Domestic Lee Marvin is not something witnessed onscreen very often. Even more scarce is Father Lee. However, this being Fathers Day, it’s a good time to explore those rare occasions of domestic Lee in which, to my mind, only occurred twice on film and in both instances, they were not the classics the filmmakers intended.

A rare domestic Lee shown in THE KLANSMAN (1974) with Wendell Wellman playing his son Alan and Richard Burton as neighbor Breck Stencill.

In The Klansman, he’s Sheriff “Big” Trak Bascomb, married with a grown son preparing for college. A simple side plot to the rather unsavory and racially charged film that’s probably the worst film Marvin ever starred in, with costar Richard Burton fairing even worse. Unfortunately, the originally script by Sam Fuller was truncated which is a shame since it had a devastating un-filmed sequence in it involving Marvin’s son Alan Bascomb that I was able to get a copy of and write about here. In any event, the less said about the embarrassing film, the better.

(L-R) Lee Marvin as Flynn O’Flynn protects and defend daughter Barbara Parkins in SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (1976).

The other instance of Marvin playing a paternal character was the action/adventure film from AIP entitled Shout at the Devil. Costarring Roger Moore and Ian Holm, the film takes place in WWI-era Africa with Marvin as a big game poacher protecting daughter Barbara Parkins and battling her betrothed (Moore), as well as the Germans, in this weak entry in the actor’s canon of films.
Obviously, the type of films Marvin made did not often make for a domestic Lee audiences could appreciate. He played married characters in The Professionals (1966) in the film’s back story as well as in Point Blank (1967). In both films, however, his spouses did not fair well, in the screenplay.
There were instances in which characters in his films acted paternally towards supporting characters, such as the gentle way in which treated Sissy Spacek in Prime Cut (1972) and the mentoring he administered to the novice bank thieves of Spikes Gang (1974).
These symbolic examples aside, Lee Marvin was just not cut out for domestic bliss, once again, on screen and off. Of his four grown children, none of them were willing to go on the record with me for Lee Marvin Point Blank with the sole exception being his son, Christopher. His poignant afterword was a worthy and surprising addition to the text. So, with Fathers Day in mind, feel free to check out the book’s afterword and then watch a better Lee Marvin movie to enjoy.
With dad, of course.
– Dwayne Epstein


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MASSIVE LEE MARVIN PHOTO SALE! Please be sure to scroll to the bottom to see ALL images and information required for purchase.
Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank are well aware of the great photos found within its pages, so now here’s a photo sale to own ALL of my own original 8×10 film-related images for yourself! I have made every attempt to upload as many images as possible, but several dozen are still not able to be shown due to length and size of the blog entry. If a specific image is requested let me know and I’ll do what I can to send it privately.
What this is: All the images listed below are being sold in bulk. It is being sold solely on this website and not via Ebay or other venues for a variety of reasons. All images are ORIGINAL 8x10s put out to promote a given project for film or TV promotion and are in condition from mint to very good. An amazing feat considering most of these photos are several decades old! Descriptions in blue are links to previous blog entries in which the image has been posted with greater clarity. To viewer larger versions of each image simply click on the  image.
How this works: Any and all interested parties need merely reply to this blog entry at the bottom of the page. PAYPAL is the preferred method of payment but may accept check, money order, or Western Union all with seller’s approval. The reply will NOT be seen publicly as I am the only one who can approve the reply and I will keep all messages private and will also respond in private. Any and all questions, offers or comments will be responded to privately. All serious offers will gladly be considered but keep in mind I have set a necessary reserve price that I won’t be making public.
So, feel free to peruse the images below and make me an offer if interested. I’ll respond in kind. Thanks for looking and greatly look forward to doing business with you. Enjoy!
FILMS: U.S.S. TEAKETTLE (film debut): 3
HANGMAN’S KNOT (1952): 2
GUN FURY (1953): 1
THE BIG HEAT (1953): 1
SHACK OUT ON 101 (1955): 4
ATTACK! (1956): 1
DONAVAN’S REEF P.R (1963): 1
SGT. RYKER (1963): 2
THE KILLERS (1964): 3
SHIP OF FOOLS(1965): 3
CAT BALLOU (1965): 1
POINT BLANK (1967): 4
MONTE WALSH (1970): 1
PRIME CUT (1972): 1
SPIKES/ICEMAN(1974-73): 1
SPIKES GANG: (1974) 1
BIG RED ONE (1980): 2
DEATH HUNT (1981): 5
GORKY PARK (1983): 2
DELTA FORCE(1986): 1
MARINE AWARD (1963): 2
1971 PR PIC: 1
MICHELE TRIOLA (Approx. 1960): 2
NEWSPAPER PALIMONY PIX: The newspaper I used to work for had a morgue file on the palimony suit with a bunch of pix of Lee and his wife Pam during the trial that the paper let me have for good. They are of varying sizes and include captions. I’d say about 3 dozen in all mostly in sepia tone (but not all) on velox paper as camera-ready images.
FRAGMENTED IMAGES: From newspapers, mostly the 70s & 80s numbering about 2 dozen with captions.

