The Essence of Marilyn

Marilyn photographed by Ben Ross, 1953

“Marilyn was a master of the true star’s technique: drawing out the process of emoting, so those watching could see every iota of reaction on her face…She hid nothing physically, an instructive habit for any performer to emulate.”

An interesting article by Kathleen Lake, exploring Marilyn’s charisma and screen technique, with some good advice for actors and lookalikes.

When Marilyn Hid From Norman Mailer

“In a few clips about Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, the narrator states that Mailer had visited the Miller home, but Marilyn was not there. It turned out she was upstairs sequestered in a bedroom because she did not want to meet Mailer.”

Carole Mallory’s review of a new documentary, Norman Mailer: The American, alludes to Mailer’s fruitless pursuit of Marilyn Monroe, then married to his literary foe, Arthur Miller. After her death, Mailer would make Monroe the subject of two bestselling, if controversial books: the ‘factoid’ biography, Marilyn, and a fictional memoir, Of Women and their Elegance, both lavishly illustrated; and finally an off-Broadway play, Strawhead, in which Mailer’s daughter, Kate, played Marilyn.

How Roslyn Saved the Horses

A wonderful article by environmentalist Carly Wilson about Marilyn’s enduring love for animals and nature, and her pioneering role in The Misfits:

“Just as the final horse is roped up and forced to the ground, Roslyn jumps out from the truck and starts screaming in a high pitched panic ‘Murderers! Murderers!’ The men are so shocked by the outpouring of intensity from this very shy and innocent-seeming young woman that they agree to untie and set free the horses. This scene is probably the most effective animal welfare message I have ever witnessed in a motion picture and the fact that it was filmed in 1960, before even the civil rights act had been signed, is incredible and way ahead of it’s time.”

You can watch Roslyn’s speech here

Oliver Stone and the Marilyn Conspiracy

Liz Smith shares an intriguing rumour about yet another Marilyn-related movie project in her column today.

“I have heard that Oliver Stone (The Doors, JFK) is finally interested in Monroe as a subject. Or at least in what supposedly went on around the star. He would probably concentrate on her final frantic years – choice material for the director who has such a flair for the dark and lurid.

This is just ‘talk’ at the moment. There’s many a slip twixt the lip and the overdosed blonde with her hand on the telephone. And two Monroe films are in pre-production now.

But if and when … don’t be surprised if Lindsay Lohan is in on it. Lohan is a great fan of the late MM, and Oliver Stone is a great admirer of Miss Lohan; he thinks she is a serious actress who just needs her one ‘breakout’ adult role. (First she needs to stay in rehab for a long time!)

We’ll see how it goes. I know I’d be fascinated to see how Oliver Stone would handle Marilyn, no matter who played her.”