Film critic Peter Bradshaw, of The Guardian, thinks Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business (1952), featuring Marilyn as inept secretary Miss Laurel, is an ‘ace ape jape’:
“It is part romp, part druggie-surrealist masterpiece, and a complete joy. ‘Monkey Business’ is undervalued by some, on account of its alleged inferiority to the master’s 30s pictures, and the accident of sharing a title with a film by the Marx Brothers. I can only say that this film whizzes joyfully along with touches of pure genius: at once sublimely innocent and entirely worldly…Dr Fulton drinks [a youth drug]; his short sight is cured and he instantly gets a new youthful haircut, jacket, and snazzy roadster, in which he takes smitten secretary Lois (Marilyn Monroe) for a day’s adventures. (The memory of Grant with his Coke-bottle glasses exchanging dialogue with the entranced Marilyn was revived eight years later by Tony Curtis in ‘Some Like It Hot.’)”
Marilyn’s two films with Howard Hawks – Monkey Business (1952) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) will be screened at the Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh this March, as part of a tribute season to this multi-talented director, beginning this Friday with The Big Sleep.
PS: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will also be screened at the BFI Southbank, London, from February 13-18.
MM fan Aylon E found The Best of Marilyn Monroe, a DVD boxset, for just £4 at Sainsbury’s today (selected stores only, offer not online.) Includes Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch and Marilyn Monroe:The Final Days(a documentary about the making of the unfinished comedy, Something’s Got to Give, including rare footage and interviews.)
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 Legendexhibit, 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!)
TheWall Street Journal reports this week that economic downturns lead to increases in divorce and infidelity. But as Paul Krugman points out in the New York Times, this is not a new phenomenon – as Lorelei Lee warned us nearly sixty years ago…
“He’s your guy
When stocks are high,
But beware when they start to descend.