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Marlowe to discuss his acting lineage as part of film festival

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Hugh Marlowe

Flagler College assistant professor Hugh Marlowe will discuss his father, Hugh Marlowe, as part of the St. Augustine Film Festival.

Hugh Marlowe in "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

Hugh Marlowe, Sr., stars in "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Photo: Twentieth Century Fox. 

Jan. 17, 2013

For Flagler College philosophy professor Hugh Marlowe, film functions as a mythology. It helps define and orient individuals and cultures according to the ideals and visions of the good in life.

It’s easy to hold such a high regard for cinema when your father has starred in some of the most well known films in Hollywood.

On Jan. 18, Marlowe will discuss his father, Hugh Marlowe, as part of the St. Augustine Film Festival. Marlowe will show clips from his father’s films such as “All About Eve,” “Twelve O’Clock High” and the sci-fi classic “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and will discuss their content in relation to his father’s career, as well as their significance in his own life.

When Hugh Marlowe, Sr., passed away in 1982 at the age of 71, the young Marlowe was just 13 years old. As he grew older, his father’s films and the themes they dealt with would become guideposts during particular periods in his development.

Marlowe says that “Twelve O’Clock High,” featuring his father as Lt. Col. Ben Gately, is the film that strikes closest to home for him.

"In that film, his character finds himself seen as a coward, and the story that unfolds for him is a story of redemption,” said Marlowe, who remembers being a 19-year-old college student, struggling to find an identity in his education, being asked to take a leave of absence due to poor grades.

“During that year, I studied political theory at NYU and that's where I first really encountered philosophy and my passion for learning was awakened,” said Marlowe. “I returned to college with a burning desire, much like Gately, to redeem myself and by my senior year my G.P.A. was a 3.93 and I graduated with departmental honors in philosophy.”

But coming from an acting background, including a mother who was also an actor, Marlowe first toyed with the idea of getting into the business himself.

“I had studied quite a bit of theatre and the summer before my senior year I studied with a well-known acting teacher in New York. I got an agent and went on a bunch of auditions for commercials, TV shows and plays,” said Marlowe. “I did that for about six or eight months and hated it.”

Marlowe says his mother used to tell him that to succeed in acting you have to want to act more than you want to eat.

“That's not how I felt,” said Marlowe. “But I just didn't know what else to do with myself, people said I was good at, it was the family business, and so I gave it a try.”

But with Marlowe’s found calling in teaching, he hasn’t given up the business altogether.
“There is also obviously a strong performance element to classroom undergraduate teaching,” said Marlowe. “It's there that I feel my talents and skills as a performer are most apropos: in helping 20 years olds figure out where their passion lies.”

Marlowe’s presentation will take place on Jan. 18 at 7:15 p.m. in the Virginia Room of the Ringhaver Student Center.

For more information on the St. Augustine Film Festival, visit