In a previous blog I wrote about the BSOL, aka The Bastard Sons of Lee in terms of their official creation and purpose via an article in the L.A. Times. There is, however, more to this fraternal order then what the article stated. Over the years the ranks have expanded, depleted, and expanded yet again. The group’s current status is more or less in limbo but with any luck, that may change again. My experience with the BSOL was chronicled extensively enough in the final pages of Lee Marvin: Point Blank and it’s a hoot, considering founder Ron Walker got to meet the REAL son of Lee Marvin and what that resulted in!

In fairness, the BSOL is more than a post-generational fan club. Just take look at the members at a typical meeting from years back…..


If you can’t tell, they are all giving the camera the newly created Lee Marvin salute: The slowly corkscrewed gun to the viewer, ala Liberty Valance. Oh, and by the way, the deer on the wall is inflatible. Just saying…

Some members even went so far as to take the pilgramage to Mecca to pay their sacred respects, aka Arlington National Cemetary, and left an appropriate token of their visit…..





But, more than anything else, the one thing the BSOL has done that stands head and shoulders above all else of their other accomplished goals, rivaling the visit to Mecca and seeing ALL of Lee Marvin’s films (at least once); the most impressive of all is their semi-regular march in Pasadena’s (in)famous Doo-Dah Parade. As seen below, they come in character dressed as their designated name sake (a sash helps to point out the film for the uniaitiated) and take their representation very (semi)seriously…..




As they march through Pasadena amid cries of “We love you, Bastards!” their homemade ‘float’ trudges along with them….





Some members of the brethren have taken it upon themselves to create a makeshift totem in honor of you-know-who……


BSOL’s ManLee Totem












It’s been years since the mysterious BSOL has had a reunion, however most did indeed turn out for a book signing at the Huntington Beach Barnes & Noble for the February 2013 appearance of a certain author’s new bestseller…..



If you haven’t guessed by now, via some of the previous photos, your humble narrator is a little more than a chronicler of the Bastard Brethren. Yes, he’s a much grateful charter member. Some times you can’t just sit back and write about the game. Sometimes you gotta just jump off the bench and tackle the quarterback. Especially since it’s so damn fun to do so.
All that aside, with the renewed interest in the great man’s accomplishments, and the burst of popularity via social media in the years since it’s inception, don’t you all think the BSOL should rise again? What do you say my brothers? Shall we reunite, better than ever? I await your input….
– Dwayne Epstein

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Bastard Sons of Lee? What the….? That’s what I asked myself when I first heard about it. I often get asked, “Why write about Lee Marvin? I mean, why him? ….And why are you wearing that shirt?” One of the answers has to do with Marvin’s legacy, which is unlike any classic film star I’ve ever come across. Seriously. The bizarre and secretive Sons of Lee Marvin is one thing, which I wrote about in Lee Marvin: Point Blank. The Bastard Sons of Lee?  After all, did John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart leave as many little ‘mementos’ in their wake? I think not. Actually, they’re not really Marvin’s sons. Bastards, maybe but… Anyway, they do indeed exist, and clearly, boast of their illigitmate status, as seen below:


BSOL-Bumper Sticker

Seriously? Have you seen this? Are there boastful Bastard Montgomery Clift bumper stickers? Ha! I think not!…Oh wait….never mind.

Well, how about this window decal…


See what I mean? As the eminetly quotable Bugs Bunny would say, “Bizarre, ain’t it?” Clearly, it ain’t your father’s fan club, that’s for sure. In fact, maybe the best way to explain is via this L.A. Times article from the 90s. Click on in to enlarge. Read it. Then we’ll talk. There will be a quiz. Talk to you then….







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BSOL at Arlington

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and to most folks it means backyard BBQs, big box sales events, picnics and the traditional start of the summer. It also means something else. It means honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. That sacrifice was not only made on the battlefield. I have come to learn while working Lee Marvin Point Blank that every single person who ever saw combat was wounded in one way or another and the result was a traumatized existence. Whether it was Agent Orange, PTSD, alcoholism, or rampant suicide, clearly, not all wounds were the result of combat. One example is Lee Marvin, who died at the premature age of 63.
Thanks to the extreme sacrifice of others, I was lucky enough to never have had that experience. Of course, that raised the question of how could I write about it, as it was a defining factor in Lee Marvin’s life? Luckily, his letters from the war survived, and after putting them in chronological order and decipherng their content, I was able to let Lee Marvin write that chapter in his own words…As it should be.

Several members of the BSOL (Bastard Sons of Lee) visited his grave site at Arlington a few years back and decided to leave the appropriate tribute seen above…..
So, this Memorial Da weekend, as it should be every Memorial Day weekend, take some time to remember the real reason for the day. And give thanks.
– Dwayne Epstein

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