Ahh, Hollywood. If it’s ever possible to make a few extra sheckels via promotional ideas connected to a project, rest assured the studios will do it. A good example is the now quicky fading movie tie-in paperback, a former staple in bookstores, revolving drugstore book racks, bus stations, you name it!
Below are several examples of movie tie-in paperbacks to Lee Marvin projects even before he was a known entity.
Lee Marvin had important, scene-stealing roles in both The Big Heat (1953) and Violent Saturday (1955,) but you’d never know it from the pulp noir covers shown above.
Raintree County (1957) and the excellent Seven Men From Now (1956) also featured excellent Marvin performances but since he was yet to be established, his name are image is nowhere to be found. Author Burt Kennedy, by the way, wrote the screenplay for Seven Men From Now and would go on to become a noted western film director.
When film success proved elusive, Marvin went to television and starred and co-produced the successful crime drama, M Squad. (1957-1960). The recognition resulted in such media attention as the tabloid collection shown above in which Marvin gave one of his most revealing interviews.
By the early 1960s, film stardom was still out of his grasp but he did make impressive appearances in the John Wayne films The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and The Comancheros (1961) as shown above. Even his name was mentioned on the covers! Liberty Valance was an original story by Dorothy M. Johnson (“A Man Called Horse”) but the paperback was novelized by the film’s screenwriter and frequent John Ford cohort, James Warner Bellah. Go figure.