Summer at the Movies with Marilyn

On the WowOwow (Women on the Web) site today, ‘Mr Wow’ enjoys some classic movies – starting with Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Heat Wave’ from There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), as what song could be more apt in the heat of July?

Two other Monroe movies are also mentioned: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), not really a ‘summer movie’ but a great film noir with one of Marilyn’s most affecting performances as the disturbed babysitter, Nell Forbes.

An interesting observation is made on the scene in Niagara (1953), where Marilyn, as the trampy Rose Loomis, requests her favourite song, ‘Kiss’. (Monroe had recorded her own version, which was deemed too sensuous for the movie but can found on most MM compilation albums today.)

“She wears a tight, blazing red dress, and when she walks toward the camera, pelvis thrust out, a bit of a womanly belly obvious, it is her most erotic screen moment. (Later, she would look sexy – all butt and bust – but not be sexy.)”

However, surely the ideal Monroe vehicle to watch right now is The Seven Year Itch (1955), as the comic storyline hinges on the unbearable heat of Manhattan in July, and a middle-aged man’s existential crisis when his wife and son leave the city and he attempts to seduce his gorgeous neighbour (Marilyn, of course), via the wonder of air conditioning.

Marilyn, Lindsay Lohan and ‘6126’

Before her latest misadventure (a stint in jail), actress Lindsay Lohan took time out to talk about her admiration for Marilyn Monroe and her clothing line, 6126, at Stylelist.com

“SL: 6126 is named for Marilyn Monroe’s birthday, and you’ve recreated Monroe’s famous portrait sessions for famed photographer Bert Stern. Why is she such a strong influence?

LL: She is an icon. I love her sense of self. She is glamorous and represents a time in Hollywood that was a changing point for women. I also think she was misunderstood.”

Whatever one may think of Lindsay’s current situation, few people understood the pressures of fame better than Monroe, and I think she would get a kick out of knowing that she continues to inspire today’s young starlets – especially in troubled times.

Walking in Manhattan

Photo by Sam Shaw, 1957

If you’re in Manhattan this weekend, try following Marilyn’s footsteps:

“Adventure on a Shoestring: Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m., ‘Marilyn Monroe’s Manhattan’, with stops at her former residence and the nightspots she visited with her husband Joe DiMaggio, meeting on the northeast corner of First Avenue and 57th Street. (212) 265-2663; $10.”

New York Times

Michael Bastian Inspired by Marilyn

“Michael Bastian, notorious for his rugged menswear collections, was recently inspired by the blond bombshell Marilyn Monroe to create a women’s collection.  The direct source for this inspiration steams from Henry Hathaway’s 1953 film Niagara, staring Monroe. While creating the campaign for his men’s line, Bastian wondered, how would the woman opposite this man be clad? With this question dangling overhead at Gant, executives encouraged him to push forward with the idea. Bastian did not waste any time.

The Spring 2011 line eloquently blends feminine designs and curves with masculine strong details, creating a modern Monroe look. Bastian kept the preppy style of his mens line but injected it with a dynamic sex appeal. The prices for the collection range form $65 to $325, and is set to be revealed during a presentation at New York Fashion Week in September.”

Via Sundance Channel

Bastian’s upcoming collection photographed by John Aquino for Women’s Wear Daily

Ambulance Driver Remembers Marilyn’s Death


“While I was working for the Park Pantry Cafeteria on W. Anaheim Blvd. in Long Beach California, I met an older, thin man, who had taken the job as dishwasher for the restaurant. It was apparent from his demeanor that the man was living a hard life, and dishwashing was not a career, it was a job, but only for this week…

Nevertheless, between the clanging of pots and pans, the clash of dishes and the tinkle of silverware being washed, in what seemed a meaningless and unending cycle, conversation ensued, often during impromptu cigarette breaks.

This thin, hardened dishwasher told me about his recent stint of employment as an ambulance driver.  And , as fortune would have it, he discovered that he  was one of the persons called by Fate to remove Marilyn Monroe’s remains,  following her untimely death, from her apartment in Hollywood. (I can’t confirm that he is the same man pictured above, but he seems consistent with my memories).

He seemed proud of the connection, as if being the person to push Marilyn Monroe’s gurney out of her apartment became the high point of his life.

I only thought of this memory today as I was sitting at my desk, working, listening to my iPod through my new, inexpensive (what else)? docking station, listening to Elton John singing ‘Goodbye Norma Jean’.”

Zac Turango, Wildomar Magazine

Marilyn Inspires Paris Perfume Shoot

Paris Hilton‘s new perfume, ‘Tease’, features an ad campaign with the celebrity heiress posing in the style of her idol, Marilyn Monroe. ‘I am all about being alluring, but with a wink, and a fun, fresh take on all that is enticingly feminine about a woman today,’ says Hilton in a press release.

Paris rather fancifully compared herself to Marilyn four years ago. ‘There’s nobody in the world like me,’ she said. ‘I think every decade has an iconic blonde, like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana and, right now, I’m that icon.’

Some MM fans were incensed by this comment; others, like myself, found it endearingly silly. Paris doesn’t remind me of Marilyn so much as one of the characters Monroe played, Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

It’s not hard to imagine Paris Hilton saying something like, ‘A kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a diamond tiara lasts forever.’ But while Marilyn spoofed the gold-digger stereotype for comic effect, offscreen she was thoughtful and reserved.