The Sandusky Roots of Sugar Kane

Sugar Kane, as played by Marilyn in Some Like It Hot, is actually Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio – as Matt Westerhold notes in a piece for the Sandusky Register about his hometown’s movie connections.

“I enjoy it when Sandusky is the center of attention, and always get geeked when I hear mention of our city on TV shows and films. I loved it the first time, and ever since, when I heard Marilyn Monroe in the movie Some Like It Hot, say, ‘Imagine me, a smalltown girl from Sandusky, Ohio, (marrying the heir to the Shell Oil Co.).'” 

He’s got the gist of it, but here’s the exact dialogue from the scene in which, after singing ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ in a Florida hotel, Sugar receives a bouquet from her admirer and eagerly shares the news with her best pals, Daphne and Josephine…

SUGAR: Josephine, just imagine. Me, Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio, on a millionaire’s yacht. lf my mother could only see me now.

DAPHNE: l hope my mother never finds out.

Cincinnati Marilyn: Queen of the Asphalt Jungle

‘Is The Asphalt Jungle the greatest Cincinnati movie ever?’ Jason Gargano asks in an article for City Beat. Although Marilyn’s scenes were filmed on the MGM lot in Hollywood (as was most of the movie, apart from the opening shots), she also gets honourable mention for putting the Queen City on the movie map. (Although MM appears not to have visited Cincinnati in real life, Sugar Kane – her character in Some Like It Hot – mentions a prior stint in a Cincinnati band.)

The Asphalt Jungle is not exclusively the domain of men; it also possesses the screen debut of Marilyn Monroe, who plays Alonzo’s mistress, Angela. [John] Huston introduces Monroe, who lies lazily on a couch, with a carefully staged shot in which Alonzo (Louis Calhern) gazes down at her from above. Angela’s demeanor and visage are pure Monroe — innocence mixed with seduction.

Monroe only has a few scenes, little more than five minutes total, but her presence, much like the brief establishing shots of various Cincinnati cityscapes, leaves a distinctive impression in a movie full of them.”

Audrey Flack’s ‘Heroic’ Marilyn

Heroines, an exhibition by artist Audrey Flack, will be on display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, from February 14-May 10, and includes a portrait of Marilyn among a range of female icons from Medusa to Mother Teresa.

Marilyn has been a recurring subject in Flack’s long career. One of her early ‘photorealist’ paintings of Marilyn graced the first edition cover of Carl Rollyson’s Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress. By contrast, the Heroines portrait – inspired by Marilyn’s 1953 photo session with Ben Ross, and first seen in 2011 – is moody and bleak.

‘Flack’s drawing of Marilyn Monroe conveys a sad version of the sex symbol as a 30-something dependent on drugs and alcohol, lost and faded,’ Rebecca S. Nieminen writes in The Vindicator. ‘Unlike glossy, glamorous renditions of the late movie star, Flack’s depiction of Monroe requests sympathy. ‘