“Monroe, whose death at the age of 36 remains a mystery, was an avid reader and something of a culture vulture while she lived in New York, frequently visiting museums and attending plays. Not that she got any credit for her intellect. Michelle Morgan, who wrote Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, said: ‘She played ditzy blondes and for some reason people believed that was the person she was, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. It’s intriguing that she seems to be one of the only actresses who people confuse with her parts. People believed she was a joke but she was always trying to better herself.'”
“Just months after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opened, Monroe graced the first cover of Playboy, connecting one boom-time America to another, the Ziegfeld Girl to the Bunny.
In Hawks’s Gentlemen, the flat-chested flappers illustrating Loos’s book are swept aside by not-so-little Monroe and Russell, striding out with ‘Just two little girls from Little Rock,’ their opening bump-and-wiggle …
Russell is supposedly romanced by oval-faced zero-charisma snoop Elliott Reid, but there’s more warmth in her fondly bemused looks at Monroe, whose friendship is a front-row ticket to the best show in town. The girls, untouched by competition, present a united front, even transferring identities—Russell does a dye-job masquerade as Lorelei—until they practically exchange vows with each other in the most ironic wedding in Hollywood history.”
Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
Book now at Film Forum – showing until August 12
Read my review of the new, improved print
“One of the most famous lines from the book and film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is: ‘Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?’
In the film, Marilyn Monroe utters those words as the character Lorelei Lee but the lines were written first in the novel by American author Anita Loos.
And Lorelei Lee is one of the most memorable female fictional characters for Australian crime novelist Shane Maloney.”
“Marilyn was one of the most important individuals in my life. She is a kind of fulcrum at gut’s level. There wasn’t a major hullabaloo after her death, as there is now. I did not even want to write about her. I was talked into it by the French Connection Press, in Paris, people there I am dearly close to. However, while a book was planned, we couldn’t come to terms and another publisher grabbed the project, and that’s how my look at her came into reality. I speak each year at her Memorial in Westwood, California, where her body is entombed, and the 50th will be up in a couple years. I might end my yearly contribution after the 50th, as actually and in a real sense, it leaves me too pained to drag it on.”
Gilmore talks to Maarten Bouw
“Catherine Hicks‘s performance in the 1980 made-for-television biography Marilyn: The Untold Story is generally regarded as the best biographical portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. Produced by Lawrence Schiller, the photographer who took the famous nude photos of Marilyn on the set of Something’s Got to Give, Marilyn: The Untold Story was based on Norman Mailer’s ‘novel biography.’
The film was enhanced by the participation of three talented directors, including Hollywood veteran Jack Arnold. The impressive roster of behind-the-scenes personnel ensured pleasant entertainment, but the three-hour drama lacks insight into Marilyn’s personality and fails to add anything new to the Monroe lore and literature.
Hicks, whose thoughtful performance is the highlight of the production, managed to capture Marilyn’s voice and mannerisms and suggest her alluring presence without resorting to caricature.
Hicks received a well-earned Emmy nomination. (In an ironic twist, Monroe ‘replacement’ Sheree North appears in this film in the role of Marilyn’s mother.)” – Susan Doll, author of Marilyn: Her Life and Legend
The opening scenes from this hard-to-find biopic are now on Youtube, with more to follow.
In March 1961, Marilyn took a holiday with ex-husband Joe DiMaggio in the area, sparking rumours of a reunion. They stayed at the Tides Motel, and spent their days in training with the Yankees, or relaxing by the sea.
At the DRKM Gallery in Santa Monica, August 7-29.
J. Randy Taraborrelli’s 2009 biography is out now in paperback. Read my review here
Ever since Madonna and Stephen Meisel’s 1990 ‘Homage to Norma Jean’ spread in Vanity Fair, celebrities have been imitating Marilyn Monroe’s style – with mixed results.
“This trend of infinite iterations starts and ends with Marilyn Monroe, the dead starlet that every living starlet wants to imitate. As Lynn Hirschberg notes in a profile of Megan Fox (who has a Marilyn tattoo on her forearm), “Monroe was her own brand before branding existed.” What better way to send a career-branding message, then, than to channel the original tortured personal branding bombshell? Or so the logic goes.
But the Marilyn kabuki act rarely works as intended. Every time I see Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn, I question the troubled starlet’s mental health. Every time I see Megan Fox as Marilyn, I wonder if she’s not just an Angelina imitator, but a LiLo imitator, too. When Nicole Kidman did Marilyn, she looked old. When Scarlett did Marilyn—well, that was actually pretty good. But when Jessica Simpson did Marilyn (via famed Marilyn lookalike Virna Lisi, making hers an imitation of an imitation) it was an unmitigated disaster, lifeless and awkward.
This is what the future will look like if we don’t kill the starlets-imitating-starlets trend now. Starlets, stylists, editors: Start cultivating your own iconic looks. Do something original! Surprise us! Otherwise we’ll all be spinning in tutus in the rain for the decades to come, and between the Monroe imitators flipping their skirts up on the sidewalk, and the Mary Tyler Moore imitators spinning with shopping bags, the streets are crowded enough with pantomimes, already.” – Gawker
Fans in the Everlasting Star community have been monitoring this trend for some time now, and you can look back at the many celebrity homages to MM – the good, the bad, and the downright bizarre – in the member’s forum.