Lee Marvin: Point Blank is the first full-length, authoritative and detailed story of the iconic actor's life to go beyond the Hollywood scandal sheet reporting from earlier books, and provide an appreciation for the man and his acting career and the classic films he starred in, whether it's his chilling titular villain in "Who Shot Liberty Valance" to the paternal yet brutally realistic platoon leader in "The Big Red One." And, while Marvin is best known for his icy tough guy roles, veteran Hollywood writer Epstein provides us with a portrait of a much, deeper, more complex individual who took great risks in his acting and career, often joining forces with relative unknown directors of the time like John Boorman and Sam Fuller. Yet, although voted the leading male action star in 1967, and winner of an Academy Award (Cat Ballou), very little is known of his personal life, his family background, his experiences in WWII, his relationship with his father, family, friends, wives, and his ongoing battles with alcoholism, rage and depression, occasioned by his postwar PTSD. Now, after years of research, interviews with family members, friends and colleagues, and complete with rare photographs and illustrative material, LEE MARVIN: Point Blank will provide a full understanding and appreciation of this acting titan's place in the Hollywood pantheon in spite of (or perhaps because of) his very real and human struggles. Moreover, this biography provides a penetrating psychological and sociological analysis of Lee Marvin and his role in shaping the image of the violent male in modern film. By exploring Marvin's family history and his formative years as well as the harrowing combat that Marvin was involved in the Pacific campaign in WWII, Epstein gives us a portrait of a man shaped and shattered by violence, yet one who, having been intimately acquainted with it, could bring it home to the film audience with an intensity and realism previously unseen in modern cinema.
Lee Marvin: Point Blank will be released February 2013. For more information visit www.schaffnerpress.com.
Reviews and Comments
“I have known Dwayne Epstein for more than 20 years and he is without a doubt the most knowledgeable person I know on the subject of Hollywood and film history. And he is flat out a great writer. His style of writing will attract the attention of film critics and buffs alike. The information he has culled on Lee Marvin over a 20- year-period is deep and most likely will never be repeated. The market is also ripe for an in-depth look at Marvin's life and filmography. Dwayne's book will be the most definitive look at this underrated superstar and most likely kick-off a rediscovery of Marvin's work, which is long overdue.”
MARSHALL TERRILL, author of STEVE McQUEEN: Portrait of an American Rebel
“I looked over Dwayne's shoulder while he was working on early chapters of his Lee Marvin biography, and I know it will be a great book. He had already done unique, unduplicated research into Marvin's early life, his war experience and the relationship between that and his decision to pursue acting. Lee Marvin: Point Blank will also be the definitive book on its subject: the rare star biography that substitutes passion for pandering, which always makes for gripping reading.”
BILL KROHN, LA Correspondent since 1978 of Cahiers du Cinema and author of HITCHCOCK AT WORK
“Dwayne has a broad knowledge of film and pop culture that comes through in his well-researched articles. His work requires no rewriting, making my job that much easier. Many of the articles he has submitted have garnered sincere praise in letters to the editor from our readers. We at Filmfax are very proud that Dwayne's initial research on Lee Marvin first saw the light of the day in our publication. I can not say enough about his ability...”
MIKE STEIN, founder and publisher, FilmFax Magazine