MM Film Season in New Jersey

A screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes heads a month-long ‘Essential Marilyn Monroe Film Series’ at Middletown Library, NJ. on Monday, February 28, at 7pm. Admission free.

Here’s the full schedule:

Monday, February 28th, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953)

Monday, March 7th, “The Seven Year Itch” (1955)

Monday, March 14th, “Bus Stop” (1956)

Monday, March 21st, “The Prince and the Showgirl” (1957)

Monday, March 28th, “Some Like It Hot” (1959)

‘Monkey Business’ Reappraised

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.’)”

Full review at The Guardian

Monkey Business screens tomorrow at 6pm, NFT2,  in London’s BFI Southbank, as part of the ongoing Howard Hawks season. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes follows at 8.30 pm. Marilyn’s two collaborations with Hawks will also feature in a Hawks season at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse Cinema next month.

‘Poupoupidou’

Poupoupidou (Nobody Else But You) is a new French movie from writer-director Gerald Hustache-Mathieu. Not only is its title inspired by a line from Marilyn’s ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ from Some Like It Hot, but the film is about a novelist (Jean-Paul Rouve) investigating the mysterious death of a small-town celebrity (Sophie Quinton) who believed she was the reincarnation of Monroe.  The story is narrated by the dead woman and includes flashbacks to her past.

The Hollywood Reporter comments, ‘As a Monroe wannabe, Quinton is seductive and enigmatic, though a far cry from the original. But who wouldn’t be?’ Meanwhile, Kitty Packard Pictorial adds, ‘I hope that Mathieu’s film is the invigorating blend of classic Hollywood storytelling and edgy film making that it very much seems it could be.’

View trailer

Reviewed at Screen Daily

Albert Wolsky’s Favourite Blondes

Marilyn in ‘Some Like It Hot (photo by Richard C. Miller)

Albert Wolsky has designed costumes for movies from All That Jazz (1979) to Revolutionary Road (2008.)

“Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Jean Harlow are the most glamorous, but in different ways. Grace was elegant, Marilyn was vulnerable, and Jean was extremely funny…Earlier actresses like Marilyn were very typed and had an image that never changed, but today’s leading ladies can be glamorous one moment and not glamorous the next…Men and women loved (Monroe) because she had an almost little-girl-like quality that made her sex appeal non-threatening…”

Hollywood Reporter

Sugar Takes the Prize

Some Like it Hot comes third in The Guardian‘s Top 25 Comedies, beaten by (ahem) Borat, and Annie Hall.

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, film critic Barry Paris, who co-authored Tony Curtis’s first autobiography, celebrates Marilyn’s sizzling screen career ahead of the Life as a Legend exhibit and movie season at the Andy Warhol Museum.

“It took a smart cookie to play the ultimate dumb blonde — and become the pop culture’s most fragile, enduring icon in the process. Marilyn Monroe’s spectacular beauty and sexuality stoked America’s collective imagination, captivating and defining her era.

Chief among the MM pix, of course, is Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic, pretty unanimously considered the all-time best movie comedy. Tony Curtis, in and out of drag, falls hopelessly in love with her, and so do we. In Sugar Kane (nee Sugar Kowalczyk), we get her euphoric screen presence at its best, secretly battling her offscreen demons at their worst.

Hollywood’s most alluring sex goddess was also its most dysfunctional actress. All the good, bad and ugly aspects of working with Marilyn — more precisely, of Marilyn working — would converge during the making of Some Like It Hot

…On the other hand, Mr. Wilder shrugged, ‘My Aunt Minnie would always be punctual on the set, never hold up production, and know her lines forwards and backwards — but who would pay to see my Aunt Minnie?'”