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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THE URBAN LEGENDS OF LEE MARVIN

Urban legends have a way of never fading into permanent obscurity no matter how great the effort is to exterminate them. You all know the ones: The faked moon landing, the origins of AIDS, the scuba diver scooped up by the water helicopters and then burned when dumped in a wildfire. My personal favorite has to do with Neil Armstrong and what he may have actually said when he stepped on the moon’s surface, but that, as they say, is another story.
Believe it or not, there are actually several such urban legends with Lee Marvin as the central focus.  Google the following words or phrases and you’ll see what I mean:
– Lee Marvin’s life was saved in WWII by Bob “Captian Kangaroo” Keeshan.

Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo (L) and Lee Marvin probably never even met, despite urban legends to the contrary.

Magnificent Seven co-star James Coburn is Lee Marvin’s brother.
– Marvin had his sciatic nerve severed when wounded on Saipan which earned him the Navy Cross.

Within the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank, readers will not find any reference to these myths, for the simple reason that they are not true. Simply denying them is not enough for some folks, which I guess is the reason the website Snopes came into existence. One of the things that keep such rumors alive (or at least believable) is the amount of details they are given to make them seem true. I can’t tell you the amount of people I’ve heard say to me, “I know it’s true about Captain Kangaroo because I saw Marvin tell it on Johnny Carson.” As they say, the devil is in the details.
As for James Coburn, well there is indeed a certain resemblance, but that’s as far as it goes. Lee Marvin did have a brother, though, Robert, who bore no resemblance to James Coburn.

Lee Marvin & James Coburn looking brotherly on an episode of M SQUAD.

(L-R) Actors Lee Marvin, James Coburn, Katy Jurado and director Sam Peckinpah enjoying themselves in the late 70s.

  • I remember once many years ago being in the great memorabilia shop, Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee, when I overheard an argument about the very same subject. The owner walked over to me to settle it, calling me the resident Lee Marvin expert. A simple shake of my head may have lost somebody a very big bet. Of course, that won’t stop such popular badly written searches on the internet as “Lee Marvin’s brother, who played in Magnificent Seven.
    As to Marvin’s war wound, that’s harder to disprove as Wikipedia and elsewhere still repeat it. I have seen his service record which includes a medical report. His sciatic nerve was NOT severed and he did NOT win the Navy Cross. Purple Heart, yes, but not the Navy Cross.
    I’m sure such urban legends will continue no matter how great the effort is to squelch them. Instead of wondering whether they’re true or not, I have a better idea. Read Lee Marvin Point Blank. The real story of Lee Marvin is infinitely better than any urban legend.
    – Dwayne Epstein

Urban legends aside, in LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK yours truly DOES  write about these two miscreants and get the inside scoop on their “related” lineage to Lee Marvin.

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