In the 1960s Sean Connery was like Hollywood Royalty. At the time, he was playing James Bond, and in the process had become one of the biggest actors in the world. Not only was he universally loved for his work, but he was personally respected as a man who would not take any nonsense.
So then, it was just bad luck that The Dirty Dozen’s production was almost brought to a halt when Connery almost beat one of the film’s actors to a pulp.
The Dirty Dozen was released in 1967. Most of the same year the movie was being shot filmed, a lot of which was on location in London, England. But, considering it was such a cultural hub, the cast and crew were often invited to posh events throughout the city.
While this would have been a lovely perk for most, it became an issue for one of the film’s actors: Lee Marvin.
Marvin, who played Major john Reisman in The Dirty Dozen, was an alcoholic who caused a lot of trouble during filming because of his drinking habits. And one night at a fancy cocktail party he finally said the wrong thing to the wrong person.
The legendary story was recounted on IMDB and Crowdink, which stated that Marvin reportedly got extremely drunk at one particular party and found a woman he liked the look of. The story goes that he propositioned her in “the most vulgar manner possible”. But his drunken state meant his speech was slurred, so the woman asked him to repeat himself.
So he did, a little louder this time.
Except, this time, Connery heard him make the rude proposition, and he decided to come to the defence of this woman.
As it happens, this woman was Connery’s aunt. And he wasn’t happy with what was going on.
Connery roared with laughter and let Marvin go. As he walked away he yelled: “You f*****g producers.”
This was not the only time Marvin caused trouble with his drunken antics throughout the filming of The Dirty Dozen. Another instance involved the actor getting so drunk he could not sit at the wheel of a truck he had to drive for a scene.
Marvin first went missing, but producers soon found him passed out at a bar in London. Before he knew it, he was being force-fed coffee and placed in a truck to drive himself and actor Charles Bronson through a pivotal moment in the movie.
Bronson was so furious about the event he tried to attack the star, screaming: “I’m going to f****ng kill you, Lee!”