Plot & Details
This made-for-cable retrospective of movie star Lee Marvin (1924-1987) was assembled by filmmaker John Boorman, who directed Marvin in two gutsy features: Point Blank (1967) and Hell in the Pacific (1968). Beginnng with the actor's impressive battle record as a Marine in WWII, the documentary traces Marvin's trek to Hollywood, where after several nondescript minor roles, he scored as a brutish "heavy" in such films as The Big Heat (1953) and Bad Day at Black Rock. Achieving nominal stardom in the TV cop series M Squad, Marvin returned to films as an action hero, but it was for his comedic portrayal of a drunken, washed-up gunslinger in Cat Ballou that he won an Academy Award. In his last decade, Marvin was unfortunately better known to the public for the palimony suit brought against him by his live-in girlfriend than he was for his body of film work. Among the interviewees are one of Marvin's war buddies, his widow, and actor-admirer William Hurt. Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman was a presentation of the American Movie Classics cable service.