Lee Marvin Means Business in Point Blank

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Point Blank is a classic Lee Marvin film, and one that has influenced several other actions films after it. Based on The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake, Marvin took on the role of a man bent on revenge after being left for dead.

1. Marvin and Dickinson had tension.

The two had previously worked on The Killers together in 1964. Just as their characters in the film had chemistry, the crew noticed that in real life the actors seemed very friendly. Dickson said, “On Point Blank we did have an eye thing.” Interestingly, Marvin’s first choice for the role was Peggy Lee.

2. Marvin and Wynn were friends.

Lee Marvin and Keenan Wyn became friends after working together in Shack Out on 101. Wynn’s son, Ned, said, “They were the best of pals and always got along. My dad thought Lee was a tremendous actor and though he would be a big star.” Lee and Keenan would ride their motorcycles together. When Marvin won an Oscar for his performance in Cat Ballou, Wyn surprised him with a bridal bouquet of flowers.

3. The director got a special prop.

After Lee Marvin passed, his widow contacted director John Boorman to see if he wanted something in which to remember her husband by. Boorman requested the shoes that Marvin wore in Point Blank when walking through the airport as he begins his quest for vengeance.

4. Marvin covered for the director.

Lee Marvin and John Boorman enjoyed working together (read more about that here). While filming the Alcatraz scenes, Boorman was struggling to find his place. Noticing this, Lee Marvin decided to play drunk. He caused a scene just long enough for the director to refocus on what needed to be shot. Afterwards, “Lee made this amazing recovery," joked Boorman.

5. An actor really wanted the part.

James Sikking really wanted to play the assassin in the film, but Boorman though that he looked too nice to play the part. Little did he know that the actor was determined. Following the rejection, Sikking would wait outside the director’s office hiding behind something, just like an assassin might. His spunk got him the part.

6. Highway Patrol helped out!

Carroll O'Connor’s death scene had to be reshot because he was making funny noises. However, O’Connor was already on his way home, so the crew contacted Highway Patrol. They were able to stop O’Connor, who went back to the set to fix the scene.