‘Marilyn, Magnum and The Misfits’

Arnold127 ‘Marilyn, Magnum and The Misfits‘ is a new exhibition opening at the Etherton Gallery in Tucson, Arizona this Saturday, November 23, through to January 11, 2014.

Its remit goes beyond The Misfits however, celebrating Magnum photos from other eras as well as other notable photographers including Alfred Eisenstadt and Nahum Baron.

Some of the photos above – by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Inge Morath and Eve Arnold – were rare for me. You can view them all here.

“Etherton Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition, Marilyn, Magnum and The Misfits, featuring a selection of photographs of Marilyn Monroe from a private Los Angeles collection. Most of the photographs on display are from the set of Marilyn’s last film, The Misfits, taken by notable Magnum photographers including Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dennis Stock, and Inge Morath. A selection of early contact sheets by Hollywood photographer Earl Leaf and fashion and celebrity photographer, Phillipe Halsman, will also be on view from November 23, 2013 – January 11, 2014.

Magnum Photos, founded in 1947 by several well-known photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, was the first artist-owned photo agency, allowing its numerous members to take control of their careers while giving them the freedom to search out events and people and ultimately inform a world hungry for information.

“You’re a real beautiful woman. It’s almost kind of an honor sittin’ next to ya’.”

With those words from the 1961 film, The Misfits, star Clark Gable wryly said what photographers world-wide knew about Marilyn Monroe: she was just special and no more so than when in front of a camera. And she knew it.

Incomparable director John Huston had a royal flush of a cast starring Monroe and Gable, along with Eli Wallach and Montgomery Clift, and he made sure that only the best photographers were on set for the press photos, and those photographers were from Magnum.

Lining up to film the stars while on and off the set –it would tragically be the last film for Monroe and Gable —were Magnum photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Inge Morath, Philippe Halsman, Bruce Davidson, and Dennis Stock.

Along with The Misfits images, is a select group of contact sheets by photographer Earl Leaf, known for his work with magazines from Time to Movie Spotlight.  This intriguing group gives a sweet look at an early unknown Marilyn, swinging from a tree and doing cartwheels for the camera in 1950 and then 6 years later, at age 30, when she staged a publicity session to keep her image in front of the public during a one-year period when she was producing films and not acting.

The camera was always in love with the beautiful Monroe, and this rare exhibit of vintage contact sheets and press photos represents a historic look at one of the world’s most well-known film stars.  Resplendent in her natural beauty, the portraits and vintage contact sheets reveal the drive, desire, sadness, and pure spirit of one of Hollywood’s most photographed and relished stars

All photographs copyright the artists, courtesy Magnum Photo Agency and Etherton Gallery.”

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Schatt Exhibit in Paris

picture_793 A new exhibition, ‘Roy Schatt – Icons’, featuring his iconic photos of stars like Marilyn, James Dean and Steve McQueen, is on display at La Galerie de l’Instant in Paris until January 12th, 2014. (Thanks to Eric Patry for the heads-up!)

“But the most moving portraits, it seems to me, are those of Marilyn Monroe, in 1955. She attended as a student in the public meetings of the Strasberg Theatre School … It distinguishes among students in dark suits … all have their faces turned to the professor, and among these shadows can be seen as a star … a light touch, this famous light that emanated from her, she is, attentive, concentrated and especially natural, simple … one of the best periods of his life. This natural, this purity, this kindness that emanates from these photographs, I think is a very modern for its time, making these images not only beautiful and moving, but also timeless.”

‘Marilyn: Her Life in Pictures’

Marilyn Life in Pics Marilyn: Her Life in Pictures is a new, 256pp pictorial biography by Martin Howard and Oliver Northcliffe. Immortal Marilyn’s Fraser Penney has shared some photos, and a few thoughts with us:

“The pictures are fantastic and they cover events in great detail, like the Love Happy tour, her singing and dance classes. Natasha Lytess coaching etc… The quality is good too. Photos are crisp and clear in this one, classic images and rarer shots not often seen.

While the text is respectful of her it doesn’t avoid speculative stories about her that have become ‘accepted’ as truth. So that’s a minus. Also I think there’s a couple of fake quotes thrown in.”

RUMOUR: Capote’s Secret Home Movie

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A late contender for most bizarre Marilyn story of the year comes from entertainment website ContactMusic, who report that John Cohan – self-professed ‘psychic to the stars’ and alleged confidant of the late Truman Capote – claims to have seen a thirty-minute home movie, filmed in secret by Capote, of a confrontation between Marilyn and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (about Monroe’s supposed affair with the President) at Capote’s New York apartment in 1962.

