The Pulp Adventures of Lee Marvin

leepulp
Illustration by Robert Foster

“Lee Marvin in a room is the best storyteller I know. Lee Marvin brings me to tears laughing when he starts talking about fishing tournaments he’s been in and this, that and the other thing. He talks in sound effects all the time. I just think Lee Marvin is one of the most engaging people I know.”
– Director John Frankenheimer (from John Frankenheimer: Interviews, Essays and Profiles edited by Stephen B. Armstrong)

Lee Marvin was a lot of things. He was an Oscar winning actor, a decorated soldier, a devoted father, an avid big game fisherman and a heavy drinker. He was also a great storyteller and this is apparent when you watch interviews with the man or read the personal account of his WW2 experiences included in Lee: A Romance by his second wife, Pamela Marvin. Unfortunately Lee Marvin didn’t write an autobiography before he died in 1987 but a group of creative writers working with the independent publisher Crime Factory have recently combined their talents to bring us LEE, a hardboiled fiction anthology based on the life and times of Lee Marvin. As a longtime admirer of the actor I was skeptical when I first read the book’s description. Could LEE hold my attention? Would these fictional stories contain any of the elements that had originally made Marvin such a mesmerizing screen presence? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes.

leebookLEE is a surprisingly smart, fun and downright entertaining read. It has an undeniably pulpy feel and a masculine edge that’s reminiscent of early crime fiction but it’s also laugh out loud funny at times, as well as thoughtful, perceptive and engaging. The book contains a lively introduction by Mike White, author of Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection, which I previously reviewed for the Movie Morlocks and the list of contributors include Andrew Nette, Scott Phillips, Heath Lowrance, Roger Smith, Johnny Shaw, Jenna Bass, Adrian McKinty, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, James Hopwood, Erik Lundy, Eric Beetner, Luke Preston, Nigel Bird, Ryan K. Lindsay, Cameron Ashley and Jimmy Callaway. When I dove into the book I quickly discovered that these writers are devoted Lee Marvin fans and their appreciation for the man and his movies is apparent in every story. Many of them have clearly studied his speech patterns and emulate the way Marvin turned a phrase or tossed off a joke. Movie buffs will enjoy spotting the generous references LEE makes to some of Marvin’s films such as SHACK OUT ON 101 (1955), THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962), SHIP OF FOOLS (1965), POINT BLANK (1967), HELL IN THE PACIFIC (1968), PAINT YOUR WAGON (1969) and POCKET MONEY (1972) as well as the nods to various directors and costars he worked with throughout his career. The authors of LEE maintain that the book is purely fiction but there are components of truth that run through many of the stories. And observant readers should appreciate the inventive ways these writers deconstruct and reimagine the actor’s very real history.

If you want to know who Lee Marvin was there are some great documentaries and biographies available about the man but LEE offers his fans something completely different. Something that’s almost transcendent and occasionally more insightful than you might expect. This fictional look at Lee Marvin’s life gets inside the actor’s head and allows us to imagine him taking a bullet for director John Ford, exchanging jokes with Richard Burton backstage during the 1966 Academy Awards, attending one of Vivian Leigh’s dinner parties, getting drunk with Murray Hamilton, coming to blows with the Feds over their treatment of Jean Seberg, fishing for marlin in Queensland and tripping on drug laced cigarettes given to him by Andy Warhol. It’s historical fiction that should appeal to classic movie fans who don’t mind salty language and adult situations. These are stories about Lee Marvin after all and he wasn’t a saint but he was a fascinating man and a truly talented performer. In its own very unique way LEE manages to successfully capture some of Lee Marvin’s rugged appeal and gritty charm.

leemarvin2

If you’re interested in reading LEE you can currently purchase copies of the book at the Crime Factory website. An e-book version of LEE is also sold at Amazon.

22 Responses The Pulp Adventures of Lee Marvin
Posted By Susan Doll : March 21, 2013 4:39 pm

What an interesting and creative idea to extend an actor’s star image.

Posted By Susan Doll : March 21, 2013 4:39 pm

What an interesting and creative idea to extend an actor’s star image.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 21, 2013 5:03 pm

It really is, Susan! The book caught me by surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a fun read.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 21, 2013 5:03 pm

It really is, Susan! The book caught me by surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a fun read.

Posted By changeling69 : March 22, 2013 6:34 am

A funtastic novelty for me on Marvin:)

Posted By changeling69 : March 22, 2013 6:34 am

A funtastic novelty for me on Marvin:)

Posted By filmcamera999 : March 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Reblogged this on filmcamera999.

