JOHN MITCHUM ON LEE MARVIN

John Mitchum, veteran character actor of countless films and TV shows, was also the younger brother of the legendary Robert Mitchum. He once wrote a book in the late 1980s about his life and experiences in Hollywood that’s overflowing with anecdotes and sometimes bawdy tales.

Paperback cover of John Mitchum’s memoir, THEM ORNERY MITCHUM BOYS.

I discovered the book, titled Them Ornery Mitchum Boys after my book, Lee Marvin: Point Blank, had already been published. It concerned me at first as I had always been a fan of his “Big Brother Bob,” and thought there may be something therein I may have missed out on for my research. Luckily, I had interviewed John Mitchum during a visit to the Lone Pine Film Festival and was able to get some wonderful quotes from the man at the time.
Since that time, I purchased a copy of the book on Ebay and was happy to discover it was also signed by the author!

Signature of John Mitchum.

That said, I was able to enjoy reading the tales of John and “Big Brother Bob” without trepidation that I had missed out on any important talking points John may have included, since he did indeed work with Lee Marvin on M Squad and also Point Your Wagon.  By the way, if you want to see some of “Big Brother Bob’s” best work, check out his astounding trilogy of films fro the early 70s: The Yakuza (produced by my agent, the late Mike Hamilburg) The Friends of Eddie Coyle & Farewell My Lovely. if they don’t make you a fan of his world-weary cynicism, then nothing will.
Anyway, below is the section of tales John wrote about Lee that includes thoughts on Jean Seberg, Ty Cabeen, and more. Enjoy…
– Dwayne Epstein

John Mitchum’s take on working with Lee Marvin.

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‘MAKING OF’ SHORT FOR PAINT YOUR WAGON

Paint Your Wagon ‘Making Of’ Short

Paint Your Wagon poster

Original poster art for Paint Your Wagon.

Anybody remember those ‘Making Of’ shorts from films made in the 60s and 70s? No? Well allow me to elaborate…..
When I was kid watching a movie on TV, I used to love it when a movie didn’t quite make it to 11 pm but ended closer to 10:45. That meant the network would fill the extra time with a ‘Making Of’ short of an upcoming feature film. Now, such things are easuly viewed as DVD extras, or TCM time fillers. Or, as in this case, posted on YouTube. But back in the day, it proved a special treat and was one of the many reasons that inspired me to want to write Lee Marvin Point Blank. Not all do they capture rare behind-the-scene moments from films both good and bad, they are perfect little time capsules of a bygone era. Personally, I love all these little gems and think they should all be made accessible to the general public, but hey, that’s just me.
Check out this short (albeit aged) film behind the scenes of Paint Your Wagon, including rare footage of Lee Marvin rehearsing with costar Jean Seberg….

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