LEE MARVIN’S WOODSTOCK -PART I

In doing research for Lee Marvin Point Blank, I was extremely lucky to eventually win over the confidence of Lee’s older brother Robert, who still lived in the Marvin family home in Woodstock when I met up with him in 1995. Several visits to the Marvin family homestead in upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley yielded some of the best and most exclusive research information of my entire project. It also allowed me a better sense of what Lee Marvin’s life was like as a youngster and after the war. Luckily, I brought my Nikon with me and took some pictures as it really hadn’t changed all that much in the ensuing years, in spite of the famous rock concert….
HUDSONAbove is the legendary Hudson River on the drive up to the Marvin homestead. Below, is the cementary called The Artist’s Colony which is the final resting place of Lee’s mother, Courtenay, who passed suddenly in 1962 of a brain hemmorage…

COURTENAYMARKERAlmost ten years later, Lee’s father, Monte also passed due to complications involving alcoholism and was laid to rest next to Courtenay….

MONTEMARKERIn the small village of Woodstock, the Maverick Theater, where Lee made his profesional acting debut, is long gone but the Village Green, which played an inauspicous role in in his fledgling acting career (Lee Marvin Point Blank, pp. 60-61), is still very much in existence as it was in his day. It would not be hard to imagine him here as he was described in the book….

VILLAGEGREENOn the outskirts of Woodstock, nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, in a small burg called Bearsville, lies the Marvin home….

WDSTK-D1Standing near the front porch of the family home with Robert Marvin shortly after our first in-person meeting. Note the Caskills in the background…..

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LEE MARVIN’S PARENTS HELP PROMOTE BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK

1955 was a VERY busy cinematic year for Lee Marvin with no less than eight different movie appearances in theaters across America at the time. The first release was probably the most memorable, as January 7th saw the release of the now classic, Bad Day at Black Rock. The making of the film is explored rather extensively in LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK via exclusive interviews with screenwriter Millard Kaufman and costar John Ericson (pictured below on the far right).
Shown below is an extremely rare instance of Lee Marvin’s parents getting involved in their son’s film promotion, which is not something they often particpated in. The event likely involved their participation as they lived very close to Kingston in nearby Bearsville in upstate New York’s scenic Hudson River Valley. They may have even done it more often had they been asked, since they were both still only in their fifties and professionally well-versed in the realm of public relations. Courtenay’s writing for film and fashion magazines and Monte’s work in sales in both Florida and New York’s agricultural sales markets gave them creedence.
The caption on the back of the press photo reads as follows: “January 24, 1955, far left is Kingston NY mayor Frederick H. Stang and his wife, followed by Monte and Courtenay Marvin, parents of Bad Day at Black Rock costar Lee Marvin who are all on local radio to promote ‘Go to the Movies Month in Kingston.’ The film was the premiere of Kingston’s remodeled Broadway Theater of the Walter Reade Theater chain. John Ericson is pictured far right.”

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Lee Marvin’s parents, Monte & Courtenay Marvin, helping to promote Bad Day at Black Rock.

The question is, where was Lee? Probably filming one of the many films he made but had yet to still come out that year!

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WARTIME WRITINGS BY LEE MARVIN

Wartime Writings

Words and images can never fully capture the true horror of war, but for the human psyche to express what the experience is like, some times wartime writings by way of mere words or images are all that are available. For Lee Marvin, who spent his life and career trying to express that horror via many of his acting roles, certain words and images proved highly influential. In Lee Marvin Point Blank, a letter taken from a Japanese soldier changed his perspective concerning the enemy when the content was translated for him by military intelligence. Below is the actual letter….
japaneseletterReproduced in part in Lee Marvin Point Blank’s photo section, below is the actual full telegram sent to Lee’s parents, Courtenay & Monte Marvin, following the Battle of Saipan. Imagine for a moment, what must have gone through their heads when reading the following

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Lying wounded in the San Francisco Naval Hospital bed, the young soldier had a lot of time to express what was going on his mind, such as the following two recently discovered doodles of Japanese weaponry and a particular fire fight he experienced on Eniwetok in Feb. of 1944, just a few days after his 20th birthday….
DOODLE2DOODLE1

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