LEE: An anthology inspired by actor Lee Marvin

Authors: Scott Phillips, Heath Lowrance, Johnny Shaw, Jenna Bass, Adrian McKinty, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, James Hopwood, Erik Lundy, Eric Beetner, Luke Preston, Nigel Bird, Ryan K. Lindsay, Andrew Nette, Cameron Ashley and Jimmy Callaway.
Publisher: Crime Factory
Published: March 2013

This weekend sees the launch of LEE, a new anthology of stories inspired by the life and films of Lee Marvin. ‘Inspired’, yes this is fiction – but it’s Lee Marvin fiction – and fiction doesn’t get any tougher than that!

Marvin needs no introduction, being one of the 20th Century’s most iconic actors. And we all have a favourite Marvin film… be it, The Dirty Dozen, Death Hunt, Point Blank, The Killers, Cat Ballou, The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance, The Big Heat, Gorky Park, Paint Your Wagon, The Professionals, The Big Red One, Hell in the Pacific, … or even Delta Force.

For this anthology, I contributed a story called ‘Trust’, and it’s inspired by the film, Sergeant Ryker (1968). Firstly, if you’re not familiar with Sergeant Ryker, it has an unusual production history. It was originally a two-part TV production, called The Case Against Paul Ryker for the Kraft Suspense Theater, which aired in 1963.

When Marvin became a superstar, after winning an Academy Award for Cat Ballou, and lauded performances in other movies, such as Point Blank and The Dirty Dozen – some smart egg in Hollywood decided to turn the TV production into a movie; adding a few simple action scenes to the story (which don’t feature Marvin). It was then released in 1968 as Sergeant Ryker, hoping to ride on the coat-tails of Marvin’s success and surging popularity.

Sergeant Ryker is a courtroom drama, set during the Korean War, where Marvin’s character stands accused of treason, a hanging offense. The man standing between life and death is an Intelligence Officer, played by actor, Murray Hamilton.

Murray Hamilton may not be a household name, but he was a very popular and familiar character actor. His most famous role, is of course, the mayor of Amity in Jaws and Jaws 2.

Murray Hamilton with Roy Scheider in Jaws.

It is also common knowledge, that Lee Marvin was Steven Spielberg’s first choice to play Quint in Jaws, a role that ended up being played by Robert Shaw. So the conceit of my story is that the two actors, Marvin and Hamilton get together, share a few drinks and talk about big game fishing.

What could possibly go wrong?

I am pretty excited to be included amongst the amazing troupe of writers assembled for this anthology, including a few of my Fight Card colleagues, Eric Beetner and Heath Lowrance. I haven’t had a chance to read the full book yet, but the word is that this collection of stories is amazing, so if sounds like your cup of tea, then I’d act early, as I have an inkling that the first print run, may just sell out!

“This collection of short fiction puts legendary actor Lee Marvin smack dab in the center of the action where he belongs.”

— Dwayne Epstein, author of Lee Marvin: Point Blank

“This collection delivers. The writing is pungent, sly and muscular, dark and comic, and all of it has a tremendous energy. A love of film and love of noir is evident in every story. This does Lee proud.”

— Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap and Dead Europe

LEE is already available to order from the Crime Factory site, and I am sure it will be available from other outlets (such as Amazon) soon.

“And here’s to Swimmin’ with bow legged women!”

3 Comments Posted in Books and Comics
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  1. Sounds like a fun anthology. Now we just need one inspired by Frankie Avalon.

  2. I’m about halfway through this collection now, David. “Trust” really made me laugh! Great job. I didn’t know until now that Hopwood was a nom de plume of yours.

    Plus, Murray Hamilton was terrific. His roles in The Graduate and The Hustler also come to mind immediately.

  3. Thanks Rory. Plenty of great stories in Lee. Very proud to be a part of the project.

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