Sunday Matinee – Lee Marvin as Health Food Nut/Serial Killer

Hello, one and all. It’s Mrs. Crankipants again with another Sunday Matinee. Once again, I’m featuring another teevee show rather than those Godawful, grade Z horror movies that the regular guy likes so much. Mrs Crankipants likes her television. She likes it almost as much as she likes the mailman who wears shorts. She likes it almost as much as the disability check he brings. She likes it almost as much as the guy at the Social Security that okayed the disability checks, but he made me promise not to mention his name. Sorry, Earl.

Today’s presentation is an episode of the original Dragnet television series featuring an incredibly young Lee Marvin playing a cold-blooded killer with a yen for health food. This is before he had snow on the roof; before the Oscar® for Cat Ballou, and well before his gal-pal showed us that you don’t need to put a ring on it to get half. There’s no such thing as free milk. Trust.

In this episode Jack Webb as Sargent Joe Friday and his partner Ed Jacobs track down Lee Marvin’s character who is suspected in a at least one murder to a dingy hotel. After some fisticuffs where Jack Webb somehow cleans Marvin’s clock, they take him down to the station for questioning. There’s the usual back and forth between the cops and the suspect, but Marvin finally cops to what turns out to be a string of murders. He tells Friday that he’ll spill if he can get some grub at a joint of his choosing. The cops agree, and they wind up at Helga’s Health Shop where Marvin wolfs down vegetable burgers, yogurt and beets while Friday and Jacobs gag down Swiss cheese on wheat bread. This crap is poison for guys who live off of coffee and cigarettes!

In between gulps of food, Lee Marvin tells about the string of murders in a matter-of-fact, almost friendly manner as if he was discussing a hobby. It reminded me of Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but Marvin is more chilling than the excellent Rooker in that the murders seemed to mean as much as a cigarette he smoked. Marvin was great and you could see he was destined to be a star!

Speaking of cigarettes, this program has been brought to you by

No, not really. I wish it was. I miss Chesterfields. I’d suck down a carton of them and stub ’em out in the Christmas ashtray I got from Gimbels!


Lee Marvin gets a whiff of that sweet perfume they dole out to murderers at San Quentin. I wonder if the health food joint delivered his last meal.

PS – If you’re having trouble viewing the movie, head on over to The Internet Archive. The episode is in the public domain and can be watched or downloaded in a number of formats for FREE! Check it out HERE!

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11 Responses to Sunday Matinee – Lee Marvin as Health Food Nut/Serial Killer

  1. Wyatt Earp says:

    Wow, Mrs. C’s likeness is uncanny!

  2. Mrs. Crankipants says:

    Amazing, isn’t it? Except for the pink blouse, but the accessories are spot-on!

  3. JT says:

    before his gal-pal showed us that you don’t need to put a ring on it to get half.

    Lee Marvin.

    The father of Palimony.

    Also a brilliant actor, and a GREAT bad guy.

    Liberty Valence, the Comancheros.

    So, uhhhh…who’s up next ? Richard Boone ?

  4. JT says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.



    “Cholly, Cholly, I coulda BEEN somebody.”

    “I coulda been a CONTENDUH.”

  5. Mrs. Crankipants says:

    I miss Lee Marvin so much, he smoked at either end! I loved him in The Dirty Dozen.

  6. JT says:

    I couldn’t find the commercial I was looking for.

    It was for Pall Mall, and Lee Marvin and some other guy were doing Judo, and Lee THROWS the guy, rolls over and is smoking a cig.

    And he says….

    “Hi. I’m Lee Marvin and I’m just relaxing and enjoying my favorite smoke. Pall Mall.
    It’s delicious and blah blah (or words to that effect).
    And you can light either end”.

    Actually, you can light either end of any cigarette.
    But 50% of the time, it’s gonna taste really bad.

  7. Mrs. Crankipants says:

    I love the connection between athletics and unfiltered cigarettes!

  8. JT says:

    I love the connection between athletics and unfiltered cigarettes!

    Yeah, that’s rooted in reality.

    Phillp Morris missed a golden opportunity by not paying Muhammad Ali to say he smoked a whole carton before the Thrilla in Manila.

  9. JT says:

    That’s why Bill Clinton didn’t inhale.

    I wasn’t a Phillip Morris.

  10. JT says:


    I gotta get up early.

    It’s been real.

  11. Mrs. Crankipants says:

    Sweet dreams JT,
    thanks for stopping by.
    You’re my new favorite!

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