Tag Archives: Love Nest

Oscars 2017: Marilyn Takes a Cadillac to La La Land

Photo by Scott at Marilyn Remembered
Photo by Scott at Marilyn Remembered

Marilyn may never have won an Oscar, but she continues to make her presence felt at the world’s glitziest awards ceremony. Last night’s broadcast included a new Cadillac commercial, featuring vintage photos of famous faces and their cars – headed up by Marilyn, photographed by Milton Greene in 1954. You can watch the Cadillac ad here, and see more of Marilyn and her cars here.

Marilyn presents an Oscar for 'All About Eve', 1951
Marilyn presents an Oscar for ‘All About Eve’, 1951

One of this year’s biggest movies was La La Land, the nostalgic musical which tied with All About Eve and Titanic for the most nominations in Oscar history. All About Eve was a breakthrough role for Marilyn, and she would present soundman Thomas Moulton with an award at the 1951 ceremony (the only time she attended.)

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Screenshots by Daniel at Immortal Marilyn

Packed with Old Hollywood references – including this street mural – La La Land was named as best picture by Warren Beatty (who recently shared his memories of Marilyn.) However, it appears he was given the wrong envelope, as it was announced shortly afterward that this year’s winner was, in fact, Moonlight.

F5AAA0A7-4BCD-4C5A-8D96-36B4F1431236-COLLAGEActress Charlize Theron wore a gold lamé dress (and diamond earrings), designed by Christian Dior and strikingly similar to the iconic Travilla gown worn by Marilyn to the Photoplay Awards in 1953. Charlize was once mooted to star in an MM biopic (which was never produced), and appeared alongside a digitally recreated Marilyn – in her original gold lamé – for a J’Adore perfume ad in 2011.

Michelle Williams, nominated as best actress in 2011 for My Week With Marilyn, was up for best supporting actress this year in Manchester By the Sea, losing again to Viola Davis in Fences. As Immortal Marilyn member Phil noticed, Fences –  directed by, and starring Denzel Washington – apparently uses the same ‘New York Street’ set from the Twentieth Century Fox lot, as seen in Love Nest some 66 years ago.

Photo by Phil at Immortal Marilyn
Montage by Phil at Immortal Marilyn

Marilyn ‘Kissed’ in Coca Cola Ad

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Marilyn is one of several vintage stars featured in a new ad campaign marking the centenary of the iconic Coca Cola bottle. The original photo was taken by Edward Clark on the set of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with co-star Jane Russell, as the two women took a break from filming the ‘Two Little Girls From Little Rock’ number which opens the 1953 movie.

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Elvis Presley and Ray Charles also feature in the new campaign. Marilyn’s ad has already been spotted on a giant billboard just across the street from Coca Cola’s offices in downtown Toronto, Canada.

 Marilyn was seen sipping Coca Cola on a few other occasions:

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During filming of ‘Love Nest’ (1951)
Photo session, ca 1951-52
Photo session, ca 1951-52
Also from the 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' era
Also from the ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ era

Some of these may have been promotional shots, and it’s uncertain whether Marilyn regularly drank Coke. However, this photo of an off-duty Marilyn sipping Coca Cola through a straw seems more like ‘the real thing!’

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With Milton Greene and Arthur Miller, NYC (1956)

A boxed set of books, Coca Cola: Film/Music/Sports, was published by Assouline last year – with Edward Clark’s photo of Marilyn featured on Coca Cola: Film‘s cover.

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Korea Photos, and More, at Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions are holding an Entertainment & Music Memorabilia sale on August 10th, including several very desirable Marilyn-related items. Among the lots, two sets of rare Korea photos have attracted the attention of the Daily Mail:

“A set of 13 black and white photographs, taken by an official army photographer, capture touching behind the scenes moments from the tour.

Monroe, who was aged 28 at the time, is seen in combat boots and black trousers and a flight jacket chatting to soldiers and signing autographs in the 8ins by 10ins prints.

Several images show her on stage wowing crowds in a sparkling cocktail dress while in others she is wearing her famed houndstooth dress from her film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

A set of four colour slides depict Monroe mingling and laughing with troops and signing autographs.

A 90-second clip of unseen footage from the visit shot by a young soldier shows her arriving in an army helicopter, meeting troops then leaving in the helicopter.

The images were bought by a collector in the 1990s direct from the photographer and have never been published.

Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment at Heritage Auctions, said: ‘These photos came from a collector who bought them about 18 years ago for very little money.

‘It isn’t known who shot the photos but we think it would have been an official Army photographer because they are professional images.

‘There were thousands of soldiers there all with their cameras but these photos show Marilyn behind the scenes posing for the camera and signing things for VIPs.

‘It was the only trip she did to see troops and in fact she only ever visited England after that trip – she wasn’t a world traveller.

‘These photos are really nice and have never been seen before. The photographer was with Marilyn at all the events she went to while in Korea.’

