Jamie Salter, CEO of Authentic Brands Group (ABG), has talked about how Marilyn helped to build his business empire, in an interview with Forbes magazine.
“For Marilyn Monroe, Salter purchased 80% of the Monroe estate in 2012 for a reported $20 million to $30 million before slashing its 300 licensing deals—from T-shirts to refrigerator magnets—down to 80. Then he built the business back up, purchasing the other 20% of the estate and increasing the number of licenses to the sweet spot of 100, focusing on venerable brands that Monroe actually used in life—like Chanel No. 5.
‘You can sell X amount of Marilyn Monroe fragrance at a mass-market retailer, or you can do a deal with Chanel No. 5,’ Salter says. ‘A No. 5 deal doesn’t pay as well, but I think that’s important for the brand because it gives a halo effect. And the truth of the matter is, she wore Chanel No. 5.’
He [initially] went after the Marilyn Monroe business and received a no. But eventually Anna Strasberg, the widow of Monroe’s acting coach Lee Strasberg (to whom she’d left her estate), came back and agreed to a deal to sell 80%. (And three years after Salter bought into Monroe, Strasberg sold him the rest of the business.)
Monroe’s business became so successful in the years following Salter’s arrival that he ended up paying the same amount for the last 20% than he had for the first 80%. He wouldn’t reveal precise numbers, but industry insiders were nevertheless impressed.”
With the new 4K restoration reaching UK cinemas next week (see here), Joseph Walsh has reviewed Some Like It Hot for Cine-Vue. (In an otherwise excellent piece, Walsh mistakenly claims that Tony Curtis had an affair with Marilyn during filming, ‘according to Hollywood legend.’ As you’ll find out here, that particular legend happened only in Tony’s imagination!)
“‘It’s the story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop’ is just one of the many sublime, double-edged lines that Marilyn Monroe delivers in Billy Wilder’s gender-bending comedySome Like It Hot …The note of that line is pitch perfect, the sensual, iconic actress allowing it to drop off her lips with comic finesse, whilst simultaneously echoing the tragedy of her own life.
As well as gender identity the film is rife with sex. Most famously is Monroe, who poured into the iconic (not to mention revealing) white dress, wins ever man’s heart as she sings I Wanna Be Loved By You, the careful lighting just casting enough shadow to hide her modesty. The gift of this movie lays not just in how entertaining it is, nor the memorable one-liners, but in how Wilder balances light and dark, life with death, love with loneliness, men and women. Some Like It Hot is what all great comedies should aspire to be – both sweet and sour.”
Part of the former Hollywood Studio Club, where Marilyn lived with other hopeful actresses in the early days of her career, is to reopen as a homeless women’s shelter, as Elijah Chiland reports for LA Curbed. (You can read more posts about Marilyn’s time as a resident here.)
“The second temporary homeless shelter in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ‘A Bridge Home’ program is set to open next month in a landmarked building that once housed some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Equipped with 64 beds, the women-only shelter will be located on the third floor of the former Hollywood Studio Club at the intersection of Lodi Place and Lexington Avenue.
Owned by the YWCA, the Mediterranean-style building was constructed in 1926 and designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan. It originally served as a dormitory-style residence for women seeking out careers in the movie business.
The Studio Club is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and its application notes that the building’s old ledger includes the names of now-legendary guests like Marilyn Monroe, Marion Davies, Rita Moreno, and even author Ayn Rand.
Following the demise of Hollywood’s studio system, the club became less appealing to aspiring actresses and eventually closed in the 1970s. Right now, the YWCA occupies the first two levels, which it uses for job training programs and a print center.
The mayor promised in April to set aside $20 million (though that amount later increased to $30 million, with further funding from the state on the way) to construct shelters in each of the city’s 15 council districts.
In the case of the Studio Club building, necessary renovations needed to make it accessible to residents with disabilities were paid for by private donors, Szabo told reporters in September. New construction was not necessary.
