How Did Lee Marvin’s Career Recover From This?

There’s a reason ‘M Squad’ isn’t the first (or even the seventh) name that comes to mind when you try to list the great cop dramas of TV’s golden age. But if you need one, here’s a holiday evening time suck for the last Monday night without football for a while. Make the jump for part 2.


  1. avatar Blehtastic says:

    Gah, good point, I’ll wait to watch this till football infests the airwaves.

  2. avatar tfunk says:

    I will never get the three minutes I spent watching that video back 🙁

  3. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    He was such a badass, his career could recover from “Gigli.”

  4. avatar William Burke says:

    “Recover” from WHAT? I don’t get it.

    The perp is Jeremy Slate, who starred in a skin-diving series called THE AQUANAUTS, with Ron Ely, who I believe is a little better known, having played TARZAN once or twice in movies.

    “M Squad” was a pretty decent copper show, in its day.

  5. avatar percynjpn says:

    Lee Marvin was a WWII combat Marine sniper who was shot in the ass by a Japanese machine gunner on Saipan – nothing could make him less cool in my book!

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      When he fought on Saipan, Marvin was machine gunned in the @ss, which severed his sciatic nerve. Man, that had to hurt. The wound was bad enough that he was discharged for medical reasons.

      Hey, remember that great scene in “Jaws” when the three guys were inside the cabin of the boat showing off their scars? Now you know why Marvin wasn’t cast as Quint.

      1. avatar percynjpn says:

        Now you know why Marvin wasn’t cast as Quint

        Ha! You may be right, but he sure would have made an awesome Quint!

  6. avatar jwm says:

    Lee Marvin owned cool.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Also palimony.

  7. avatar Charlie says:

    For a ’50s cop show it’s not bad. Did you ever see Hawaii Five-Oh? Talk about suck! I’m surprised pretty boy Jack Lord showed his face in public after that.

    Charlie (maybe he didn’t)

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      HAWAII 5-0 was indeed the worst of the worst. You mean “Jack Lord’s hair”.

      1. avatar Piet Padkos says:

        Let’s not forget that he has to constantly knock on his desk to reiterate a point, and emphasize everything with the ‘3 finger fist’ point,

    2. avatar 16V says:

      Methinks you are both too young to have suffered through Cannon and Barnaby Jones. Let alone The Streets of San Francisco, a Quinn-Martin Production

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        CANNON was definitely the worse of the two. I am enough of a Buddy Ebsen fan to give him a pass on BARNABY JONES.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          It takes a lot of guts or chutzpah to play Jed Clampett seriously. I’ve seen Mr. Drysdale, Raymond Baiiy, in other stuff, and that’s one excellent rug on Mr. Drysdale – totally convincing!

        2. avatar 16V says:

          True Cannon was horrible, but I forgot to mention the ‘Striped Tomato’ of Husky and Starch

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          Just THINKING about William Conrad toasts my shorts. I never liked that guy one bit. To put it mildly.

        4. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Husky and Starch!

          Much better than “Harsky and Stutch,” which was Mad Magazine’s take on it. 🙂

        5. avatar 16V says:

          William Conrad was a human bowling-ball. ‘Nuff said…

    3. Yeah, but 5-0 had the best theme in the history of television.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Was that the one that made “Book ’em, Dan-o” a standard catchphrase?

        1. avatar Gregolas says:

          JUST ONCE, I wanted Danno to reply,” Book ’em yourself, Steve-O! I gotta date tonight !”.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          Yup. Ergo, the usage in the re-boot. I watched a few episodes just for Grace Park in a bikini, but even then I had to give it up.

  8. avatar C says:

    It’s no Breaking Bad, but still so much better than the modern prime time network garbage.

  9. avatar Hal J. says:

    As per Wikipedia, Lee Marvin’s character carried two Colt Cobra revolvers in the series.

  10. avatar JaxD says:

    I thought you would be talking about Paint Your Wagon. I don’t know how Clint and Lee ended up in that mess.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      That’s what came to mind for me.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Geez. Watched that at a drive in with my parents. I still use my metal detector near outhouses because of that movie.

    2. avatar peirsonb says:

      Now THAT should be proof that Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood can recover from anything….

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        My favorite Clint role was as Rowdy (“that’s my name, not my disposition”) Yates in “Rawhide,” also one of my favorite shows on Nostalgia TV.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    If Ma Phelan had a son, he’d look like . . . Joe Biden. Right down to the side-by-side. ‘Cept Biden is crazier than Ma.

  12. avatar Rev. Maurice Pompitous says:

    A little slow until Ma came out with the double barrel. Must have scared him to death, absolutely no blood. I did love those 50’s cop shows when I was a kid. Highway Patrol, Peter Gunn, Boston Blackie, women in tight sweaters, jazz, 38 specials……the good old days!

  13. avatar RonO. says:

    Lee Marvin never claimed to be anything other than a guy making a living. Heck, when he won the Oscar for Cat Ballou, he gave credit to the horse! M-Squad was one of a bunch of Dragnet knock-offs. Can’t blame a guy for making a living.

    What saved his career? “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, where he stood toe to toe with John Wayne AND Henry Fonda. “The Dirty Dozen”, “The Iceman Cometh”, “The Big Red One”! Lee Marvin could do a tampon commercial on late night tv and still be more cool than Cruise, DeNiro or Sean Penn (who has two Oscars btw). Lee Marvin personally staved off global warming for two decades, he was so cool.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      That was Jimmy stewart, not Henry Fonda. I got Stewart and Fonda in “Cheyenne Social Club” on pause in my tv room right now.

