LEE MARVIN ON ROBERT ALDRICH
Last week I interviewed Adele Aldrich, daughter of legendary director Robert Aldrich ("Kiss Me Deadly", "The Dirty Dozen", "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" etc.) for my in-progress documentary on the legendary actor Burt Young. This led me to a Youtube search for interview material with Robert Aldrich which I was surprised to see didn't exist. Or perhaps I haven't searched deeply enough yet. Whatever. What I did come up with, however, is a very cool multi-part interview with Lee Marvin, in which he discusses Aldrich as well as other directors he'd worked with. I can't say that he says anything terribly profound except that Aldrich clearly liked actors (this was not a prerequisite for directors in the pre-1970s era..actors were in fact used to being abused by tough-guy directors who made them feel less than manly for wearing makeup and playing make-believe for a living). "You either like actors or you don 't," Marvin says elliptically. The interview is shot in an extreme close-up which allows you to dissolve into Marvin's wonderfully craggy face and expression, the bushy eyebrows overwhelming the eyes, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. His manner is reserved and thoughtful and you sense more of the patrician from Marvin (he was born to a well-to-do Manhattan businessman and his socialite/designer wife and he was a distant cousin of Robert E. Lee after who he was named) than you do from the characters he usually portrayed. The voice is a velvety bed of thousands of cigarettes and bottles and bottles of Johnny Walker. He only lived to sixty-four and this strikes me as close to the end.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 10:58 AM