Four studio 8×10 portraits of Lee Marvin from the 60s and 70s.

Extremely rare separated contact sheet of Lee Marvin with Gary Cooper on the set of Marvin’s first film, U.S.S. TEAKETTLE (aka YOU’RE IN THE NAVY NOW). Images can be blown up larger and framed, of course.

Two extremely rare onset photos from Lee Marvin’s first film, U.S.S. TEAKETTLE (aka YOU’RE IN THE NAVY NOW). Top photo, Marvin is on the far right with headphones around his neck. Bottom photo Marvin is running second from left. Also pictured is Millard Mitchell, Jack Warden and Harvey Lembeck.

Photo set from SHACK OUT ON 101 with Terry Moore, Kennan Wynn, Whit Bissel & Jess Barker.

Photo set from SHIP OF FOOLS with Vivien Leigh.

Photo set from THE PROFESSIONALS with Woody Strode, Robert Ryan & Burt Lancaster.

Photo set from POINT BLANK with Angie Dickinson, Carroll O’Connor & Sharon Acker.

Photo set from SHOUT AT THE DEVIL with Pam Marvin.

2 Photo set from THE GREAT SCOUT & CATHOUSE THURSDAY with Elizabeth Ashley & Kay Lenz.

Photo set from AVALANCHE EXPRESS with Robert Shaw, Linda Evans, Mike Connors, Joe Namath, Maximilian Schell & Horst Bucholtz.

Photo set from GORKY PARK with William Hurt and Ian Bannen.

Photo set from THE DIRTY DOZEN: THE NEXT MISSION with Ernest Borgnine, Richard Jaeckel, Larry Wilcox, Ken Wahl, Sonny Landham, Jeff Harding, Michael Paliotti, Jay Benedict, Sam Douglas, Gavan O’Herlihy, Rolf Saxon, Ricco Ross & Stephen Hattersley.

Some but not all of the Velox images used by newspapers during the 1979 “palimony” suit that made headlines for months.

Two separate contact sheets of Michele Triola’s semi-nude modeling days before she met Lee Marvin. Probably the late 50s or early 60s. Images can be blown up larger and framed, of course.

A contact sheet of photos taken on the set of MONTE WALSH of Lee Marvin and Jeanne Moreau, as well as separate images of Ina Balin from THE COMANCHEROS on the same sheet. Images can blown up larger and framed, of course.

Smaller newspaper images from his various films kept on file for the celebrity columns in the 60s-80s. Each measure approx, 3×5, very much like a wallet size photo. Some have captions as shown above.



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Next week will mark the 41st anniversary of the release of Spikes Gang, one of Lee Marvin’s forgotten gems from the 70s. The film did not fare well when released with audiences or most critics, which is a pity as it does have some pretty initeresting things worthy of re-evaluation. Based on the book The Bank Robber, by Giles Tippett, Marvin played Harry Spikes, a bank robber in the old west who recruits 3 young men into a life of crime (Gary Grimes, Ron Howard, and Charlie Martin Smith). Directed by the criminally underrated Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Boston Strangler, Soylent Green), the late director agreed to talk with me back in 1998. He shared his memories of working with Marvin, first on Violent Saturday and later, on Spikes Gang. The story of how he convinced Lee Marvin to take on the role, as well as Marvin’s reaction to the finished film, are two of my favorites that are detailed in the pages of Lee Marvin: Point Blank. Below are a few more comments from Fleischer about Spikes Gang not included in the book. Enjoy!