Thus far, any community opposition to the Hollywood Studio Club shelter has been relatively muted … According to Garcetti’s press secretary, Alex Comisar, residents will begin moving into the shelter on November 15.”
Come Il Volo Di Un Colibri, a novel by Italian author and politician Giovanna Grignaffini, was published in 2016. The title translates as Like The Flight Of A Hummingbird, which is how Marilyn’s acting teacher, Constance Collier, described her elusive presence; and Eve Arnold’s photo of Marilyn on the set of The Misfits graces the cover. The novel – currently only available in Italian – is set in a house in the woods, where five people come together to discuss Marilyn’s mythic life. Lea Melandri reviewed it for Il Manifesto.
“To remain there, forever hanging on those walls and mirrors, copied and glued to all those books, paintings, backpacks, ‘it took genius,’ is the conclusion of the author: ‘pure feminine genius.’ If Marilyn had had the doubt of being ‘just a fantasy’ – I guess I am a fantasy – the novel of a singular essayist of cinema and writer like Giovanna Grignaffini, who for years has studied and loved her through her films, it returns it to the collective memory, ‘finally’ as the whole body of a woman: inseparable life and cinema.”
As Some Like It Hot returns to cinemas in a new 4K print, Donald Clarke ponders its lasting appeal in the Irish Times.
“The personnel make their own case. Renowned for wrapping subversive cynicism around the most perfectly calibrated jokes, Wilder remains a holy figure in American cinema … Marilyn Monroe’s complex, troubled energy is undimmed by the passing of the years. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, perky actors at home with Wilder’s misanthropy, throw themselves heartily at unusually demanding roles.
But the untouchable status of Some Like It Hot surely results from something broader and more profound. Like a lot of works that figure in ‘greatest ever’ lists, Wilder’s film sits on the cusp between approaches; it straddles the fence between ideas; it incorporates apparently complementary tones. The viewer can approach from a number of angles.
The story around Some Like It Hot layers the picture with further uncertainties. Monroe, who was to die three years later, was famously hard to work with and required dozens of takes to complete even the simplest scene. None of her later films are free from those whispers of impending doom.
There’s more. Some Like It Hot’s position on those charts confirms its status as a work that belongs to the high arts and to popular culture. One is never in any doubt that one is watching the most gifted American film professionals at the top of their game. It’s a tribute to a glorious machine – the Hollywood studio system – as that machine was spluttering into redundancy.”
Actress Sofia Vergara dressed up as Marilyn in her ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the latest Halloween episode of US sitcom Modern Family – while screen husband Ed O’Neill played Joe DiMaggio,as PopSugar reports.
Actor James Karen, whose career in film, television and theatre spanned eight decades, has died aged 94. As his friend, film critic Leonard Maltin, confirmed on his blog today, he was photographed with Marilyn at the Actors Studio in 1955. (James was also a friend of Marilyn’s Misfits co-star, Kevin McCarthy.)
Born Jacob Karnovsky in Pennsylvania, he joined the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York on the recommendation of his cousin, Morris Carnovsky (who would teach Marilyn at the Actors Lab in Los Angeles during the late 1940s.) Karen got his big break in 1947, with a supporting role in Elia Kazan’s original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Whenthe play reached L.A. two years later, Louis B. Mayer offered him a contract at MGM, but he declined.
One of America’s most prolific character actors, James Karen later appeared in films including Poltergieist, The China Syndrome, Wall Street, Return of the Living Dead, Mulholland Drive, and The Pursuit of Happyness. His television roles ranged from soap operas All My Children and As the World Turns, to cameo parts in The Golden Girls and Seinfeld.
The ‘perfect’ 4K restoration of Some Like It Hot will be screened at over 60 Cineworld theatres across the UK on November 5 at 7:30 pm. So if you don’t have a fireworks display to attend that night, you can enjoy an evening with Marilyn instead!