24 March 2013 11:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

He was a drunk, on-screen and off, and starred in the most violent films of his age. But, first and foremost, he was a fantastic actor

This week's re-release of John Boorman's magnificent 1967 thriller Point Blank is all the evidence we really need of Lee Marvin's inextinguishable greatness as a movie icon. But since I've written elsewhere about Point Blank this week, let's imagine it never existed, and recall all the other reasons to love Lee.

Because for a couple of decades from the 50s to the 70s, whenever people referred to a movie as the most violent ever made, the chances were pretty good that Lee Marvin would be close to, if not the actual cause of, the very worst of the mayhem. Prime example: throwing a pot of scalding coffee in Gloria Grahame's face in Fritz Lang's potent big city crime thriller The Big Heat. »

- John Patterson

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