Lee Marvin as Harry Spikes in 1974's Spikes Gang.

Lee Marvin as Harry Spikes in 1974’s Spikes Gang.

Dwayne: So, tell me about working with Lee Marvin on Spikes Gang.
Richard Fleischer: Yeah, I thought he was just great in that film.
Dwayne: I think he and the film are kind of underrated.
Richard: It’s a wonderful performance all the way through and again, that humor shining through all the time… Well, he was kind of misbehaving on the movie, a bit. But he had some very interesting things about him, his personality and his relationship to the work he wa doing. He was kind of a devilish guy. I remember…I learned from the first picture [Violent Saturday-1955] that you need a firm hand with Lee. I think he was a Marine. I was in the army but before that, I was in military academy. So, I had military training, military background and Lee used to test me. I remember one very amusing incident when we were on location. I’m a nut about certain things. One of them is trash around the set, pieces of paper and the like. I insist that it’s picked up immediately. That kind of amused Lee. I remember on location, I was talking to another actor and Lee crossed my eye line. We were standing in a path through a field. While I was talking to another actor, Lee, who was maybe 30-40 feet away, crossed the path and he crossed so that I could see him. As he was crossing the path, he threw a gum wrapper down on the path. I reacted immediately. It was very funny because it was a natural thing for me. Knowing his background and training I said “Marvin!” He stopped, and I said, “Pick it up!” He turned around like a mechanical doll, walked right straight back, picked it up without breaking step and kept on walking in the opposite direction. It was very funny. I never forgot that.
Dwayne: His body language was often hysterical. what you’re saying is important to know because there’s a legacy of him being unprofessional but what you say changes all that…
Richard: Yes, he would be there just to watch. He would show up early in the morning when we were arriving on the set. The picture was shot on location in Spain. Lee would arrive with the crew in the morning and he’d have a cup of brandy with the Spanish crew first thing and he’d hang around. The thing that really got to me was that in the areas, the scenes where he wasn’t playing, he would hide on the set. I would learn, people would point him out to me. He’d be hiding under a desk or a chair and he would watch the scene. He just wanted to be there. He just wanted to be on the set.

A page from Spikes Gang pressbook.

A page from Spikes Gang pressbook.

Dwayne: Yeah, he had moments like that.
Richard: We had one moment…. big scene in the picture, his big speech after he’s been shot and he’s sitting on the bed and has this long rambling speech about his background, his life, his relationship with his father…It was the only time I had trouble [with him] that way. I don’t know why he did it but he really got loaded.
Dwayne: was he able to work?
Richard: Well, I shot the scene with him but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Lee tends to mumble anyhow. I really couldn’t understand what he was saying and he was in a very kind of ugly mood. I knew if I quit and didn’t finish the scene, I’d have a lot of trouble with him. He’d be insulted, hurt and angry. So, I let him finish the scene. The next day we came back to the set and I shot the scene [chuckles] We started shooting and he said, “Now, wait a minute. Didn’t we do this yesterday?” I said, “Yes we did.” He asked “Why are you doing it again?” I said, “Well Lee, I really couldn’t understand what you were saying yesterday. Could you do it again and clear up some of the pronunciation?” He reluctantly did it but I must say[chuckles], he really wasn’t much different than when he was mumbling it.
Dwayne: He mumbled again?
Richard: Yes, but it was clearer.
Dwayne: You were straightforward about telling him that was the reason?
Richard: Yeah.
Dwayne: Did he have a second thought about doing it?
Richard: No, he went ahead and did it but was kind of reluctant. He did it and he did it very well.
Dwayne: How did he interact with the younger actors?
Richard: He was great them. He really was. He loved working with those kids. They were all very good so he had good actors to work against. He enjoyed the experience, as far as I could tell. He was very, very friendly and very good with the boys.

(L-R) Lee Marvin, stepdaughter Kerry, and director Richard Fleischer on the set of Spikes Gang in Almeria, Spain.

(L-R) Lee Marvin, stepdaughter Kerry, and director Richard Fleischer on the set of Spikes Gang in Almeria, Spain.

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