Hyman recalled jumping between the two actors and pleading with Bronson “don’t hit him, Charlie,” he recalled. “don’t punch him
CHARLES BRONSON was not one to suffer fools, and while shooting the 1967 movie The Dirty Dozen he lost his temper when his co-star was drunk behind the wheel during a high-pressure scene. It ended up with the film’s producer dragging Bronson away, pleading with him to “not punch” his co-star.
In 1950s Hollywood Charles Bronson was a household name. The American actor was a star on the big screen, appearing in some incredible pictures including House of Wax, X-15, The Magnificent Seven, Guns of Diablo, and many more.
So then, when the seasoned thespian was delivered a drunken co-star during the filming of The Dirty Dozen, he could not contain his fury.
Bronson was filming The Dirty Dozen in London, England, in 1967 alongside a star-studded cast – but at the top of the billing was Lee Marvin, who was best known for appearing in M Squad, The Killers and The Professionals.
However, the American actor had a lifelong drinking problem that affected every part of his life. The ailment eventually contributed to his death in 1987, aged 63.
But his drinking on the set of The Dirty Dozen caused a lot of drama during filming.
Producer of the movie, Ken Hyman, recalled shooting one of the final scenes in the movie. In the triumphant moment, Bronson and Marvin drove away from a burning building in a large truck as buildings and props exploded behind them. The elaborate scene cost thousands of pounds and could not be redone easily.
But when the cameras were due to start rolling, Marvin was nowhere to be found.
Hyman had no choice but to track him down.
Hyman drove into London and found Marvin at the Star Tavern in Belgravia. “Lee was hanging on at the end of the bar apparently as drunk as a skunk,” he remembered. “Now, he is the man who has to drive that vehicle across the bridge. I get him into the car and feed him like a child from a flask of coffee.”
But by the time Marvin and Hyman arrived on set, Bronson had heard what had gone on and was utterly furious.
Hyman said: “Bronson was standing at the back of the chateau where he’d been waiting for Marvin to show. We pulled in and Lee sort of fell out of the car.”
This was enough to push Bronson over the edge.
Bronson launched himself at Marvin in a blind rage, prompting people to get between the two A-list actors.
Bronson’s anger was certainly understandable. Not only did he have to work alongside the drunken Marvin, but he also had to get in a car with him and be driven around by the man who had been out drinking all day.
In a fit of anger, Bronson screamed at Marvin: “I’m going to f****ng kill you, Lee!”
But Hyman stepped in to keep the peace – as best he could.
Hyman recalled jumping between the two actors and pleading with Bronson. “Don’t hit him, Charlie,” he recalled. “Don’t punch him!”
Eventually, things calmed down and they got back on track with the movie. The Dirty Dozen’s scene was successfully shot, something Hyman thought wasn’t unexpected.
Hyman said Marvin “always came through,” even though his hard-drinking hindered production numerous times throughout filming.
proc. BY MOVIES