PAINT YOUR WAGON: UNSEEN FATHER/SON OFF-CAMERA PIX

Father/Son
Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank know that like most of us, the Oscar-winning actor had a complicated relationship with his father, Lamont ‘Monte’ Marvin. From childhood  to adoloscensce and well into adulthood, the two men loved each other but had a difficult time expressing, let alone understanding, their emotions toward each other. Those emotions ran a larger gamut that most father/son relationships as they encompassed envy, rage, one-up-manship, you name it. These are often emotions one would more likely find in say a boss and employer relationship. Which may be the very theme of this blog entry…
I was extremely lucky to come into much ofthe  exclusive reasearch data that I did when exploring Lee Marvin’s life. Keep in mind, when using the term ‘lucky’ I mean it in its purest form: When opportunity meets preparation. Such was the case wth the images below. Readers of the book are familair with the central image from this scanned page in the book’s photo section:

A page from the Lee Marvin Point Blank photo section.

A page from the Lee Marvin Point Blank photo section.

The image I’m referring to out of the three that are  pictured, is the rare one depicting Lee Marvin in costume as Ben Rumson for the 1969 film Paint Your Wagon. Beside him, whooping it up in laughter, is his father, Monte.
Now, here’s the interesting part. From the same photo collection is the following image….

(L-R) Asst. director Tommy Shaw, Lee Marvin, his father Monte, and director Josh Logan, on set for Paint Your Wagon.

(L-R) Asst. director Tommy Shaw, Lee Marvin, his father Monte, and director Josh Logan, on set for Paint Your Wagon.

Based on the clothes it is pretty safe to assume the photos are from the same day as the one from the book’s photo section.
I had been told from several very reliable sources, that Lee’s drinking was not a constant thing, especially where work was concerned. However, when production slowed down, when things began to go astray, when incompentence began replacing experience, Marvin would simply state, “I’ll come back when you all know what you’re doing.” He’d then proceed to the nearest watering hole.
Now, having said all that, and noting the dour expression on the actor’s face in these photos, the final photo ties it all together. Obviously, Marvin did walk away, but a watering hole was not nearby. Monte sought to help his son as best as possible but knew not how. The result of this is Lee’s condition and the complicated relationship of father & son as depicted below….

Kneeling Monte unsucessfully attempts to rouse his prone son back to work.

Kneeling Monte unsucessfully attempts to rouse his prone son back to work.

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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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