Posted By filmcamera999 : March 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Reblogged this on filmcamera999.

Posted By robbushblog : March 23, 2013 1:57 pm

I must give this a look.

Posted By robbushblog : March 23, 2013 1:57 pm

I must give this a look.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 25, 2013 3:20 am
Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 25, 2013 3:20 am
Posted By LEE, an anthology inspired by Lee Marvin, now available as e-book | Pulp Curry : March 25, 2013 6:14 am

[...] Kimberly Lindburgs, Movie Morelocks  [...]

Posted By LEE, an anthology inspired by Lee Marvin, now available as e-book | Pulp Curry : March 25, 2013 6:14 am

[...] Kimberly Lindburgs, Movie Morelocks  [...]

Posted By Doug : March 25, 2013 10:19 pm

Thank you, Kimberly, for noting the e-book link-just bought it, and will be reading it tonight.

Posted By Doug : March 25, 2013 10:19 pm

Thank you, Kimberly, for noting the e-book link-just bought it, and will be reading it tonight.

Posted By swac44 : March 26, 2013 6:41 pm

Don’t be surprised to see that painting turn up as my Facebook avatar. Oh, in about 20 seconds.

Posted By swac44 : March 26, 2013 6:41 pm

Don’t be surprised to see that painting turn up as my Facebook avatar. Oh, in about 20 seconds.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 26, 2013 7:57 pm

Doug – Glad you were able to find the book at Amazon and good to hear that you’re enjoying it!

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 26, 2013 7:57 pm

Doug – Glad you were able to find the book at Amazon and good to hear that you’re enjoying it!

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 26, 2013 7:58 pm

swac- Be my guest! It’s a great image.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : March 26, 2013 7:58 pm

swac- Be my guest! It’s a great image.

Leave a Reply

Current day month ye@r *

MovieMorlocks.com is the official blog for TCM. No topic is too obscure or niche to be excluded from our film discussions. And we welcome your comments on our blogs and bloggers.
See more: facebook.com/tcmtv
See more: twitter.com/tcm
3-D  Action Films  Actors  Actors' Endorsements  Actresses  animal stars  Animation  Anime  Anthology Films  Art in Movies  Australian CInema  Autobiography  Avant-Garde  Aviation  Awards  B-movies  Beer in Film  Behind the Scenes  Best of the Year lists  Biography  Biopics  Blu-Ray  Books on Film  Boxing films  British Cinema  Canadian Cinema  Character Actors  Chicago Film History  Cinematography  Classic Films  College Life on Film  Comedy  Comic Book Movies  Crime  Czech Film  Dance on Film  Digital Cinema  Directors  Disaster Films  Documentary  Drama  DVD  Early Talkies  Editing  Educational Films  European Influence on American Cinema  Experimental  Exploitation  Fairy Tales on Film  Faith or Christian-based Films  Family Films  Film Composers  Film Criticism  film festivals  Film History in Florida  Film Noir  Film Scholars  Film titles  Filmmaking Techniques  Films of the 1980s  Food in Film  Foreign Film  French Film  Gangster films  Genre  Genre spoofs  HD & Blu-Ray  Holiday Movies  Hollywood history  Hollywood lifestyles  Horror  Horror Movies  Icons  independent film  Italian Film  Japanese Film  Korean Film  Literary Adaptations  Martial Arts  Melodramas  Method Acting  Mexican Cinema  Moguls  Monster Movies  Movie Books  Movie Costumes  movie flops  Movie locations  Movie lovers  Movie Reviewers  Movie settings  Movie Stars  Movies about movies  Music in Film  Musicals  Outdoor Cinema  Paranoid Thrillers  Parenting on film  Pirate movies  Polish film industry  political thrillers  Politics in Film  Pornography  Pre-Code  Producers  Race in American Film  Remakes  Revenge  Road Movies  Romance  Romantic Comedies  Satire  Scandals  Science Fiction  Screenwriters  Semi-documentaries  Serials  Short Films  Silent Film  silent films  Social Problem Film  Sports  Sports on Film  Stereotypes  Straight-to-DVD  Studio Politics  Stunts and stuntmen  Suspense thriller  Swashbucklers  TCM Classic Film Festival  TCM Underground  Television  The British in Hollywood  The Germans in Hollywood  The Hungarians in Hollywood  The Irish in Hollywood  Theaters  Thriller  Trains in movies  Underground Cinema  VOD  War film  Westerns  Women in the Film Industry  Women's Weepies