‘There are not too many quality photos of this trip, especially ones such as these which capture the behind the scenes moments.'”

Also on offer is the ‘possibly worn’ silver evening gown from Love Happy; some offscreen clothing; letters from Jean Negulesco and William Inge, and one from Marilyn to Inez Melson; two books owned by MM; and scripts for Don’t Bother to Knock, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and Let’s Make Love.

 And finally, this rather sweet photo was taken on the set of Love Nest in 1951.

One Afternoon in Pendleton

Columnist Jerry Jonas recalls meeting Marilyn Monroe during her public appearance at Camp Pendleton, California, on April 4, 1952:

‘I still remember the first time I heard the name Marilyn Monroe. It was the spring of 1951 and I had recently been stationed at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base about 100 miles south of Hollywood.

Returning from noon chow, I noticed a number of my buddies were clustered in a small group ogling a photo in the latest edition of Leatherneck Magazine.

Back then, the Marine Corps’ monthly publication ran a popular “pin-up” photo on the back cover of each issue. A different actress or model was featured each month. On that month’s cover was Marilyn Monroe, the new movie glamour girl, smiling coyly and attired in a somewhat-revealing swimsuit.

While I had no idea who she was, several of my more savvy buddies did. They had already seen her in a movie called “The Asphalt Jungle” and highly recommended that I catch it. I did and was pleasantly surprised at what I discovered.

A few months later, I would get to meet and chat with Monroe. It was a Sunday afternoon, and along with William Lundigan (a popular male film actor of the day, who had recently co-starred with her and June Haver in the comedy-drama “Love Nest”), Monroe was appearing at the Veterans Home and Medical Center in West Los Angeles.

There, she and Lundigan would entertain the hundreds of veterans who were the home’s permanent residents. They included aging and disabled men whose military service dated all the way back to the American Indian wars.

Since active-duty military were also invited to the affair, and I was in Hollywood on a weekend pass, I decided to attend.

Yet West Los Angeles was a fair distance from Hollywood, and like most of my military friends, I was low on cash, couldn’t afford to spend what little I had on public transportation and would have to get there by hitchhiking.

It was worth the effort. Monroe and Lundigan each spent about an hour mingling with the veterans and members of the military, posing for photos and signing autographs.

While Lundigan, who had been making films for more than a decade, was better known, the extremely enthusiastic all-male audience quickly made the pretty and curvaceous young Monroe their center of attention. A few whistled and egged her on and she responded with her famous smile.

In a brief conversation, she struck me as somewhat shy, yet extremely intelligent and personable.

While walking from the facility preparing to hitchhike back into Hollywood, I noticed two large sedans being pulled to the front entrance. Lundigan got into the first car, doing his own driving. Monroe got into the second, an apparently chauffeur-driven car.

With my thumb extended, as a sign that I was looking for a ride, I watched the first car approach and could clearly see Lundigan glance casually at me and nod as he continued by.

Slightly disappointed, my attention now turned to Monroe’s car, which was just leaving the entrance. Apparently reacting to my again-extended thumb, the driver seemed to be slowing down and pulling toward me.

Then, I heard the voice. “Hey, Marine.” It was Lundigan, himself a former World War II Marine. He had stopped and was now backing up. “C’mon. Get in.” He had reached over and had opened the passenger door and was offering me a ride into town.

Glancing back, I noticed that the second car had slowed almost to a complete stop, and the driver was smiling at me and shrugging as if to say: “I tried.” Monroe was clearly visible sitting alone in the back seat smiling, her hand poised in a slight wave.

While I appreciated Lundigan’s kindness, and had an interesting conversation with him during the 20-minute ride, I often wondered what it might have been like to spend that 20 minutes riding with Monroe.

What a story that would have been to relay to my pals back at camp.’

 

Vanity Fair: Analysing Marilyn

page 146

Pardon me
are you the janitors wife

page 147
caught a Greyhound
Bus from Monterey to Salinas. On the
Bus I was the person
woman with about
sixty Italian fishermen
and I’ve never met
sixty such charming gentlemen—they
were wonderful. Some
company was sending them
downstate where their boats
and (they hoped) fish were
waiting for them. Some
could hardly speak english
not only do I love Greeks
[illegible] I love Italians.
they’re warm, lusty and friendly
as hell—I’d love to go to
Italy someday.

From a 1951 notebook, written by Marilyn during filming of Love Nest. The first line is from the script; the second may have been written during filming of Clash by Night in Monterey less than a year later, shortly after her love affair with Italian-American baseball star Joe DiMaggio began.

This and other excerpts from Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters are featured in ‘Marilyn and her Monsters’, an article for November’s Vanity Fair. A complementary piece, ‘The Writing on the Wall’, analyses Marilyn’s large, extravagantly looped handwriting (which I have often seen as a reflection of her open, generous yet somehow elusive spirit.)