Over at Reader’s Digest, Tony DiMarco recalls interviewing Marilyn at Twentieth Century Fox for an army radio show in 1952. DiMarco, and presenter Dave Ketchum, broadcast a weekly program for Camp Roberts, which aired on KPRL in Paso Robles, California. It will come as no surprise to those who know of Marilyn’s loyalty to her fans in the military, but the producers found her a delight to work with, and nothing like the ‘difficult’ star her studio warned them about.
“Not only was Marilyn on time, she was friendly, cooperative and a great interview. When it was over she asked if she could add something and, of course, we said yes. She ad-libbed a touching and heartwarming tribute to the servicemen and women, thanking them for listening and wishing them the very best of luck. She was beautiful, bright and charming. She was the Marilyn we’ll always remember.”
Today’s Letters of Note blog features a famous note that Marilyn wrote to Dr Marcus Rabwin, while awaiting surgery Cedars of Lebanon hospital, back in 1952. She was extremely overworked and in poor health at the time, and her bosses at Twentieth Century-Fox had refused to let her undergo a much-needed appendectomy until she finished work on her current film, Monkey Business. Marilyn’s great anxiety about having children is painfully clear from the letter, and would prove to be well-founded: she suffered from endometriosis throughout her adult life, and would never carry a pregnancy to term.
The American actress, Elizabeth McGovern, starred in many notable Hollywood films during the 1980s before moving to England.
In Ragtime(1981) she played Evelyn Nesbit, the showgirl implicated in the 1906 murder of her architect lover, Stanford White, by her ex-husband. Nesbit was previously played by Joan Collins in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing(1955), a role Marilyn turned down.
McGovern is now best known as Lady Cora in the TV drama, Downton Abbey. She is married to Simon Curtis, director of My Week With Marilyn. She shared her thoughts on the movie with NPR:
‘It’s differences of all kinds that make for lively storytelling, whether it’s upstairs-downstairs friction, clashing sitcom neighbors, or the colliding acting cultures documented in the film My Week with Marilyn, which McGovern describes as “the best movie about show business I’ve ever seen.”
She’d think that, she insists, even if director Simon Curtis weren’t her husband.
My Week with Marilyn is about what happened on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, a 1957 comedy starring the British titan Laurence Olivier and the American sensation Marilyn Monroe.
“There were two worlds that came in contact with one another, and clashed,” McGovern says, “and it’s resulted in a movie that’s poignant and funny, and says so much about the Hollywood machine and about the English acting aristocracy. And the story touches people on a lot of different levels.”‘
Nicolas Roeg’s Insignificance, featuring an MM-inspired heroine, will be released by Criterion on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 14.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:
Newly restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Nicolas Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
New video interviews with Roeg, Thomas, and editor Tony Lawson
Making “Insignificance,” a short documentary shot on the set of the film
Original theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Chuck Stephens and a reprinted exchange between Roeg and screenwriter Terry Johnson
Also, Some Like it Hotwill be released on Blu-Ray by Fox on May 10. According to Hi-TechDigest, ‘There’s no word on tech specs or extras as of yet…apparently will be a digibook treatment…suggested list price $34.99.’