Movie slogans — or taglines — for film poster ads have existed as long as there have been movies. It’s an obvious gig to come up with superlatives from the publicity department for a given film, but the ones that walk the tightrope between enticing a viewer without ruining the film and explaining the premise some times reach the poetic level. I have some favorite examples, such as the one for Alien (1979): “In space no one can hear you scream.” or the slogan used for The Front (1976): “What if there were a list? A list that said: Our finest actors weren’t allowed to act. Our best writers weren’t allowed to write. What would it be like if there were such a list? It would be like America in 1953.” My personal favorite is the one used for The Wild Bunch (1969), the film Lee Marvin almost made: “Five men who came too late and stayed too long.”
 Speaking of Lee Marvin (smooth segue, don’t you think?) as the author of Lee Marvin Point Blank, I thought it might be fun to try something here. Can you identify the film based only on the movie slogan? Nothing being offered in this little quiz. Just curious to see how well any readers may know his films. Below are the movie slogans and then below that, are the posters for the films. Ready? Here we go…..

“There is more than one way to kill a man.”

“They were not forgotten by history. They were left out on purpose.”

“There are two kinds of people in his uptight world. His victims and his women. And sometimes you can’t tell them apart.” 

“Out of violence, compassion. Out of suspicion, trust. Out of hell, hope.”

“Train them! Excite them! Arm them! Then turn them loose on the Nazis!” 




The original ad for THE KILLERS.

Ad for The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday

Point Blank, 1967.

Hell in the Pacific, 1968.

Poster for THE DIRTY DOZEN, the best of Men on a Mission films in which the genre is defined in the ad.

Dwayne Epstein



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Paul Woodadge, military historian extraordinaire, contacted me recently to invite me on his podcast aptly titled WW2TV. Granted, I haven’t blogged here in a while but that was due mainly to the fact that I really did not have a reason to blog, that is until Paul Woodadge got in touch with me. 

Opening graphic created by Paul Woodage for his WW2TV podcast episode, “Point Blank! Lee Marvin’s War.”

Happened like this: Woodadge had messaged me via Twitter months ago, but since I rarely visit that platform, I was not aware of his attempt. Well, once I did check my messages there, I immediately looked into the show he does (all pretty much by himself, I might add), was impressed with his content — i.e. his amazing research — and decided to respond to his request. We chatted briefly and since he had an opening available due to a cancelled guest, we set up a day and time to record the! I checked with him about needing any images for his show and sent what I thought appropriate for a discussion on Lee Marvin’s military career and films. They were used of course, but he went even further, scouring the internet for graphics that corresponding to every single military-themed project Marvin ever did. As I said, he is a military historian extraordinaire: a stalwart Brit who’s lived in Normandy for 20 years just to be near the source of his WWII research!
I was slightly reticent to talk at length about the subject, thinking I’d give away too much info that’s in Lee Marvin Point Blank but he assured me, his viewers will still be intrigued as it will be more like a ‘Greatest Hits’ teaser, prompting them to want to buy the book. Fears allayed, we did the show. 
I should add, since it was live, I was not aware of the comments being made by viewers as it went out and was pleasantly surprised by what I later read on the YouTube recording later. That, by the way, includes regular follower of this blog, Shawn Marengo, whom I thank for her participation. All that said, below is indeed the full nearly two-hour broadcast. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed doing it. 
Oh, and if you haven’t done so, be sure to read Lee Marvin Point Blank to get the rest of the story!
– Dwayne Epstein

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Abbie Hoffman may not be that well known to a lot of people but he’s always been a personal hero of mine. He was by definition a social activist probably best known for his work organizing anti-war protests during the Vietnam War era. Truth is, he was much more than that. He was an amazing man involved in many different social causes: civil rights, the environment, the Women’s Movement, you name it, and he did it all with a terrific sense of humor.

Abbot ‘Abbie’ Hoffman, as he looked in his prime.

Now with that in mind, one would not think that Abbie Hoffman would be a proper subject for a blog dedicated to Lee Marvin and my book Lee Marvin Point Blank.  Truth be told, I like to think of this blog as that and other subjects of interest, especially when it concerns the lives of interesting and/or unsung individuals. Enter Abbie Hoffman.

Abbie Hoffman’s memoir, SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE.

Having watched the Aaron Sorkin film The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), recently, I decided to reread Abbie’s autobiography, since it’s always been one of my favorite books as mentioned previously. Glad I did as it is just as great a read as I remember. I could go on about what makes it so wonderful, or even pontificate more on Abbie’s achievements. Instead, read the excerpt below and you’ll see what I mean:

“Radio needed another frame of mind. I studied how it was different, always preferred it to TV, and felt I was better on the radio because the listener couldn’t see what was going on and respond to certain visual images I had to create. One night I was being interviewed by a hostile host live on New York radio station WNEW. I picked up my host’s pack of cigarettes and said, ‘Can I have a cigarette?’
‘Sure, help yourself.,’ he said, and I took one and dragged on it slurpily. ‘Hey, this is really good stuff here, man,’ I said, imitating the stereotypical stoned musician. The host got all flustered and announced, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, he’s just smoking a plain Marlboro cigarette…Tell them that — tell them it’s just a cigarette, man.’ I agreed then apologized profusely. ‘Oh my god, ah shouldna done it…I’m sorry I don’t wanna blow your gig. So cool, though, man, disguisin’ a cigarette.’ There was no way the host could get out of the little trap with just words. He completely lost his composure, but he had me back.

My bookmark, acquired at the memorial tribute to Hoffman in 1989.

On another talk show, I got a call-in death threat. I said over the air that I’d be leaving the studio at 5 o’clock and went on to describe myself, only using the appearance of the host. ‘I got horn-rimmed glasses and a brown and white-checkered sports jacket.’ Most of the time I’d talk about the war or other social issues, using humor as a hook.  I would use the opportunities to advertise upcoming demonstrations. It was free space and effective. … people actually talked on radio. Now it seems like everyone, disc jockeys, broadcasters, newsmen, are all hopping on the same monotonous beat. One-two-three. One-two-three.”

(L-R) Jack Hoffman talks about his brother Abbie to famed lawyer William Kunstler at the 1989 Memorial tribute. Abbie & Jack’s mother is partially seen on the far right. Candid photo taken by yours truly.

Ya gotta love Abbie! Seriously, how inventive and funny was he when it came to such things? I only wish he was still around as we could sure use his perspective now….maybe more than ever.
– Dwayne Epstein

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