Two of Marilyn’s finest early movies are screening in San Francisco this month. You can catch The Asphalt Jungle (1950) at 6.30 tonight at the Excelsior Public Library, and Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) will be shown on January 22 at 9.30 pm as part of the Film Noir Festival at the Castro Theatre.
This 64-pp magazine special, published by Compendium, is exclusive to WH Smith stores in the UK, and is currently on sale for £3.99. The text, by Richard Havers, is abridged from his 2010 book, Marilyn in Words, Pictures and Music, and is presented in a red folder with six A5 postcards inside. (The CD included with Havers’ previous book is not available here.) The narrative is a potted biography, but the main attraction here is an eye-catching selection of photos. (Non-UK magazine collectors are advised to watch out for this on Ebay.)
“Monroe was not born but became a blonde; blondeness is a state of ambivalent grace, to which anyone who wants it badly enough may aspire … The blonde’s physical fragility is, of course, only apparent. She must have a robust constitution to survive the arrows life deals her… The mythic role of the Good Bad Girl is, however, directly at variance with the real facts of her life, as all mythic roles are apt to be… The reality of her could never live up to her publicity.”
“The full impact of this setting becomes apparent as Marilyn the screen star stands triumphant amid flashing sparklers. Even that spangle on the hem of her swim suit seems to add to the effect.”