      1. avatar RonO. says:

        Glad for the correction. I had just discussed “Once Upon A Time In The West” with my girlfriend and I guess I had Fonda stuck in my mind.

      2. avatar Rich Grise says:

        I remember thinking, when Jane Fonda did the Playboy spread, “I wonder how Henry feels about that.”

    2. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Cat Ballou. Hubba-hubba! In about 1971, I actually met Jane Fonda in the flesh and shook her hand at the “FTA” show in Okinawa. I was astonished how skinny she was – her whole hand was about as wide as my first three fingers. (and I’m thin – 6 foot zero, 165 lbs.) There was quite a big turnout, but nobody had really come to see the show because we gave a hoot about politics (we didn’t), we just all wanted a chance to meet Barbarella.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        ‘scuse me – Barbarella!!!!

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      That was also the only place where I’d ever seen or heard of Dwayne Hickman as anybody but Dobie Gillis.

      This is kinda off-topic except for the revolver in the Bible. 😉

    4. avatar percynjpn says:

      Well put and right on!

  14. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    I don’t care. Lee Marvin is still a bad ass in my book. On a different note, it is interesting to note that a number of action stars back then were real life bad asses (like Lee Marvin and Audie Murphy). Unlike today’s pansies who get up on stage and look like bad asses but in real life would run from an over zealous Yorkshire Terrier (like Matt Damon and George Clooney)

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      I got bit by a Yorkie while packaging a patient to bring to the ER. I dont advocate animal cruelty but I put that [email protected] in to the wall.

      1. avatar Gregolas says:

        “It’s UP!” It’s Gooood!”

  15. avatar Rev. Maurice Pompitous says:

    “staved off global warming for two decades, he was so cool.”
    I gotta remember that one!

  16. avatar C says:

    I’ll see your M-Squad and raise you a Kareteci Kız

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      I KNEW that was a bad rug! It kinda looks like the filler in a bad porno movie. But I did enjoy that array of other vids after it was over – I got to see more Stossel! 🙂 I like Stossel’s “Gun Myths Gone in Five Minutes” too.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        The rug really tied the room together man.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        John Stossel is awesome. Early in his career, he got hearing damage when he asked WWF wrestler, “Dr.” Dave Shultz (not the hockey goon), “is wrestling fake?” Bad move; Schultz ear-slapped him on both sides of the head simultaneously, damaging Stossel’s ear drums.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          In other words, “Yeah, but if you let it out, I’ll hurt you.” (or maybe I’ll just hurt you because I can and I’m a neanderthal brute.)

    2. avatar tfunk says:

      Indeed, that’s prettttttty bad…but the blonde in it was gorgeous! And no, not the blonde that became a brunette once the “rug” was pulled off… 🙂

  17. avatar MojoRonin says:

    That was almost a Tarantino-esque end-game, with mom killing her own son. Love it.

  18. avatar Rich Grise says:

    That background music kept making me expect Frank Drebin to show up.

  19. avatar Mark N. says:

    Lee Marvin was tough, not cool, like Telly Savalas. and Nick Nolte (before he drank himself stupid). Now Steve McQueen was cool. Paul Newman was cool. Bill Holden was chill. John Wayne was not cool, but he did have true grit. and Bruce Dern was….well…Dern irritating most of the time.

    1. avatar percynjpn says:

      Well, Steve McQueen was good pals with Lee Marvin and they used to ride their hogs up the coast with other friends like James Coburn; I think they were all pretty cool.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Steve McQueen was the first one in the history of Major Hollywood Motion Pictures to say “Bullsh!t.” it was in “Bullitt.”
        Just this early morning, I saw him in “Wanted: Dead of Alive” on Nostalgia TeeVee. First time I’d ever seen the show, and i loved it. He gave new meaning to the word, “cool.”

  20. avatar Nyoka Tisa says:

    I bought the entire box set of “M-squad” and did a marathon. That shyt ruled, especially all the smoking and drinking, Cops drinking and smoking in the squadroom?, Love it!. All those dudes were war veterans and knew how to hold their booze. A set of cuffs, a lead loaded slapjack and a snub nosed .38, was all needed to kick butt. Best episode, especially for Veterans: “Pitched Battle at Bluebell Acres”. My Dad was a Jazz musician and loved the opening credits in the second season with Count Basie doing the intro music, and I used to sit with him and watch the show every week on a beat up “rabbit eared” B&W TV. That music made him happy, and the guns and ass kicking made me happy, male bonding at it’s best, 50’s style. I learned as a kid between watching that show and my Dad what true “Bad-Assery” was all about, much to my regret these days, where I should have been working on getting rich instead of fighting everyone else s wars and street crime. Oh, well, too late now…”Life is hard and then you die”… :-/

  21. avatar Andy says:

    One of the toughest movies Lee Marvin did was Point Blank,now that was cool.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  22. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I’m thinking Rango is just about the worst LEO-themed show of the “Golden Age,” but of course that’s just my opinion.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      I think my favorite movie line ever was by his character in Cat Ballou; when he and the horse are leaning up against the wall and someone said, “Your eyes look terrible!” he said, “You should see ’em from my side.”

      1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

        That was a brilliant line. I wonder if it was improvised?

  23. avatar GetBackToGuns says:

    Trying to compete with TMZ or a slow news day?

    I am sure there are plenty of firearms deserving of a review
    vs. becoming another firearms site Internet footnote.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email