enjoyed talking about the contributions of Ken Hyman,  Bob Phillips, John Cassavetes, Jim Brown and Telly Savalas. I come off a little too much like a hyperactive fanyboy, as usual, but the points are all well made. Luckily, I not only got to share thoughts of from Lee Marvin Point Blank but also hint at what will be included in next year’s publication of my book dedicated to The Dirty Dozen entitled Killin’ Generals by Kensington Publishing. So, give a listen here and feel free comment, criticize or what have you. In other words, enjoy!

Pop culture podcaster, Steve Rubin


– Dwayne Epstein

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KILLIN’ GENERALS UPDATE

Killin’ Generals update indeed! I had previously mentioned on this blog that my latest project concerns the making of The Dirty Dozen (1967) and as promised, here’s some great news about its progress.

Montage of images from the one, the only, the original, THE DIRTY DOZEN.


As many of you know since The Dirty Dozen came out over 50 years ago, not many of those involved in the production are still around. However, I did get an interview and some rare photos with the film’s 94 year old producer Ken Hyman. Also I spoke with actress Dora Reisser (she played the fraulein Telly Savalas killed) who was very insightful about her role in the film. I’ve also spoken with several of the adult children of cast members who shared there own exclusive memories of their father’s work on the film.

Telly Savalas & Dora Reisser as they appeared in THE DIRTY DOZEN.



Best of all (drum roll), as of this week, 87-year-old Donald Sutherland responded to my interview request with some wonderful and exclusive anecdotes. Great news, doncha think?
 The best part is I have in my archival research interviews conducted with several others involved in the film who are no longer with us. They include the likes of Clint Walker and Bob Phillips. Phillips had an extraordinary history besides playing the role of Cpl. Morgan. Best of all, he was hired to ‘babysit’ Lee Marvin during production and although some of what he told me can be read in my bio Lee Marvin Point Blank, the majority of what he stated remains exclusively untold …..until now! Publication is Father’s Day, 2023.
 There’s still more to come in terms of the exclusive research I have been gathering, but for this Killin’ Generals update should suffice for now. So, until the next time, happy Easter and happy Passover to one and all. Or, As Dirty Dozen director Robert Aldrich used to say, “Onward and upward!”
– 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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