Greatest Female Characters

Sugar Kane, as played by Marilyn in Some Like it Hot, ranks 10th in Total Film‘s list of the 100 Greatest Female Characters. (Ellen Ripley of Alien is the overall winner.)

“Sugar Kane Kowalczyk

The Character: How to torment two guys in drag who need to keep their cover intact?  A girl so sweet you can’t help liking her … and sexy as hell singing ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ in a diaphanous gown.  Some Like It Hot, indeed.

The Actress: Billy Wilder had suffered agonies while filming The Seven Year Itch trying to get Marilyn Monroe to remember her lines.  But he still knew the effort of hiring Hollywood’s biggest star was worth it.

The Performance: Monroe famously studied Method acting during the late 1950s, something that made her the butt of cruel Hollywood jokes.  But she mined her troubled personal life to add a tangible air of sadness to counterpoint her exquisite comic timing.”

Marilyn on Blu-Ray

Nicolas Roeg’s Insignificance, featuring an MM-inspired heroine, will be released by Criterion on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 14.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • Newly restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Nicolas Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • New video interviews with Roeg, Thomas, and editor Tony Lawson
  • Making “Insignificance,” a short documentary shot on the set of the film
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Chuck Stephens and a reprinted exchange between Roeg and screenwriter Terry Johnson

Also, Some Like it Hot will be released on Blu-Ray by Fox on May 10. According to Hi-TechDigest, ‘There’s no word on tech specs or extras as of yet…apparently will be a digibook treatment…suggested list price $34.99.’

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