Alex North Centennial Salute

Alex North composed the haunting soundtrack to The Misfits, and other classic films including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

A tribute to North, featuring a screening of The Misfits, will take place in the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre (the same venue where the Oscar nominations are announced each year), on Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, on Friday, September 24th at 7.30 pm.

As with all Misfits-related events, I wish I could be there. The soundtrack is available on CD.

Airbrushing, Then and Now

“You know what? I want to look as good as the pictures I see in magazines, but it’s not going to happen. This is how it has always been, and this is how it will always be. We are all smart enough human beings to know that the images we see in magazines or on album covers aren’t real. The fact is that we don’t want to see imperfections, we don’t want to see reality. If I watch a Marilyn Monroe movie I want to see her looking stunning, and in those days it was probably worse than it is now because they actually retouched the negatives so that no bad pictures could ever be seen. I grew up admiring those idealised images, and those women were Barbie dolls compared to what we are looking at today…’

Kylie Minogue

Photo montage by Tiina at Everlasting Star

Debbie Reynolds to Sell Collection

Debbie Reynolds, star of classic movies including Singing in the Rain (1952), is to put her collection of Hollywood memorabilia, worth about $5 million, on auction, after failing to find a buyer.

Miss Reynolds, 78, owns several Monroe-related items, including the famous white dress designed by Travilla for The Seven Year Itch (1955.)

‘Most people collect for themselves … but she collected for the public,’ Reynold’s son, Todd Fisher, told Knoxville News. ‘She collected for all of us. She collected for the American people to preserve the history of their industry.’

On his Marilyn Monroe Collection Blog today, Scott Fortner asks, ‘Will the Seven Year Itch subway scene dress come up for auction? If so, will it outsell the “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress, which sold for $1.3 million in 1999?’

‘My Great-Aunt, Eunice Murray’

Marilyn at the Fox lot on her 36th birthday with Henry Weinstein, Murray (Photo by George Barris)

“Aunt Eunice and Dr. Greenson eventually became friends, and as time went by, he became very impressed by her stable character. For this reason, when the need later arose, Dr. Greenson, and some of his colleagues, hired her as a ‘support worker’ for some of their high-profile clients. She became the stable ‘friend’ that most of them did not have.”

An intriguing article about Marilyn’s last housekeeper, Eunice Murray, at Galveston Music Scene

Marilyn in Washington

Marilyn and Arthur Miller in Washington, 1957

“I recently traveled to Washington, DC for vacation, and visits to museums, monuments and even walking down the streets of the US capitol provided associations to Marilyn in varying ways. From Abraham Lincoln to Emilio Pucci, Marilyn’s connection to Washington is evident.”

Scott Fortner recounts his trip to Washington and mulls over the city’s long association with Marilyn, from her girlhood admiration for Abraham Lincoln to her controversial friendship with John F. Kennedy.

Marilyn herself visited Washington on at least one occasion, in May of 1957 with her husband, Arthur Miller, who was later convicted for contempt of Congress after refusing to name associates who had been Communist Party members.

Marilyn supported Miller throughout his trial, and the guilty verdict was repealed in 1958.

Vintage newsreel footage

Marilyn and the Florist

Marilyn in her black Thunderbird – Sam Shaw, 1957

“When I was a teenager in the late 1950s, Marilyn Monroe was my favourite movie star! I worked a few days a week after high school at Goldfarb’s Florist at 57th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan.

One day I was in the flower shop and there in front of me was Marilyn Monroe! She was dressed in a fur coat but was shorter than I thought! Being a teenager and not wanting to admit that I needed glasses, the sight of my favourite movie star was a bit fuzzy.

Marilyn and her husband, Arthur Miller, lived just up the street on 57th Street, and on Saturdays, on my lunch hour I would walk by her Sutton Place apartment building, hoping to see her. I never did. But I did see her and her husband very often from the office window of the second floor of the florist.

I would always wave to her getting into her black Thunderbird and she would always wave back to me. That’s my experience with Marilyn Monroe and it’s one I will always remember.”

John Martone, Augusta Chronicle

‘My Week With Marilyn’ Casting Update

Montage by ‘jaune’ on Tumblr

My Week With Marilyn (based on Colin Clark’s book about the making of The Prince and the Showgirl) begins shooting in ten days, reports Baz Bamigboye in the Daily Mail.

Bamigboye also states that Eddie Redmayne (who previously starred as Angel Clare alongside Gemma Arterton in the recent BBC adaptation of Hardy’s Tess) has been cast as Clark (James Jagger, son of Rolling Stone Mick, was previously considered.)

Richard Clifford will play actor Richard Wattis, and best of all, the brilliant Zoe Wanamaker (Susan Harper in My Family) as Monroe’s drama coach, Paula Strasberg.