APRIL 2022 ON TCM

April 2022 seemed to get here fast and with it, comes a month-long slate of films on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Unfortunately, that month does not contain a single Lee Marvin film and very little Lee Marvin-related films. However, there are indeed some favorite films I intend to watch that I’ve always enjoyed and are listed below…..

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The Hustler: Breathtaking and gritty cinematography by Eugene Shufton highlight this classic with a powerful supporting cast. Oh, and Paul Newman. 
Midnight Cowboy: Dustin Hoffman’s absolutely greatest performance.
Brute Force: Well titled brutal prison break film toplining a young Burt Lancaster.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid & The Sting: It’s all been said.
The Actress: Less remembered film of Ruth Gordon’s memoir with a standout performance from Spencer Tracy as her father.
The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean: Screenwriter John Milius actually wanted Lee Marvin for the lead role as shown here.
The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, The Adventures of Don Juan: The best films of TCM’s Star of the Month, Errol Flynn.
The Drowning Pool: Underrated sequel to Paul Newman’s Harper.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Kelly & Sinatra together again with a standout dance number by Kelly doing “The Hat Me Dear Old Father Wore.”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Don’t know if it’s Lon Chaney or Charles Laughton but it doesn’t matter. Both are excellent!
The Getaway: McQueen, Peckinpah, ’nuff said. 
Badlands: Chilling and haunting film debut by director Terence Malick.
Barfly: Mickey Rourke as writer Charles Bukowski back when Rourke took his career seriously. 
Days of Wine & Roses: Jack Lemmon & Lee Remick are heartbreakingly good as a young alcoholic couple.
The Natural:Robert Redford is perfectly cast in one of the greatest baseball films of all time highlighted by one of the greatest scores of all time courtesy of Randy Newman.
The Story of Mankind: Irwin Allen’s bizarre take on human history with an all-star cast. Must be seen to be believed.
Five Minutes to Live: Speaking os needing to be seen to be believed, Johnny Cash stars in this neat little thriller as a “Door-to-door Killer,” (the film’s alternate title), costarring future Oscar winner, Ronny Howard.
The Magnificent Seven: All star cast headed up by Yul Brynner in my all-time favorite western.
Going Home: Robert Mitchum murders his wife witnessed by his young son. Now a grown Jan-Michael Vincent, with eyes on Mitchum’s new wife, Brenda Vacarro. Pretty trippy character study.
Gentleman Jim: Another Flynn favorite as he plays Heavyweight champ Jim Corbett.
The Cowboys: Not that big of a John Wayne fan but this one is a must-see. Beware, it’s also VERY poignant.
Kelly’s Heroes: One of the first Dirty Dozen rip-offs with costar Donald Sutherland’s ‘Oddball’ stealing every scene he’s in.

Check your local listings for days and times. Who knows, April 2022 maybe Marvin-less but perhaps May 2022 will be Marvelous. And don’t forget, you can read all about him in Lee Marvin Point Blank.

 

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JUDGE ROY BEAN STARRING…..LEE MARVIN?

Judge Roy Bean, a legend of the old west, was indeed a real person ((1825-1903) and has been immortalized on screen countless times. The larger-than-life character of Bean would seem like a natural for the likes of Lee Marvin, who specialized in larger-than life portrayals. Apparently at one point, he almost was “The hanging Judge west of the Pecos.” 

      According to a recently discovered documentary (Milius 2013), it was Marvin who was the intended star of the 1973 film, The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean. I was amazed to only recently find this out as I would have included it in the appendix I did of nearly four dozen films Lee Marvin almost made as an exclusive extra in Lee Marvin Point Blank.

Renowned artist Richard Amsel’s poster for the 1973 theatrical release of THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN.


According to writer/director John Milius’s film school alum, George Lucas in talking about Milius and the project: “He got a job to write Judge Roy Bean. Judge Roy Bean was one of the most brilliant screenplays I ever read. It just was magnificent and polished and good and it just blew everybody away.” Martin Scorsese chimed in with, “The work reflected a stand that was impenetrable. You couldn’t change it. This guy really believed in what he was saying.”
For the full story as to what transpired, John Milius himself takes over the story in an interview conducted long before his debilitating stroke:

Writer/director John Milius.


“It was sent to Lee Marvin. And Lee Marvin got the script. His agent sent it. And he was reading it and he really liked it. He got drunk and left it on his chair and went off and passed out somewhere [laughs]. And Newman picked it up and started reading it and took it away. He called his people in Los Angeles and said, ‘Buy this script. I wanna do this.’ So, they came to me and said, ‘We wanna buy this script.’ I said, ‘Fine. I wanna direct it.’ They said, ‘No, no. That’s not possible.’ 
   See, there were two prices. One that was really cheap with me directing it. The one that kept going up and up without me [was the other price]. They finally paid the price without me. In 1972-73, that was a helluva lot money. There is no good movie without a good script.
   It wasn’t at all the same movie. Huston wasn’t the right person to direct it and Newman certainly wasn’t the right person to act in it and they’re all terrific people. Paul Newman is on of the nicest, most intelligent people in the world. I can’t say anything against him. He just wasn’t right for that movie.”

On the set of POCKET MONEY made the year before in which Newman may have read Marvin’s copy of the script.


And so, there you have it. Yet another, and probably one of the strangest examples, of a property Marvin would have been great in but due to unusual circumstances, was not meant to be. Pity, really in as much as I liked the quirky film, Marvin would have been terrific!
– Dwayne Epstein 

The real Judge Roy Bean.

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