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.”

Camel Racing in Virginia City

Rodeo scene, ‘The Misfits’

“These races started in 1960 when the San Francisco Chronicle and the Phoenix Sun challenged each other to a race. The winner was Hollywood director John Huston, who was filming The Misfits nearby. Two stars of the film, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, were among the spectators as camels ran a 100-yard dash through the middle of this Comstock Lode town.” – Wall Street Journal

(I suspect that this event may not have been quite so enjoyable for Marilyn, who like her character, Roslyn, was acutely sensitive to the welfare of animals.)

MM Film Season at Warhol Museum

There could hardly be a more perfect setting for a Marilyn Monroe movie season than the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. The screenings accompany the Marilyn: Life as a Legend exhibit, which runs from October 23 through to January 2.

Nice to see two of Monroe’s lesser-known films on schedule: Don’t Bother to Knock (a 1952 thriller containing one of Monroe’s most impressive dramatic performances) and River of No Return, a visually arresting Cinemascope western from 1954, with some great musical numbers from Marilyn (though a bit light on realism!)

November 12, 2010

Don’t Bother to Knock(1952) 76 min. Directed by Roy Ward Baker

Niagara (1953) 92 min. Directed by Henry Hathaway

November 19, 2010

River of No Return(1954) 91 min. Directed by Otto Preminger

December 3, 2010

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953) 91 min. Directed by Howard Hawks

How to Marry a Millionaire(1953) 95 min. Directed by Dir. Jean Negulesco

December 10, 2010

Some Like It Hot(1959) 120 min. Directed by Billy Wilder
Pittsburgh author and journalist Barry Paris will introduce the film.

December 17, 2010

The Misfits(1961) 124 min. Directed by John Huston