International Appeal of Lee Marvin

As shown in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank, it didn’t matter if it was Europe, South America or Asia, Lee Marvin’s appeal knew no bounds and the international media took full advantage of it. As a matter of fact, after Lee and Betty Marvin divorced, she had had her full of seeing ex-husband’s image everywhere and decided to move to Europe. Stepping off the plane in Europe she was greeted by massive ads and banners advertising a new musuem photo exhibit highlighting a certain popular American movie star. Wanna guess who it was?

Whenever a new film of Marvin’s was set to open, pop culture magazines of the day ran such articles as the following pages below from Japan….


Lee Marvin in Japan




Lee Marvin in Japan 2


Lee Marvin in Japan 3

Despite the fact that French actress Jeanne Moreau was his co-star, Marvin’s appeal was so great overseas that when Monte Walsh went into general release, the first page of an Italian magazine’s 3-page article about the film was this simple image…


Lee Marvin in Italy


At the time of his death, in 1987, A French magazine ran the following article. By the way, anybody speak French?


Lee Marvin in France 1



Lee Marvin in France 2


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Japanese Programs
Lee Marvin’s popularity in the 60s and 70s was not limited simply to the U.S. but drew worldwide acclaim. Consequently, it’s no secret that the Japanese populace loves American pop culture. If any proof were needed, check out the extremely rare Japanese Program covers to several Lee Marvin film programs distributed at the time of the film’s release (all of the films are detailed in Lee Marvin Point Blank)….
professionalscvrFollowing The Professionals (written and directed by Oscar-nominated Richard Brooks), pictured above, is the equally rare Japanese program for Marvin’s underrated 1970 western Monte Walsh….
montecvrClearly, Japanese filmgoers enjoyed the American western and may even have seen allegories to their own samurai mythology, such as the way director John Sturges had by turning Kurasowa’s Seven Samurai into the Magnificent Seven or Sergio Leone turning Kurasowa’s Yojimbo into A Fistful of Dollars. Marvin’s 1974 failed western, The Spike’s Gang could have easily been done in a samurai-stye. By the way, check out the pre-Ocar Ron Howard….
spikescvrSpeaking of allegorical films, few were done as well as Marvin’s 1973 opus, Emperor of the North, pitting his rugged individualist hobo against Ernest Borgnine’s sadistic establisment railroad man. AT the time of it’s release it flopped for a myriad of reasons but luckily, through DVDs and cable, it’s find a new life….

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Monte Walsh still

Monte Walsh

Monte Walsh opening credits clip from YouTube.

Monte Walsh remains one of Lee Marvin’s best yet least seen films. I was extremely fortunate to interview co-stars Jack Palance and Mitchell Ryan about the making of the film  and it’s all in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank.
The wonderful score by John Barry (Lyrics by Hal David) with the song “The Good Times Are Comin'”sung by the wonderful Cass Elliot (she hated being called ‘Mama Cass’) underscores the elegiac quality of this sadly forgotten western and one of the best films in Lee Marvin’s career that sets the mood of the film from the outset, as it should be. Give a listen…

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