Cohan says that the film was sold to US TV host Merv Griffin before Capote’s death in 1984. Griffin died in 2007.

“‘I was reminded of this film while I was recalling my friendship with Truman for a new book, titled The Pink Triangle.

Truman had been a friend to Jackie Kennedy but they had a falling out and when she asked him to arrange a meeting with Marilyn at his home, he bugged the room and filmed them. He did this because he could be devious and cunning.’

And Cohan was stunned when the author first showed him the footage.

He recalls, ‘I remember Marilyn arrived looking like the movie star she was, dressed in a stunning white dress and Jackie showed up in this very tailored black suit, which made her look very matronly… When MM (Marilyn) first started the greetings, she said, Hello Madam Jacqueline.

The two women were together a little over 30 minutes and Jackie basically told Marilyn she knew what was going on between her husband and Marilyn, and wanted it to stop. Jackie said she forgave MM for the affair with her husband because she knew too well Jack could charm a dead body and get a response.

Marilyn became hysterical because she didn’t want to end the affair. Money was exchanged. Jackie had with her a good size pink round hat box. In it was a lot of money. She said to MM, Take this and use it to make your new home more beautiful and the rest invest in stocks and other good ventures for your future. By the end of the film, Marilyn was a mess. Her hair was all messed up and her mascara was running.’

Cohan admits Capote was very guarded about the film and, as far as he knows, he’s the only person who has seen it other than the author and Merv Griffin.

He adds, ‘In the beginning, Truman kept it because he wanted to get back at Jackie and just by having this film he felt he had achieved that, but over the years he got so bored with it and told me, I’m going to sell it – and he did.

Merv Griffin treasured the footage and intended to keep it under lock and key until the 50th anniversary of Marilyn’s death. Like Truman, he was very guarded about this and I don’t think he showed it to anyone or talked about it.

Unfortunately Merv, another great friend of mine, died before his time and the footage is now lost, but I’m sure Merv took care of all his affairs before his death and had plans for this film. I’m sure it will see the light of day at some point.'”

Porter D Pink Triangle

I don’t really know where to begin explaining my extreme scepticism about this story. Suffice it to say that camera equipment was much larger and noisier in 1962, making it near impossible to film in secret. Also, it seems very convenient that Mr Cohan would divulge this secret on the eve of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination.

The Pink Triangle, an upcoming book referred to by Cohan, appears to have been written by Danforth Prince and Darwin Porter, an author well-known for his sensationalist tomes about politicians, gangsters and the stars of Hollywood’s golden age. Porter’s 2012 book, Marilyn at Rainbow’s End, was heavily promoted in US scandal sheets such as the Globe and the National Enquirer. (Cohan’s own memoir, Catch a Falling Star, was published in 2009.)

Capote knew both women well, but – and this bears repeating – there is no evidence that Marilyn and Jackie ever met. If you want real insight into MM, read Capote’s essay, ‘A Beautiful Child’.

Finally, I would love to know if WENN (named by ContactMusic as the source of this rumour) made any attempt at fact-checking before going public. (And if you’d like to know what last year’s silliest story about Marilyn was, click here.)

Hollywood in Kodachrome

David Wills’ 2011 book, Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis, is one of the best photo retrospectives on the market – so it’s no surprise to report that his latest publication, Hollywood in Kodachrome, is also of fine quality. Focussing on 1940s photography, Wills devotes ten pages to Richard C. Miller, Bruno Bernard, Tom Kelley and Earl Thiesen’s glorious colour shots of a young Marilyn in her starlet years.

Scans by Chris at Club Passion Marilyn – click on thumbnails to see them at full siz

Marilyn and Clark in Carson City

Robin Holabird, formerly of the Nevada Film Office, has spoken to the Las Vegas Review-Journal about Carson City’s movie connections: John Wayne’s last film, The Shootist, was filmed there, as well as scenes from The Misfits, the swansong for both Marilyn and Clark Gable.

The Misfits, starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, was filmed in the area, including Dayton, east of the capital, and was released in 1961. It was the last completed film for both stars.

Holabird called it probably the most important film shot in Northern Nevada, although it was not well-received by critics when it was released.

Given its association with director John Huston and screenwriter and author Arthur Miller, who was Monroe’s husband at the time, it has a lot of prestige, she said.”