Some years ago, a group of us were trying to come up with ideas to revitalize a small-town movie theater, and by extension the small town itself. "A Lee Marvin Film Festival," suggested one, and it was greeted by chuckles all round. I had to do a bit of research to find out who Lee Marvin was, but after watching a couple of feature films and Twilight Zone episodes, I too could pick that distinctive profile and voice out of a line-up, or a cast of thousands.
The festival never happened, and last time I checked the small-town theater was still dark. But I've found that cold winter nights have been a great time to have a small screen Lee Marvin Film Festival, with cocoa and little fanfare. I've been watching classics such as The Caine Mutiny, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild One and The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. He cuts an imposing figure in newer films like Gorky Park, and won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Cat Ballou.
It's been great to see a lot of films I might not have otherwise chosen simply by following the career of a single actor. After seeing All About Eve and The Little Foxes recently, I intend to follow up with a Bette Davis Film Festival. After that, I'd like to pick a director or producer a little less well known. Any suggestions?