Today’s Evening Standardincludes a feature on the ‘Marilyn – Hollywood Icon’ exhibition (from the collection of David Gainsborough Roberts), on show at the American Museum, Bath, opening in March.
As well as the movie costumes, Roberts’ collection includes many small items which Marilyn kept all her life (such as a well-worn, miniature skating figurine, a gift from her mother.) In contrast to her glamorous image, Marilyn lived quite simply.
“From the objects in the collection I’ve realised how much she’d gone through in her life, only to fall slowly to pieces at the end – a tragedy.”
Phil Stern, who took this striking photo of Marilyn in 1953, will open a personal gallery in Los Angeles today. Stern has also photographed many other famous names, including Frank Sinatra, and his portrait of a tired couple from Oklahoma, trying to cross the border into California in 1939 in their battered Ford truck – a photo that became synonymous with the Great Depression – headed an exhibition of Life magazine’s best work.
“Stern has been sporadically selling prints of his photographs for years out of his modest Hollywood home. But only the most persistent usually succeeded, and one of those was Madonna, who showed up at his doorstep to buy a photo of Marilyn Monroe.
When told that many admirers of his work think he is a great artist on the camera, he replied,’Matisse I ain’t.'”
A major retrospective of photographer Eve Arnold (including her work with Marilyn) is the inaugural exhibit at the Chris Arnold Fine Photographs Gallery in London, now on show until March 3rd. Silver gelatin prints are available, and a catalogue for £10.
The exhibition is a collaboration with the Tosca Photography Fund, which is managed by Zelda Cheatle, long-time friend and gallerist to the legendary photographer.
‘Be like Marilyn Monroe and scrawl your name at the bottom with great abandon, as if you are a Hollywood star. Give the impression this is no big deal: you send dozens of these notes to your admirers. (Which you probably do.)
Be sure to write “PERSONAL” on the back flap so that his secretary/assistant does not open it by mistake. Marilyn spritzed her letters with perfume* but personally (unless he is serving in the armed forces overseas), we think this is a bit much.’
Ladies of the Chorus, a little-known 1948 musical, gave Marilyn her first lead role. Shot over ten days on a tiny budget, it was released as a ‘B movie’ and went virtually unnoticed at the time. It is now available on DVD.
“If you have an appreciation for Marilyn Monroe or if you’re simply curious about how she started out, ‘Ladies of the Chorus’ is a must-see film. Often people mistakenly believe that Monroe didn’t star in a film until the 1950’s…In this movie she shines as a songbird and dancer. She comes off as fresh and sweet and full of that hope unique to first loves…This early film of hers certainly shows that she was extremely talented and fleshes out the many reasons that she will be remembered for generations to come.”
All About Eve, the 1950 classic featuring Marilyn in a small role, is now available on Blu-Ray.
“I should also make a note of Marilyn Monroe, who makes a delightful impression in one of her early roles. It’s a small part, but the actress has never been better; Monroe delivers every line with such giddy comic perfection (‘Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?’)”
Full details of the All About Eve package at DVD Verdict
Actor Dougray Scott (Ripley’s Game, Desperate Housewives) will play Arthur Miller in the forthcoming movie, My Week With Marilyn. It will be interesting to see how Miller is portrayed, as Colin Clark was not very sympathetic to him in his memoir, on which the film is based.
“Arthur Miller is also an iconic figure. You have to forget the expectations of other people. He was already established by the time he met Marilyn Monroe and was one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. It was great to be able to play him as well. I knew I wanted to be an actor when I read his play, Death Of A Salesman, at school. My dad was a salesman and it gave me a way to get out of my skin.”
The New Vic production of William Inge’s Bus Stop, now showing in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, gets a five-star, rave review from Alfred Hickling in today’s Guardian.
“Inge’s structure is simplicity itself … But there is something beguiling about this forlorn slice of Americana, which meditates on the distances between towns and the distances between people, like an Edward Hopper painting with dialogue … Louise Dylan is supremely demure as his reluctant beau, a nightclub singer so little exposed to daylight her lips look like a June bug on a field of snow.”
Brighton’s very own MM lookalike, Laura Nixon, comes to the Komedia for Alive and Swinging on Sunday, February 27th. Dinner at 6.30pm (optional), show begins at 8. Tickets from £15.
“Marilyn Monroe is finding heaven a bore, no drinking smoking or sex, and worst of all, no swinging music. She returns to earth for one more night of fun, bringing old showbiz fling Frank Sinatra, and Las Vegas legend Elvis Presley.
Join the three superstars, special guests and plenty of swing as they sing and dance away their final night on Earth, until the voice of god finds them missing and demands they return to Heaven.