DIRTY DOZEN PODCAST

Dirty Dozen (1967) podcast came as a well-timed pleasant surprise. It proved to be the brainchild of the versatile Steve Rubin, a writer, director, producer and yes, podcaster extraordinaire. After having done a previous podcast a while ago, Rubin contacted  yours truly to ask if I’d be willing to do it again in which the subject would be a Dirty Dozen podcast to be done along with film historian and screenwriter Steve Mitchell (Chopping Mall-1986). Of course I said yes. 

Montage of images from The Dirty Dozen.


    I got to know Steve Rubin through the auspices of FIlmfax magazine. Publisher Mike Stein asked if I’d like to an interview Rubin following his publication of The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia which turned out pretty good. We would talk periodically and help each other with research projects as he invited to me to join him and Stave Mitchell on a previous podcast. There were a few false starts but eventually it came to pass and despite my overt enthusiasm, I think it came off rather well.
     The latest installment of Rubin’s “Saturday Night at The Movies” podcast is available for listening now and I think it also came off rather well. We ran the gamut in discussing Robert Aldrich’s classic, covering everything from its flaws, its cast, screenplay, and its lasting impact. I especially enjoyed talking about the contributions of Ken Hyman,  Bob Phillips, John Cassavetes, Jim Brown and Telly Savalas. I come off a little too much like a hyperactive fanyboy, as usual, but the points are all well made. Luckily, I not only got to share thoughts of from Lee Marvin Point Blank but also hint at what will be included in next year’s publication of my book dedicated to The Dirty Dozen entitled Killin’ Generals by Kensington Publishing. So, give a listen here and feel free comment, criticize or what have you. In other words, enjoy!

Pop culture podcaster, Steve Rubin


– Dwayne Epstein

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MAY 2022 ON TCM

May 2022 on TCM means the airing of a couple of Lee Marvin perennials and some special tributes I am very much looking forward to seeing.  As to the perennials, for this May 2022, it seems TCM loves to show these two classics, especially around Memorial Day…

(L-R) Russell Collins, Walter Brennan, Spencer Tracy (seated), Dean Jagger, Lee Marvin and Robert Ryan in Bad Day at Black Rock.

Marvin confronts Robert Ryan in the Oscar-winning The Dirty Dozen.

As to the rest of the month’s line-up, there are some interesting Lee Marvin connections, even though he doesn’t appear in the films listed. That aside, I chose to highlight the ones worth watching. Don’t forget to check your local listings for your time zone’s start time…. 


Dark of the Sun (1968) Wednesday, May 5th & Tuesday May 24: Airing in tribute to Yvette Mimeux, this little seen acton film has Rod Taylor delivering one of the most amazing fight scenes I’ve ever witnessed, as well as a pretty decent performance from Lee Marvin’s Dirty Dozen costar, Jim Brown. 
The Verdict (1982) & Hombre (1966) Thursday, May 5th: Two very different performances from two different time periods by two very great directors but both feature Lee Marvin costar Paul Newman. I’ve written about Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict previously but Martin Ritt’s Hombre deserves a second look. An ensemble cast features superb performances by all but especially Richard Boone. Could very well have been played by Lee Marvin. Also costars The Iceman Cometh’s (1973) Fredric March.
The Catered Affair (1956) Sunday, May 8th: Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin’s frequent costar, costars this time around with the legendary Bette Davis in this poignant inner-city drama directed by Richard Brooks, based on the TV play written by Paddy Chayefsky. Davis has never been better and Borgnine revisits Chayefesky’s Marty (1955) persona in a very different way. Also look for a young Debbie Reynolds, Rod Taylor and curmedgeonly Barry Fitzgerald.
John Ford, The Man Who Invented America (2018) Sunday, May 8th: I don’t know anything about this documentary but you can bet the house on the fact that I will be watching. In my humble opinion, this director of such Lee Marvin classics as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Donovan’s Reef is the greatest of all American directors.
Crossfire (1947) & Edge of the City (1957) Saturday, May 14th: Robert Ryan’s sole Oscar-nomination and John Cassavetes self-proclaimed best early work highlight the Dirty Dozen’s costars claim to fame. Very different films but definitely worth watching for their performances alone. 
The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh (2014) Wednesday, May 18th: As with the John Ford documentary, I never heard of this either but since Walsh directed many of my favorite films (including an early western with Lee Marvin) I’ll be checking it out. 
Seven Days in May (1964), Papillon (1973), The Wind & The Lion (1975) Wednesday, May 25th: These three well made films are being shown as part of a tribute to my all-time favorite film composer, Jerry Goldsmith. Watch these films for the music alone and you’ll see why he’s my favorite.
Memorial Day Weekend Marathon featuring: 
Bad Day at Black Rock
(1955) Saturday, May 28th & The Dirty Dozen (1967) Monday, May 30th: All weekend long Turner is showing some great films which naturally means the airing of these two perennials!

So there you have it, May 2022 on TCM for Lee Marvin fans and cinephiles alike. If you want to know more any of these films or the people involved, there’s always Lee Marvin Point Blank. Until then, all the best!
– Dwayne Epstein

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ROBERT DOWNEY, JR….AS WALKER?

Robert Downey, Jr., the amazing actor who rose from the ashes of his very public substance abuse to become a major film star via such franchises as the very buff Sherlock Holmes and the equally super heroic Iron Man, is now reportedly going to star as the next incarnation of Lee Marvin’s Point Blank (1967) character, Walker. According to this fairly detailed article online.

As Walker in POINT BLANK.

Downey is of course not the first actor to reimagine the pulp novel character of Walker, (a.ka. Parker, Porter, et.al) as this article points out correctly, which other sources do not. Crime novelist Donald Westlake, writing under the pen name of Richard Stark, has seen his master thief character portrayed on film by everyone from Jim Brown and Robert Duvall to Mel Gibson and Jason Statham, all with varying degrees of success. Of course, like the many incarnations of James Bond, to most film fans Lee Marvin IS Walker, the same way Sean Connery will always be THE Bond. That said, I’m not one to jump on the “why-are-they-remaking-a-classic” bandwagon, as I think Robert Downey is an exceptional actor and can probably pull it off. Now, if we only knew which version of Westlake/Stark’s character they intend to use…

In other Point Blank related news, the original film’s producer, Judd Bernard, has passed away recently at the age of 94 as reported here.

(L-R) Moderator Jim Hemphill, Point Blank producer Jud Bernard, yours truly, Christopher Marvin and Clu Gulager on stage at the Aero Theater.

I met Bernard briefly as he turned up as a surprise guest on the Q&A panel of a screening of the film to launch the promotion of my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank. That was quite a night and his kind shall not pass this way again. Rest in Peace.
– Dwayne Epstein

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