Lee Marvin - Rotten Tomatoes

Lee Marvin

Highest Rated:   100% Monte Walsh (1970)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   New York, New York, USA
Much like Humphrey Bogart before him, Lee Marvin rose through the ranks of movie stardom as a character actor, delivering expertly nasty and villainous turns in a series of B-movies before finally graduating to more heroic performances. Regardless of which side of the law he traveled, however, he projected a tough-as-nails intensity and a two-fisted integrity which elevated even the slightest material. Born February 19, 1924, in New York City, Marvin quit high school to enter the Marine Corps and while serving in the South Pacific was wounded in battle. He spent a year in recovery before returning to the U.S. to begin working as a plumber's apprentice. After filling in for an ailing summer-stock actor, his growing interest in performing inspired him to study at the New York-based American Theater Wing. Upon making his debut in summer stock, Marvin began working steadily in television and off-Broadway. He made his Broadway bow in a 1951 production of Billy Budd and also made his first film appearance in Henry Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now. The following year, Hathaway again hired him for The Diplomatic Courier, and was so impressed that he convinced a top agent to recruit him. Soon Marvin began appearing regularly onscreen, with credits including a lead role in Stanley Kramer's 1952 war drama Eight Iron Men. A riveting turn as a vicious criminal in Fritz Lang's 1953 film noir classic The Big Heat brought Marvin considerable notice and subsequent performances opposite Marlon Brando in the 1954 perennial The Wild One and in John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock cemented his reputation as a leading screen villain. He remained a heavy in B-movies like 1955's I Died a Thousand Times and Violent Saturday, but despite starring roles in the 1956 Western Seven Men From Now and the smash Raintree County, he grew unhappy with studio typecasting and moved to television in 1957 to star as a heroic police lieutenant in the series M Squad. As a result, Marvin was rarely seen in films during the late '50s, with only a performance in 1958's The Missouri Traveler squeezed into his busy TV schedule. He returned to cinema in 1961 opposite John Wayne in The Comancheros, and starred again with the Duke in the John Ford classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance a year later. Marvin, Wayne, and Ford reunited in 1963 for Donovan's Reef. A role in Don Siegel's 1964 crime drama The Killers followed and proved to be Marvin's final performance on the wrong side of the law.Under Stanley Kramer, Marvin delivered a warm, comic turn in 1965's Ship of Fools then appeared in a dual role as fraternal gunfighters in the charming Western spoof Cat Ballou, a performance which won him an Academy Award. His next performance, as the leader of The Dirty Dozen, made him a superstar as the film went on to become one of the year's biggest hits. Marvin's box-office stature had grown so significantly that his next picture, 1968's Sergeant Ryker, was originally a TV-movie re-released for theaters. His next regular feature, the John Boorman thriller Point Blank, was another major hit. In 1969, Marvin starred with Clint Eastwood in the musical comedy Paint Your Wagon, one of the most expensive films made to date. It too was a success, as was 1970's Monte Walsh. Considering retirement, he did not reappear onscreen for two years, but finally returned in 1972 with Paul Newman in the caper film Pocket Money. After turning down the lead in Deliverance, Marvin then starred in Prime Cut, followed in 1973 by Emperor of the North Pole and The Iceman Cometh.Poor reviews killed the majority of Marvin's films during the mid-'70s. When The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday -- the last of three pictures he released during 1976 -- failed to connect with critics or audiences, he went into semi-retirement, and did not resurface prior to 1979's Avalanche Express. However, his return to films was overshadowed by a high-profile court case filed against him by Michelle Triola, his girlfriend for t

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Real Glory: Reconstructing 'The Big Red One'
  • Sergeant Possum
2005
67% Pocket Money
  • Leonard
1999
No Score Yet Spencer Tracy Legacy
  • Actor
1987
20% The Delta Force
  • Col. Nick Alexander
1986
No Score Yet The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission
  • Maj. John Reisman
1985
No Score Yet Canicule (Dog Day)
  • Jimmy Cobb
1984
78% Gorky Park
  • Jack Osborne
1983
No Score Yet Dog Day
  • Actor
1983
17% Death Hunt
  • Sgt. Edgar Millen
1981
91% The Big Red One
  • The Sergeant
1980
No Score Yet Avalanche Express
  • Wargrave
1979
60% Shout at the Devil
  • Flynn
1976
No Score Yet The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (Wildcat)
  • Sam Longwood
1976
No Score Yet The Spikes Gang
  • Harry Spikes
1974
No Score Yet The Klansman
  • Sheriff Track Bascomb
1974
88% The Iceman Cometh
  • Hickey
1973
80% Emperor of the North Pole (Emperor of the North)
  • A No. 1
1973
70% Prime Cut
  • Nick Devlin
1972
100% Monte Walsh
  • Monte Walsh
1970
27% Paint Your Wagon
  • Ben Rumson
1969
67% Hell in the Pacific
  • American Pilot
1968
No Score Yet Sergeant Ryker
  • Sgt. Ryker
1968
97% Point Blank
  • Walker
1967
91% The Dirty Dozen
  • Maj. Reisman
1967
No Score Yet Tonight Let's All Make Love in London
  • Actor
1967
93% The Professionals
  • Henry "Rico" Fardan
1966
No Score Yet The Meanest Men in the West
  • Kalig
1966
81% Ship of Fools
  • Tenny
1965
100% Cat Ballou
  • Tim Strawn
1965
78% The Killers
  • Charlie
1964
60% Donovan's Reef
  • Thomas Aloysius 'Boats' Gilhooley
1963
93% The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • Liberty Valance
1962
100% The Comancheros
  • Crow
1961
83% Ride Lonesome
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet The Missouri Traveler
  • Tobias Brown
1958
11% Raintree County
  • Orville 'Flash' Perkins
1957
No Score Yet The Rack
  • Captain John R. Miller
1956
100% Attack
  • Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett, CO, White Battalion
1956
100% Seven Men From Now
  • Bill Master
1956
No Score Yet Shack Out on 101
  • "Slob"
1955
No Score Yet Pete Kelly's Blues
  • Al Gannaway
1955
No Score Yet A Life in the Balance
  • The Killer
1955
0% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger)
  • Brundage
1955
80% Violent Saturday
  • Dill
1955
97% Bad Day at Black Rock
  • Hector David
1955
No Score Yet I Died a Thousand Times
  • Babe Kossuck
1955
92% The Caine Mutiny
  • Meatball
1954
80% The Wild One
  • Chino
1954
No Score Yet The Raid
  • Lt. Keating
1954
No Score Yet Gorilla at Large
  • Shaughnessy
1954
No Score Yet Gun Fury
  • Blinky
1953
No Score Yet Seminole
  • Sgt. Magruder
1953
100% The Big Heat
  • Vince Stone
1953
No Score Yet The Stranger Wore a Gun
  • Dan Kurth
1953
No Score Yet Eight Iron Men
  • Sgt. Joe Mooney, Squadleader
1952
No Score Yet Hangman's Knot
  • Rolph Bainter
1952
No Score Yet Hong Kong
  • Actor
1952
No Score Yet The Duel at Silver Creek
  • Tinhorn Burgess
1952
No Score Yet We're Not Married
  • Pinky
1952
No Score Yet Diplomatic Courier
  • MP at Trieste
1952
No Score Yet You're in the Navy Now
  • Crew Member
1951

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Steel Kelly Conny Miller
  • 1963
  • 1961

Quotes from Lee Marvin's Characters