Jaws (1975), the film that started the blockbuster craze in the mid 1970s — followed soon thereafter by Star Wars (1977) — is now the basis of a stage play in the U.K. Seriously! Not the film itself but the making of the film which stars Ian Shaw as his father Robert Shaw, according to this article. Amazing, isn’t? Apparently, it’s doing quite well and as readers of Lee Marvin Point Blankare fully aware of, Lee Marvin (among others) was first asked to play the Shaw role of the crusty old sea salt, Quint. Director Steven Spielberg apparently also approached Sterling Hayden and got a similiar response from Hayden as he did Marvin. Just one example, by the way, of the appendix I put together of films Marvin turned down, and it is plentiful!
A young, postwar Lee Marvin eyes a fishing boat, probably off the coast of Texas. Could Quint had started this way?
Marvin was an avid fisherman and turned down the role in hopes of making his own film about deep sea-fishing based on the book Tournament but could not raise the money for it. Publicly he joked that the reason he turned down Jaws was that after reading the script he didn’t want his fishing compadres to laugh at him based on Quint’s outcome. After the film came out and became a monster success, he stuck to his guns stating he felt the film was a small and simple tale of three men in a boat. He may have a point there.
The fact that the play is co-written and co-starring Robert Shaw’s son, Ian Shaw, and titled “The Shark is Broken” is rather ironic considering how Marvin felt about Robert Shaw and that had Marvin accepted the role, the play would never had come about. When it comes to Marvin’s son (the real one, not the Jim Jarmusch Cabal), Christopher Marvin confided in me that had his father left him a bigger inheritance, he was planning on starting a therapeutic music school for disabled children. Would have been nice.
Lee Marvin and Michele Triola on the fishing trawler Ngerenghol registered n Koror off the coast of Palau. Looks like the boat in Jaws, doesn’t it?
Lance Henriksen, veteran character actor of many a film and TV project, has had a few run-ins with Lee Marvin, as I recently discovered in an interview he did promoting his film Fallen (2020), which was written, directed and costarring Viggo Mortensen. In the joint interview, Henriksen tells several anecdotes about his career, all fascinating, but one in particular was worthy of this blog that I was totally unaware of. As recounted by Ryan Gilby in the online version of the U.K.’s The Guardian:
“Henriksen’s distinctive features have haunted cinema screens for almost half a century – that drawn face, those goggle eyes in their deep-scooped sockets, the high forehead and prim lips. His first paid gig was as a prison yard extra on The American, a 1960 TV special with Lee Marvin. “I was in jail myself at the time for vagrancy. They paid me $5 and I told the guard: ‘I’m not a vagrant any more!’” He even asked Marvin to spring him from the slammer. “He looked at me, like: ‘Hold that thought,’ and walked off. Hahaha!”
P.R. image of Lee Marvin as Ira Hayes in John Frankenheimer’s THE AMERICAN (1960).
Interestingly, Henriksen’s IMDb profile makes no mention of the appearance, but it does list his first acting credit as an extra in the film version of Ira Hayes released the same year with Tony Curtis as The Outsider. I’d take Henriksen’s word over IMDb any day.
It does however mention that Henriksen made his big screen debut over a decade later as an extra play a train yard worker on Emperor of the North (1973). His bigger break came two years later as an FBI agent in Dog Day Afternoon.
Actor Lance Henriksen in his prime in the mid-1990s.
There’s other odd connections the now 80-year-old Lance Henriksen had to Lee Marvin. He may be the only actor to ever play Marvin’s frequent costar, Charles Bronson, as he did in the TV-movie version of Jill Ireland’s battle with cancer. He also played a bounty hunter in Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man (1996) who kills and cannibalizes two men named Lee & Marvin. Strange but true. May not be worthy of Lee Marvin Point Blank but it works for this blog. Wonder if Henriksen himself sees the connection.
– Dwayne Epstein
Iggy Pop, often referred to as “The Godfather of Punk,” has had many incarnations. He came into the world as James Osterberg, Jr. His father was a WWII veteran and English teacher in Michigan. He later took the stage name Iggy Stooge and then Iggy Pop fronting the band The Stooges. His legendary performance antics pioneered the mosh pit, stage diving, and other less savory events that lead to the creation of punk rock. Now, at the age of 72 he’s practically considered mainstream — well, not quite, but he’s admittedly slowed down a bit during his still high energy performances and recordings.
What, you may ask, does any of this have to do with Lee Marvin or Lee Marvin Point Blank?
The secret Sons of Lee Marvin members (SOLM), both official and unofficial.
It has to do with yet another incarnation Iggy can lay claim to and that was bestowed by indy filmmaker Jim Jarmusch as shown in the graphic herein. I don’t know about the likes of Ron Perlman, Gary Busey and Jeff Bridges (who knew and worked with Marvin in The Iceman Cometh), but my research showed the top row of gentlemen as definitely being charter members. In fact, I was able get the exclusive TRUE story of Lee’s real son Christopher and his encounter with charter member Tom Waits, all of which provided a great finale to Lee Marvin Point Blank.
I recently discovered via a Facebook friend that Iggy’s appreciation of Lee Marvin predates the Sons of Lee Marvin and, quite possibly, that of Jim Jarmusch.
The message and image from Facebook friend Peter Stipe:
The legendary Michigan Theater and young theater patron Jim Osterberg, soon to be legendary himself.
“I thought this photo might interest you. Ann Arbor’s Jim Osterberg and Lee Marvin before Iggy Pop and The Stooges….The Michigan Theater posted it. My daughter works there.”
Cool, huh? Can’t thank Peter Stipe and his daughter enough for this image but suffice to say I have indeed tried. Love seeing my research proven accurate by faithful readers. Makes me wonder if Iggy Pop/Jim Osterberg read my book. Anything’s possible. Until then, enjoy and Semper Fi!
– Dwayne Epstein